Mel Blount

Melvin Cornell Blount (born April 10, 1948) is a former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, five-time Pro Bowler and a 1989 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.[1]

Blount is considered one of the best cornerbacks to have ever played in the NFL.[2] His physical style of play made him one of the most feared defensive backs in the game at a time when pass interference rules were less stringent. He founded the Mel Blount Youth Home.

Mel Blount
refer to caption
Blount in 2010
No. 47
Personal information
Born:April 10, 1948 (age 70)
Vidalia, Georgia
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Lyons (Lyons, Georgia)
NFL Draft:1970 / Round: 3 / Pick: 53
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interception yards:736
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Blount was born in Toombs County, Georgia.[3] The early years of his life were spent in poverty on a Georgia farm. Blount was a star in baseball, football, basketball, and track at Lyons High School. Upon graduation, he was offered a scholarship to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While there, he was a Pro-Scouts All-American pick as both safety and cornerback.

Playing career

Blount was the prototype cornerback of his era and a significant reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers were the dominant team of the National Football League in the 1970s.[3] A third-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970, he had the size, speed, and quickness for the position, plus the toughness and mental ability to adjust his coverage tactics and excel despite rule changes that favored receivers.

A Pro-Scouts All-American as both a safety and cornerback at Southern University, Blount became a starter in the Steelers secondary beginning in 1972. That season, he did not allow a single touchdown. Blount was equally effective playing either zone or man-to-man defense. Known for his rugged style of play, his specialty was the "bump-and-run" pass defense. Because of his size and speed, he physically overpowered pass receivers.

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

Blount, who was named the NFL's most valuable defensive player 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 Pro Bowls. His fumble recovery in the 1979 AFC Championship Game led to the Steelers' winning touchdown in a 27-13 victory over the Houston Oilers. A season earlier in Super Bowl XIII, Blount's interception ignited a Pittsburgh drive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown in a 35-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

After the NFL

Following his football career, Blount became Director of Player Relations for the NFL, serving in the position from 1983 to 1990. He also became active in charity work. He founded the Mel Blount Youth Home, a shelter and Christian mission for victims of child abuse and neglect in Toombs County, Georgia in 1983. In 1989, he opened a second youth home in Claysville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The Mel Blount Youth Home was investigated for the use of corporal punishment in the 1990s.[4]


In 1989, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1994, he was named to the NFL's 75th anniversary All-Time team. In 1999, he was ranked number 36 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Blount has two daughters, Shuntel and Tanisia, has five sons: Norris, Dedrick, Akil, Jibri and Khalid.

His son Akil played college football at Florida A&M and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Miami Dolphins.[5] Jibri plays college basketball at Cleveland State.[6] His youngest son, Khalid Blount, is a football player who was ranked as a 2-star recruit by Rivals before attending Duquesne University.

Blount currently resides in Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania, on a 303 acre farm that includes the site of his former youth home.[7]


  1. ^ Bradley-Stek, Tara (March 16, 1984). "Mel Blount retires after 14 year career". The Gettysburg Times. AP. p. 13. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Bofah, Kofi. "The greatest NFL cornerbacks of all time". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Hall of Famers: Mel Blount". The Official Site of the Pro FootballHall of Fame. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  4. ^ "Delinquent Care". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. April 10, 1993. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Dani Bostick (May 1, 2016). "Akil Blount signs with Miami Dolphins was released and now has been signed the Pittsburgh Steelers". USAToday. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Jibri Blount - Cleveland State Men's Basketball". Cleveland State Men's Basketball. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Steelers' HOF Mel Blount continues pursuing his passion in retirement". November 18, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.

External links

1973 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1973 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 41st season in the National Football League. The team finished second in the AFC Central division, but qualified for the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Steelers got off to a terrific start winning eight of their first nine games. However, a costly three game losing streak would put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. The Steelers would recover to win their last two games, but had to settle for a Wild Card berth with a 10-4 record. The Steelers would lose in the playoffs to the Oakland Raiders 33-14 in Oakland.

The 1973 Steelers' pass defense is arguably the greatest in the history of the NFL. Their defensive passer rating—the quarterback passer rating of all opposing quarterbacks throughout the season—was 33.1, an NFL record for the Super Bowl era.

According to Cold Hard Football Facts:

Pittsburgh's pass-defense numbers that year were stunning. Opposing passers compiled the following stat-line:

164 of 359 (45.7%) for 1,923 yards, 5.36 [yards-per-attempt], 11 [touchdowns] and 37 [interceptions]The figure that leaps screaming off the sheet is the amazing 37 picks in 14 games. The 2009 Jets, by comparison, allowed a puny 8 TDs in 16 games, but hauled in just 17 picks.

Pittsburgh's all-time best pass defense was an equal-opportunity unit: Mike Wagner led the team with 8 INT, but 10 other guys recorded at least one pick. Amazing. Eleven defenders boasted at least one INT for Pittsburgh that season. The entire starting secondary recorded 24 picks alone, and Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount was last on the list: Wagner (8), safety Glen Edwards (6), cornerback John Rowser (6) and Blount (4).

