New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had a unique way of punishing running back LeGarrette Blount for putting on a few extra pounds.
When Blount returned to New England after a short stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014, he weighed 258 lbs. He weighed 241 lbs when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2010.
On his first day of practice back in Foxborough, Belichick had a new jersey number waiting for Blount.
“They gave me number 60 my first day of practice. Bill was like, ‘You’re going to be on the line until you get back to the playing weight,’” Blount said during a recent appearance on The Patriots Report podcast with Christopher Price. “But I started (at running back) that Sunday... I enjoyed it with him. I love Bill to death.”
This punishment was clearly in good fun and Blount took it in stride.
Still, he said he often argued with Belichick about his designation as skill-position player for preseason conditioning. He advocated to run shorter sprints with the "mid-skill" group.
“I argued until my face turned red," Blount said. "I was like 'Bill, man, what’s up? I’m outweighing everyone.’ But he was like, ‘You’re a skill position. So you need to be in shape like the other skill positions.’”
Blount won Super Bowls in two of his four seasons with the Patriots and ranks fifth on the franchise's all-time rushing touchdown list (34).
He retired after a nine-year NFL career in 2018.