There’s only one Marshawn Lynch, but the New England Patriots have LeGarrette Blount. And with the Seahawks and Patriots paired in Super Bowl 49, comparisons are inevitable.
“We both run the football hard,” Blount said. “We both have good balance. We both have good vision. We both are pretty big guys and hard to tackle. So, it will be a good game.”
Lynch is 5-foot-11, 215 pounds and ran for 1,306 yards this season. Blount is 6-feet, 250 pounds and rushed for 547 in a season split between New England and Pittsburgh.
Blount played his first 11 games with the Steelers. But he was released by the Steelers one day after reportedly leaving the field early after being given no carries in a win at Tennessee. He was quickly claimed by New England, where he had played in 2013.
“I just felt like after everything ending at Pittsburgh, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But things just work out kind of funny. … I always hoped that I was going to be in the position to win a world championship. It’s a crazy feeling to know that you could possibly be the best team in the NFL.”
Blount is expected to get his chances to influence the result, although carries can vary wildly with the Patriots. After just three carries for 1 yard in the playoff opener against Baltimore, he came on for 30 carries for 148 yards in the AFC Championship Game against Indianapolis.
Next up are the Seahawks and the top-ranked defense in the NFL, a challenge Blount is prepared for.
“That doesn’t bother me,” Blount said. “They were good enough to get here, just like we were good enough to get here.”
READY AND WILLING
Patriots punter Ryan Allen admitted to being impressed with the fake field goal the Seahawks pulled off against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game when punter Jon Ryan threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to backup tackle Garry Gilliam.
“For a specialist to effect a game like that? How fun is that?” he said.
Although he’s never thrown a TD pass, he did say he scored in high school on a fake field goal. Allen, who was a kicker back then, took a pitch from the holder and ran it in.
Allen wouldn’t reveal if he’s ever practiced a play like Ryan’s, but feels like he could do it.
“If it’s called upon, I know how to throw a football,” he said. “It’s all a matter of having an opportunity.”
Super Bowl 49 will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. That’s the home of the NFC West’s Arizona Cardinals, and therefore a familiar site for many of the Seahawks – but not so for the Patriots.
So the team planned a visit in advance to remove some of the mystery.
“Being able to go see the clocks where the play-clock is, scoreboards, you name it – and I think guys will take advantage of that,” defensive tackle and captain Vince Wilfork said. “Especially being the Super Bowl, I think you have a lot more guys out there just seeing the whole setup of the Super Bowl, which they should, so they won’t get blindsided when they take the field for the first time.”
The Patriots are considered the road team and will wear their white jerseys. But there was no pregame consensus of how they will be treated by the crowd.
“Sometimes it can be divided; it can be one-sided,” defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said. “Who knows? Fans will be cheering for one thing and they might (be) loud on third downs, they might be quiet on first down. You never know. You always have to (be) prepared for both – using the cadence, using the sideline cadence, whatever. You have to be prepared for anything.”