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 43rd in the National Football League. They would be the second championship team in club history. This Steelers team entered the beginning of the season as defending champions for the first time in their 40-year history. The team was led by a dominating defense and a quick offense, and won Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. The team posted their best defensive numbers since 1946, and scored more points than any other Steelers team to that point.

1976 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1976. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP, NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1976.

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 44th in the National Football League. The Steelers started the season looking to become the first team in the Super Bowl era to win three-straight league championships (and first since the 1929–1931 and 1965–1967 Green Bay Packers). However, many thought that would be in doubt after the team started 1–4 and saw quarterback Terry Bradshaw injured in the week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns after a vicious sack by Joe "Turkey" Jones that has since become immortalized in NFL Films as part of the Browns-Steelers rivalry.

1977 Pro Bowl

The 1977 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 27th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1976 season. The game was played on Monday, January 17, 1977, at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington in front of a crowd of 63,214. The final score was AFC 24, NFC 14.Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Los Angeles Rams head coach Chuck Knox. The referee was Chuck Heberling.Mel Blount of the Pittsburgh Steelers was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning AFC team received $2,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $1,500.

1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League (NFL). The season concluded with the team winning Super Bowl XIII to become the first franchise in the NFL to win three Super Bowl titles. The championship run was led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the team's vaunted Steel Curtain defense. Bradshaw put together the best year of his career to that point, becoming only the second Steeler to win the NFL MVP award. Ten Steelers players were named to the Pro Bowl team, and four were judged as first-team All-Pros by the AP. Head coach Chuck Noll returned for his tenth season—moving him ahead of Walt Kiesling as the longest tenured head coach in the team's history to that point.The Steelers entered the season as defending champions of the AFC Central Division, coming off a 9–5 record in 1977. Despite winning their division, the previous season was a difficult one for the team (both on and off the field) which culminated in a division round playoff loss to the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.

The team began the 1978 season with seven straight victories, before losing to the Houston Oilers in prime time on Monday Night Football. They finished the season with a league-best 14–2 record, including a 5-game winning streak to close the season. This record assured them they would play at home throughout the 1978 playoffs. It was also the best record compiled in the team's history (since surpassed only by a 15–1 mark in 2004).The 1978 Steelers team was rated the thirty-fifth best team in the history of the NFL (to September 2015) by FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregation and statistical service. The rating is based upon FiveThirtyEight's proprietary Elo rating system algorithm. Only two Steelers teams were rated higher: the 1975 team at twelfth and the 2005 team one slot ahead of the 1978 team at thirty-fourth.

AJ Faigin

AJ Faigin (born August 11, 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio) was a prominent sports agent in the 1980s and 1990s, negotiating several landmark professional football contracts.

AJ Faigin represented four Football Hall of Fame players (Jack Lambert, Jim Kelly, Mike Webster and Mel Blount) who played in eight Super Bowls; as well as numerous Pro Bowl (all star) selections and First Round Draft Picks.

After he left the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office (Cleveland, Ohio), where in his twenties he successfully prosecuted major felony cases including homicides, he was asked by a college and law school acquaintance to join Lustig Pro Sports as general counsel. There he became a seasoned negotiator and recruiter for the firm; and known throughout professional football for his creative strategies in the era before Free Agency was won by football players.

Blount (surname)

Blount (or Blunt) is a common surname of English derivation, meaning "blonde, fair" (Old French blund), or dull (Middle English blunt, blont)

Anna Blount, physician, suffragist and birth control activist in the United States

Bessie Blount, mistress of Henry VIII of England and mother of his only illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset

Bessie Blount, (1914–2009) an African American inventor

Charles Blount (deist), (1654–1693), author and son of Sir Henry Blount

Charles Hubert Boulby Blount (1893-1940), English airman and cricketer

Sir Christopher Blount (d. 1601), companion of Sir Walter Raleigh and cousin of Charles Blount, 1st Earl of Devonshire

Edward Blount (or Blunt), publishing partner for the First Folio of the works of Shakespeare

Elizabeth Blount (1502–1540), mistress of Henry VIII and the mother of his illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset

Sir James Blount (d. 1493), English commander of the fortress of Hammes and a minor character in Shakespeare's play Richard III

F. Nelson Blount, (1918–1967), President and founder of Blount Seafood Corporation, millionaire and collector of vintage steam locomotives and rail cars.

Sir Henry Blount, author of Voyage into the Levant (1635)

Herman Blount, (1914–1993), birth name of jazz musician Sun Ra

James Henderson Blount (1837–1903), U.S. congressman from Georgia, Minister to Hawaii

James Blunt born James Hillier Blount, British musician, singer/songwriter

Keith Blount (born 1966), British admiral and Fleet Air Arm officer

LeGarrette Blount (1986—), National Football League player

Mark Blount (1975—), American basketball player

Mel Blount (1948—), American professional football player

Ralph Blount (or Blunt), merchant tailor of London, father of Edward Blount

Richard Blount, S.J. (1565–1638), English Priest and Jesuit Provincial

Roy Blount, Jr. (1941—), American humorist

Sir Thomas Blount (died 1400), courtier, executed for his part in the Epiphany Rising

Thomas Blount (born c 1604), English civil war soldier, MP and inventor.

