Blount Hits $350,000 Incentive In Loss To Bears: "I Don't Care, It's About Winning"

It wasn't even on his mind. 

Will Burchfield
November 22, 2018 - 7:56 pm

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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The one-year, $2 million contract LeGarrette Blount signed with the Lions last offseason came with an additional $2.5 million in incentives. He hit one of those incentives in Thursday's 23-16 loss to the Bears by rushing for his fifth touchdown of the season. 

That put an extra $350,000 in Blount's bank account, according to Field Yates

Blount had no idea about it afterward. Nor was he about to accept it as a silver lining. 

"I (didn't) know that. I don’t really care. It’s about winning, man," he said. "It’s about winning."

In what's been a largely disappointing season for Blount, Thursday was a refreshing performance. He rumbled for 88 yards on 19 carries, both season highs, and found the end zone twice. His two touchdowns runs were emblematic of why the Lions signed him. Despite being met a couple yards in front of the goal line, Blount barreled through tacklers to reach pay dirt. 

“He’s a great player," said Matt Patricia. "He’s tough, he’s competitive, he works hard and tries to do everything the right way. We know what it is. It was going to be tough early and he has a great knack for continually going after it and eventually he was able to break a couple." 

Again, though, Blount wasn't interested in silver linings. 

“I didn’t run it good enough," Blount said of his performance. 

The Lions didn't necessarily sign Blount to be their lead back. His opportunity arose on Thursday with Kerryon Johnson out due to a knee injury. They did sign him to be their short-yardage back, which made for a pair of puzzling calls on offense midway through the fourth quarter.

With the Lions down 16-13 and facing a third-and-one at Chicago's two, Matthew Stafford threw an incomplete pass to Michael Roberts. Then, instead of going for it on fourth-and-one to try to take the lead, the Lions sent out kicker Matt Prater to tie the score. 

Blount did his best to make sense of the decision to play it safe on fourth down.

"Of course I have 100 percent confidence in us getting it in there, and I’m pretty sure Matty P does too. I think he probably played the percentages more than anything. Points are more important than anything at this point. If you have some guaranteed, you have to take it," he said. 

Fact is, a better play call on third down would have kept the Lions out of fourth down altogether. But Jim Bob Cooter wasn't up to the task. It's been an trying season for the Lions offensive coordinator, who's under increasing heat within the fan base. 

"I don’t think that it’s any one individual's fault," Blount said. "A play-caller calls plays, but we have to go out there and execute the play. Whether we’re doing it right or we’re doing it wrong, people may not know, but he does and we do. It’s just minor details that we have to fix. ... I just think that we have to get back in the lab and be more detailed at what we do, pay a lot more attention to our craft and try to get this thing back on pace." 

Blount also defended Matthew Stafford from his growing band of critics. Stafford was outdueled by Bears backup Chase Daniel on Thursday, costing the Lions with two picks on their final two drives of the game. 

“I don’t like to point fingers, and I don’t think that it’s his fault. I think as a team, we have to do better," said Blount. "I don’t think that you can put all of the blame on Stafford. Obviously he’s an elite quarterback. I think he’s one of the best in this league. I don’t think that it’s fair for us to put it all on him.”

What makes Stafford so good in the eyes of Blount, who's played in the past with the likes of Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger?

“You can go on and on about that. He’s really good at what he does. He’s really great at his craft. There’s no quarterback that’s going to go into a full season not making any mistakes. I think he’s human. He makes mistakes, I make mistakes, we all make mistakes," said Blount.