September 28, 2012

MVP Profile: Mel Blount, 1975


Cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers



Age: 27
6th season in pro football & with Steelers
College: Southern
Height: 6’3”    Weight: 200

Prelude:
A third-round draft choice in 1970, Blount was most notable on kickoff returns as a rookie but worked his way into the lineup by his third year. A master of the bump-and-run, he became a key member of the vaunted defense as Pittsburgh won its first Super Bowl following the ’74 season.

1975 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 11 [1]
Most interceptions, game – 2 at Cleveland 10/5, vs. Kansas City 11/16, at NY Jets 11/30
Int. return yards – 121 [11]
Most int. return yards, game – 47 (on 1 int.) at Houston 11/24
Int. TDs – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 8
Yards – 139
Average per return – 17.4
TDs – 0
Longest return – 23 yards

Postseason: 3 G
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 1
Int. return yards – 20
Int. TDs – 0

Kickoff Returns – 3
Yards – 64
Avg. Return – 21.3
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-AFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Steelers went 12-2 to finish first in the AFC Central while leading the conference in fewest points allowed (162). Won AFC Divisional playoff over Baltimore Colts (28-10), AFC Championship over Oakland Raiders (16-10), and Super Bowl over Dallas Cowboys (21-17).

Aftermath:
Blount followed up with another Pro Bowl season in 1976, the second of an eventual five. He also received consensus first-team All-NFL recognition again in 1981 and at least some consideration in four other seasons. Fast, physical, and durable, he played for 14 years and missed only one game due to injury. He ended up intercepting 57 passes and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1989.

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MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

[Updated 2/6/14]

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