Mel Blount

Last updated

Mel Blount
Mel-Bount Legends-Reception 09-04-10.jpg
Blount in 2010
No. 47
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1948-04-10) April 10, 1948 (age 73)
Vidalia, Georgia
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:215–220 lb (98–100 kg)
Career information
High school: Lyons (Lyons, Georgia)
College: Southern
NFL Draft: 1970  / Round: 3 / Pick: 53
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions:57
Interception yards:736
Touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Melvin Cornell Blount (born April 10, 1948) is an American former professional football player who was a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). A five-time Pro Bowler, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. [1]

Contents

Blount is considered one of the best cornerbacks to have ever played in the NFL. [2] His physical style of play made him one of the most feared defensive backs in the game at a time when pass interference rules were less stringent. He founded the Mel Blount Youth Home.

Early life

Blount was born in Toombs County, Georgia. [3] The early years of his life were spent in poverty on a Georgia farm. Blount was a star in baseball, football, basketball, and track at Lyons High School. Upon graduation, he was offered a scholarship to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While there, he was a Pro-Scouts All-American pick as both safety and cornerback.

Playing career

Blount was the prototype cornerback of his era and a significant reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers were the dominant team of the National Football League in the 1970s. [3] A third-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970, he had the size, speed, and quickness for the position, plus the toughness and mental ability to adjust his coverage tactics and excel despite rule changes that favored receivers.[ citation needed ]

A Pro-Scouts All-American as both a safety and cornerback at Southern University, Blount became a starter in the Steelers secondary beginning in 1972. That season, he did not allow a single touchdown.[ citation needed ] Blount was equally effective playing either zone or man-to-man defense. Known for his rugged style of play, his specialty was the "bump-and-run" pass defense. Because of his size and speed, he physically overpowered pass receivers.[ citation needed ]

Midway through his career, however, the rules regarding pass coverage were changed, making such harassment of a receiver illegal.[ citation needed ] The rule would come to be named the Mel Blount Rule.[ citation needed ] Blount ended his career with 57 interceptions, which he returned for 736 yards and two touchdowns. He intercepted at least one pass in all 14 NFL seasons and led the league in interceptions with 11 in 1975. Blount also was used as a kickoff returner early in his career. He totaled 36 returns for 911 yards and a 25.3-yard average. He also recovered 13 opponents' fumbles, two of which he returned for touchdowns.

Blount, who was named the NFL's most valuable defensive player in 1975 by the Associated Press, earned All-Pro acclaim in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1981. He also was a four-time All-AFC selection and played in five Pro Bowls. His fumble recovery in the 1979 AFC Championship Game led to the Steelers' winning touchdown in a 27-13 victory over the Houston Oilers. A season earlier in Super Bowl XIII, Blount's interception ignited a Pittsburgh drive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown in a 35-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

After the NFL

Following his football career, Blount became Director of Player Relations for the NFL, serving in the position from 1983 to 1990. He also became active in charity work. He founded the Mel Blount Youth Home, a shelter and Christian mission for victims of child abuse and neglect in Toombs County, Georgia in 1983. In 1989, he opened a second youth home in Claysville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The Mel Blount Youth Home was investigated for the use of corporal punishment in the 1990s. [4]

Legacy

In 1989, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. [5] In 1994, he was named to the NFL's 75th anniversary All-Time team. In 1999, he was ranked number 36 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Blount has two daughters, Shuntel and Tanisia, has five sons: Norris, Dedrick, Akil, Jibri and Khalid.

His son Akil played college football at Florida A&M and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Miami Dolphins. [6] Jibri played college basketball at Cleveland State [7] before transferring to play for North Carolina Central University. [8] His youngest son, Khalid Blount, is a football player who was ranked as a 2-star recruit by Rivals before attending Duquesne University.

Blount currently resides in Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania, on a 303 acre farm that includes the site of his former youth home. [9]

Related Research Articles

Super Bowl IX 1975 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl IX was an American football game played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1974 season. The game was played on January 12, 1975, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Vikings by the score of 16–6 to win their first Super Bowl championship.

Super Bowl X 1976 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl X was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1975 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 21–17 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl. They were the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowls. It was also the first Super Bowl in which both participating teams had previously won a Super Bowl, as the Steelers were the defending champions and the Cowboys had won Super Bowl VI.

Super Bowl XIII 1979 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1978 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 35–31. The game was played on January 21, 1979, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, the fifth and last time that the Super Bowl was played in that stadium.

