FOXBORO, Mass. — Who knows if LeGarrette Blount would’ve wound up with the New England Patriots had his good friend, Aqib Talib, not come to the team in a trade the previous year.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick consulted with Talib before trading a seventh-round draft pick and running back Jeff Demps to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Blount.
“I think definitely an assist on this one has to go to our assistant pro personnel director — Talib — who I talked to before we traded for LeGarrette, and everything he said about him was absolutely right,” Belichick said, smiling. “He’s a good football player who loves to play, works hard and is a team player; great guy for the team in the locker room. He’s been all those things.”
Blount carried the Patriots on his back for 334 all-purpose yards in Sunday’s 34-20 home win over the Buffalo Bills. He had 189 yards on 24 carries and 145 yards on two kick returns.
Blount and Talib became close in their 2 1/2 years in Tampa Bay together.
“I just told him [Belichick] he was a great teammate, a great locker-room player, and you’re going to see a lot of explosive plays from him,” Talib said. “That’s all I told him.”
The Patriots saw plenty of explosive plays out of Blount on Sunday. He had kick returns for 83 and 62 yards and touchdown runs for 36 and 35 yard against the Bills.
Maybe Belichick should keep trading with the Buccaneers. He got a Pro Bowl cornerback in Talib and a 772-yard back in Blount. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay finished 4-12 this season.