PHILADELPHIA – If you’re a fan of the Madden video game series, you’ve probably pulled off a play like it once or twice, but it’s not the type of play you see on an NFL field very often.
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount received a handoff from Ryan Mallett in the second quarter and started running for the left sideline, just as the play was drawn up.
One problem: there was a roadblock in Blount’s way, in the form of numerous Eagles defenders.
So he circled back toward midfield, cut between the hash marks, and then started chugging toward the end zone, tight end Zach Sudfeld running alongside him and clearing out the last defender in Blount’s way.
The fourth-year back, traded to New England from Tampa Bay during draft weekend, dove into the end zone, capping a run that went 51 yards north-south but was probably closer to 80 when his east-west moves were factored in.
“I remember it was an outside zone, and they had it blocked pretty well at the end,” Blount said after the Patriots' 31-22 exhibition victory over Philadelphia. “I saw a lot of green grass on the other side and I took it. Then I saw a lot of pursuit, so I took it back.”
It was an unconventional play, one that Blount admitted wouldn’t have ended well for him if he’d been taken down quickly.
“If you do it and it’s a tackle for loss, you’re going to get cussed out when you get back to the sideline. But if you do it and it’s a touchdown, there’s not a lot you can say about it,” he said.
It was the first of two touchdowns on the night for Blount, who added a one-yard score in the third quarter. He had a team-high 11 carries for 101 yards.
One of the first players to meet Blount after the long score was Aqib Talib, his former Buccaneers teammate who opened his home to Blount when he was traded to New England.
“That’s my man! That’s my dawg! That’s my homie!,” Blount exclaimed when asked about Talib. “He took me right in…He’s helping me a lot.”
But as much as Blount has enjoyed his time in Talib’s guest room, he said the time is coming when he’ll be getting his own place.