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Mel Blount Speaker Profile

NFL Hall of Famer

  • Mel Blount Speaker
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Mel Blount Biography

Mel Blount was born April 10, 1948 in Vidalia, Georgia and isa former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back, five-time Pro Bowler and Pro FootballHall of Fame inductee. Blount is considered one of the best cornerbacks to haveever played in the NFL. His physical style of play made him one of the mostfeared defensive backs in the game at a time when pass interference rules wereless stringent.

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

A Pro-Scouts All-American as both a safety and cornerback atSouthern University, Blount became a starter in the Steelers secondarybeginning in 1972. That season, he didn-€™t allow a single touchdown.[citationneeded] Blount was equally effective playing either zone or man-to-man defense.Known for his rugged style of play, his specialty was the -€œbump-and-run-€ passdefense. Because of his size and speed, he physically overpowered passreceivers.

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

Blount, who was named the NFL's most valuable defensiveplayer 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 ProBowls. His fumble recovery in the 1979 AFC Championship Game led to theSteelers' winning touchdown in a 27-13 victory over the Houston Oilers. Aseason earlier in Super Bowl XIII, Blount's interception ignited a Pittsburghdrive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown in a 35-31 victory over the DallasCowboys.

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