Despite historically low receiving numbers, Eagles could involve LeGarrette Blount

Despite historically low receiving numbers, Eagles could involve LeGarrette Blount

No running back in the last 35 years has had more seasons with 10 or fewer catches.

No running back in the last 60 years has had more career rushing yards without catching 50 passes.

No running back in NFL history has had more seasons with 700 or more rushing yards and seven or fewer receptions.

It's just something LeGarrette Blount has never done.

Blount, the Eagles' high-profile offseason running back acquisition, is one of only three players in NFL history with 5,000 or more rushing yards and fewer than 50 career receptions.

The others are both former Eagles — Steve Van Buren, who ran for 5,860 yards but caught 45 passes, and Michael Vick, who ran for 6,109 yards in his career and caught two passes.

Blount has 5,122 career rushing yards but just 46 receptions. He did somehow catch 15 passes for the Buccaneers back in 2011, but the last five years he's averaged just 5.2 catches per season.

For the sake of comparison, during the four-year stretch from 2004 through 2007, Brian Westbrook averaged 5.5 receptions per game.

Blount's biggest years have been 2010 and 2011 with the Buccaneers and 2013 and 2016 with the Patriots.

His rushing totals those four years: 1,007, 781, 772 and 1,161 yards.

His receiving totals those years: Five, two, six and seven catches.

Four times in his career Blount has rushed for more touchdowns than he's had receptions.

In eight career playoff games, Blount has caught one pass. For eight yards. 

Blount has never had more than three catches in a game.

So now that we've established that no running back in modern NFL history has been less of a weapon as a receiver, let's try to figure out where Blount fits in here.

Eagles running backs have historically been pass catchers, not just in the Andy Reid offense run by Reid and Doug Pederson but under Rich Kotite, Ray Rhodes and even Buddy Ryan.

Only Chip Kelly didn't like to throw to the backs.

In fact, in the last 30 years, the Eagles have had 23 backs rush for 700 or more yards. Only three of those had fewer than 40 catches -- Earnest Jackson in 1985 (10), Herschel Walker in 1992 (38) and LeSean McCoy in 2014 (career-low 28).

Blount has an NFL-record four seasons with 100 or more carries and seven or fewer catches.

The last Eagle running back to do that was Ken Keller in 1956.

All of which takes us to 2017.

Blount is here, in an offense where the backs have to catch the football.

The Eagles have two options. Don't play him on passing downs. Or use the preseason to assimilate Blount into the passing game for the first time in his life.

"I think it's going to surprise a few people," running backs coach Duce Staley said. "He can catch the ball. Sent him on a couple wheel routes a couple times (during OTAs) and he beat the linebacker. He was open, and he can catch the ball in the flat, and I'd love to get him some screens set up to where he can get that big body going north. He can scare some people."

Blount said the only reason he's never caught a lot of passes is that he's never been asked to catch passes.

He's a classic straight-ahead power runner who's been used that way every stop of his career.

"I don’t too much pay attention to what fans think about my skill set," he said.

"I know what I can do. They know what I can do. If it’s called for me to catch the ball, I do. I don’t drop passes. Whatever it is (they want me) to do, I’m going to do it.

"We have a good pass-catcher in 43 (Darren Sproles), but if I need to do it, then I will do it."

Head coach Doug Pederson knows that if any running back doesn't get involved in the running game, the offense gets predictable when he's on the field.

He said he liked what he's seen of Blount in the passing game during the four weeks of minicamps.

"Yeah, he's actually a pretty good pass catcher," Pederson said. "When you watch him at practice and in some of the drills that we've put him in, he's pretty smooth.

"Maybe he doesn't have the numbers and all that, and he hasn’t been used that way, but I'm very comfortable putting him in situations where we can throw him the ball."

Michael Vick's father arrested on drug-ring charges

Michael Vick's father arrested on drug-ring charges

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The father of former pro-football star Michael Vick has been arrested on charges of being involved in a drug ring.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that federal authorities arrested 55-year-old Michael Dwayne Boddie on Thursday. A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Newport News alleges that he and 11 others conspired to sell heroin.

Boddie is being held without bond until a Monday detention hearing. He was assigned a court-appointed attorney.

Lawrence Woodward, an attorney who's represented both men over the years, did not respond to requests for comment. The federal prosecutor's office declined to comment on the case beyond the charges.

Vick rose to stardom with the Atlanta Falcons before serving prison time for running a dogfighting operation. He played for the Eagles, Jets and Steelers before announcing his retirement in February.

NFL Notes: Chiefs extend Andy Reid, part ways with GM John Dorsey

NFL Notes: Chiefs extend Andy Reid, part ways with GM John Dorsey

The Chiefs have given coach Andy Reid a contract extension and parted ways with general manager John Dorsey, making two massive decisions on what is typically a quiet week in the offseason.

The 59-year-old Reid was entering the final year of the five-year deal he signed in 2013, shortly after the end of his long and mostly successful tenure in Philadelphia. Reid is 43-21 with three playoff appearances in four seasons in Kansas City, helping to deliver an AFC West title last season.

Less than an hour after his extension was announced, the Chiefs said Dorsey -- who was hired to work in tandem with Reid -- would not be retained. Dorsey was also entering the final year of his contract.

The Chiefs did not say who would take over the GM duties on an interim basis (see full story).

Raiders: Derek Carr agrees to $125M extension
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has finalized a five-year contract extension that will keep him tied to the team through the 2022 season.

Carr tweeted Thursday that an agreement had been reached to add five years to his current rookie deal that expires after this season. The contract will be worth $125 million, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because terms were not released.

Both sides had expressed a strong interest in signing a long-term deal with Carr, who was scheduled to enter the final year of his rookie contract.

Carr had imposed a deadline of the start of training camp in late July (see full story).

Patriots: Mitchell has  deal with Scholastic Books
NEW YORK -- New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell can be sweet when he wants to be.

Mitchell has a three-book deal with Scholastic, the children's publisher told The Associated Press on Thursday. The books include a newly illustrated edition of his self-published "The Magician's Hat," to come out next May, and two more original works.

Mitchell is a literacy advocate who founded the "Read With Malcolm" program. With New England, Mitchell caught 32 passes last year during the regular season and another six in the Super Bowl, when the Patriots came from behind and defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 (see full story).