The Facts: Blount's presence should help the Eagles achieve a primary goal of being more run-heavy in 2017. "Oh, [HC Doug Pederson] communicated it himself," said RBs coach Duce Staley. "He talked about running the ball: 'We're not bringing these guys in here just to sit them up on the shelf. We want to run the ball and we want to impose our will.'"
Diehards Line: Blount finds himself in a situation ripe with opportunity. QB Carson Wentz was put in precarious positions far too often as a rookie. He set a franchise record for most pass attempts in a season (607) despite being green to the league and operating with substandard offensive weapons. Wentz attempted 40 or more passes seven times, including 60 attempts in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in early December. Some of that can be pinned on the play calling of Pederson and issues along the offensive line during right tackle Lane Johnson's 10-game suspension, but a less-than-reliable running back group was also a factor. Blount signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Eagles in May, joining a backfield in desperate need of a lead dog. Ryan Mathews (neck) is expected to be cut once he is cleared medically, creating a need for a physical, downhill runner to go with the lighter Darren Sproles (5-6, 190 pounds), rookie Donnel Pumphrey (5-8, 169 pounds) and unproven second-year back Wendell Smallwood. The 6-foot, 250-pound Blount fits the bill. He rumbled for 518 yards after first contact last season, good for sixth in the NFL. He picked up 67 first downs (fifth in the league) with a 50 percent conversion rate on third-down attempts. And his 18 rushing touchdowns were the most in the NFL since Adrian Peterson matched that number in 2009.