Super Bowl XXX 1996 edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXX was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1995 season. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers by the score of 27–17. The game was played on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, the first time the Super Bowl was played in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Rod Woodson American football safety and cornerback

Roderick Kevin Woodson is an American former professional football player in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons. He had a 10-year stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a key member of the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV championship team that beat the New York Giants. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, wearing the jersey number 26 throughout his career. Widely considered one of the game's all-time greatest defensive players, Woodson holds the NFL record for fumble recoveries (32) by a defensive player, and interceptions returned for touchdown (12), and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. His 71 career interceptions is the third-most in NFL history. He was an inductee of the Class of 2009 of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009. Woodson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Rod played most of his career as a cornerback then switched to safety during the later part of his career.

In ball-playing competitive team sports, an interception or pick is a move by a player involving a pass of the ball—whether by foot or hand, depending on the rules of the sport—in which the ball is intended for a player of the same team but caught by a player of the team on defense, who thereby usually gains possession of the ball for their team. It is commonly seen in football, including American and Canadian football, as well as association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football and Gaelic football, as well as any sport by which a loose object is passed between players toward a goal. In basketball, a pick is called a steal.

Champ Bailey American football cornerback

Roland "Champ" Bailey Jr. is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Georgia, where he earned consensus All-America honors, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He is the brother of former NFL linebacker Boss Bailey.

Kenneth Allan Anderson is a former American football quarterback who spent his entire professional career playing for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) and later returned as a position coach.

Ty Law Player of American football

Tajuan Ernest "Ty" Law is a former American football cornerback who played 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Michigan. He was drafted by the New England Patriots 23rd overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Law is a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a Pro Bowl MVP, and he won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. His 53 career interceptions rank 24th all-time in NFL history; he is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs of all time. Law was added to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.

Dave Brown (cornerback)

David Steven Brown was an American football player and coach.

Ike Taylor

Ivan "Ike" Taylor is a former American football cornerback. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, and spent his entire 12-year career in Pittsburgh. He played college football at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Harold Carmichael American football wide receiver

Lee Harold Carmichael is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1971–1983) and one season for the Dallas Cowboys (1984). Carmichael was the Director of Player Development and Alumni for the Eagles from 1998−2014, and a Fan Engagement Liaison from 2014−2015, before retiring again in 2015.

Keiwan Jevar Ratliff is an American former football cornerback who played seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL) during the 2000s. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL.

Jack Butler (American football) American football player

John Bradshaw Butler was an American football cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). In 2012, he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

William Gay (cornerback) American football cornerback

William Gay is an American football coach and former cornerback, who is the current defensive backs coach for the Missouri State Bears. He played college football for the University of Louisville for head coach Bobby Petrino from 2003 to 2006 before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He would later win Super Bowl XLIII with the team over the Arizona Cardinals.

James Thomas Jr. is a former American football defensive back in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers 24th overall in the 1973 NFL draft. He played college football at Florida State. Thomas played for the Steelers between 1973 and 1981, then for the Denver Broncos in 1982.

Cameron Amir Sutton is an American football cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Tennessee, and was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Akil Blount is an American football linebacker who is a free agent. He was signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and played college football at Florida A&M.

Minkah Fitzpatrick American football safety

Minkah Fitzpatrick Jr. is an American football free safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama, and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft before being traded to the Steelers during the 2019 season.

Jibri Blount is an American football tight end for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college basketball for the Cleveland State Vikings and the North Carolina Central Eagles. He converted to football and signed with the Dolphins in 2021.

References

  1. Bradley-Stek, Tara (March 16, 1984). "Mel Blount retires after 14 year career". The Gettysburg Times . AP. p. 13. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  2. Bofah, Kofi. "The greatest NFL cornerbacks of all time". Yahoo! Sports . Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "Hall of Famers: Mel Blount". The Official Site of the Pro FootballHall of Fame. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  4. "Delinquent Care". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . April 10, 1993. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  5. "All Inductees". BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org. Archived from the original on February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. Dani Bostick (May 1, 2016). "Akil Blount signs with Miami Dolphins was released and now has been signed the Pittsburgh Steelers". USAToday. Archived from the original on July 8, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  7. "Jibri Blount - Cleveland State Men's Basketball". Cleveland State Men's Basketball. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  8. "North Carolina Central Eagles Roster". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 7, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  9. "Steelers' HOF Mel Blount continues pursuing his passion in retirement". WPXI.com. November 18, 2018. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.