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Sports

January 16, 2014

RB Blount leads Pats to AFC title game vs. Broncos

(Continued)

During last year’s draft, he was traded to the Patriots for running back Jeff Demps and a seventh-round draft choice. Now he’s a win away from the Super Bowl after his two historic games — a team record 334 all-purpose yards in the regular-season finale against Buffalo and the 166 yards rushing that tied the Patriots single-game playoff record. He ran for four touchdowns in the 43-22 divisional-round win over Indianapolis and eight in his last three games.

“He’s a load,” said Broncos safety Omar Bolden, who faced Blount in college. “They’re definitely putting a challenge on the DBs, man, to make those tackles one-on-one in the open field. So far, it’s a formula of success for them, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t come in here and do the same thing.”

Blount’s production is finally matching what Belichick had seen.

“Certainly, he’s had some outstanding games recently, but he’s been a solid player for us all the way through,” Belichick said. “Nothing has been given to him. He’s earned everything he’s gotten. I think that’s totally respected by everybody in the organization.”

He also praised Blount’s all-around ability — in the passing game, running game and kickoff returns.

“He’s a hard guy to tackle,” Belichick said. “I think he’s been solid.”

And pleasant.

In demand by the media recently, he’s been available on a regular basis.

Yesterday, he wore black workout pants with the word “OREGON” on one leg and a dark blue Patriots sweatshirt. He even took time to explain the pronunciation of his name.

“I can see where it’s confusing,” he said, “but the ‘O’ is silent.”

He’s making his loudest statements on the field for owner Robert Kraft’s team. Blount said he’s fit in well with his teammates and “nobody really talks about” the punch at Boise State.

And after all he’s been through — at Oregon, Tennessee and Tampa Bay — he said he doesn’t take extra satisfaction in his success.

“I just come out here and play,” Blount said. “Bill and Mr. Kraft saw something in me that they liked and they brought me aboard. And I came out here and did what they wanted me to do.”

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