Thomas Blount (1618–1679), English antiquarian and lexicographer

Thomas Blount (1759–1812), American Revolutionary War veteran and congressman from North Carolina

William Blount (1749–1800), American statesman and senator from Tennessee

W. Frank Blount (1938—), American businessman

William Grainger Blount (1784–1827), American statesman from Tennessee, son of William Blount

Willie Blount (1768–1835), American Governor of Tennessee, half-brother of William Blount

Winton M. Blount (1921–2002), American industrialist and US Postmaster-General

Cecil Blount DeMille (1881–1959), American film producer and businessman

Michael Blount (1529–c.1597), Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Blount baronets, English baronets of Sodington and TittenhangerEnglish nobility, Barons Mountjoy and Earls of Newport in the English Peerage:

Walter Blount, 1st Baron Mountjoy (1420–1474)

Edward Blount, 2nd Baron Mountjoy (1467–1475)

John Blount, 3rd Baron Mountjoy (1445–1485)

William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy (1478–1534) scholar and chamberlain to Catherine of Aragon

Charles Blount, 5th Baron Mountjoy (1516–1544)

James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy (died 1581)

William Blount, 7th Baron Mountjoy (1561–1594)

Charles Blount, 1st Earl of Devon and 8th Baron Mountjoy (1562–1606), English courtier, soldier, and colonial administrator

Mountjoy Blount, 1st Earl of Newport (1597–1665)

Mountjoy Blount, 2nd Earl of Newport (1630–1674)

Thomas Blount, 3rd Earl of Newport (died 1675)

Henry Blount, 4th Earl of Newport (died 1679)

Bump and run coverage

Bump and run coverage is a strategy often used by defensive backs in American football in which a defensive player lines up directly in front of a wide receiver and tries to impede him with arms, hands, or entire body and disrupt his intended route. This originated in the American Football League in the 1960s, one of whose earliest experts was Willie Brown of the Oakland Raiders. Mel Blount of the Pittsburgh Steelers specialized in this coverage to such a point as to cause a rule change (see below) to make it easier for receivers to run their routes and increase scoring.

J. T. Thomas (defensive back)

James Thomas Jr. (born April 22, 1951) is a former American football defensive back in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers 24th overall in the 1973 NFL draft. He played college football at Florida State. Thomas played for the Steelers between 1973 and 1981, then for the Denver Broncos in 1982.

List of NFL nicknames

The following are nicknames throughout the history of the National Football League (NFL).

List of National Football League career interceptions leaders

This is the list of National Football League (NFL) players, who have recorded at least 50 interceptions.

Mel Blount Youth Home

The Mel Blount Youth Home was a youth home for boys located in Buffalo Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. It is located on 246 acres of farmland near Claysville, Pennsylvania. Students attend nearby McGuffey School District. Blount hosts an annual All Star Celebrity Roast, featuring many of his former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, as a fundraiser.Blount experienced a difficult process in securing zoning approval from the Buffalo Township Supervisors. Opponents of Blount's plan claimed that the boys posed a threat to the community. The opposition centered on a "Concerned Citizens" group and the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Incidents began with flyers being circulated, eventually growing to shots being fired into the home the day before Blount's 1989 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During his induction speech, he specifically cited the racist attitudes of some in the community and Buffalo Township Supervisors. Later, 2 men from Claysville were arrested in connection to the shooting. While the zoning application was pending, the Klan announced that they would be holding a "standard rally" in protest, including a "cross-lighting ceremony." A Township Supervisor said that the Klansmen did not represent the community, and that they had come from outside of the community. The announcement spurred local labor groups, NAACP, and State Representative Leo Trich to hold counter-protest. In the end, the youth home was completed in early 1990.During the 1990s, questions arose about the use of corporal punishment at the youth home, leading to an investigation by Allegheny County, Pennsylvania officials.After 2014, the home was no longer used for long-term residence. Currently it hosts weekend and day camp programs.

National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles (6), and has both played in (16) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other NFL team. The Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys (8). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II. The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

Pittsburgh Steelers statistics

This page details statistics about the Pittsburgh Steelers American football team.

Southern Jaguars football

The Southern Jaguars are the National football team representing the Southern University. The Jaguars play in NCAA Division I Football Championship as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Jaguars started collegiate football in 1916, and played in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference before joining the SWAC in 1934.

Every year, they play their last regular season game against Grambling in the Bayou Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana in late November.

Stevie Baggs

Stevie Baggs (born December 30, 1981) is an Actor, inspirational speaker, author of book Greater Than The Game and American former gridiron football linebacker. He most recently played for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at Bethune-Cookman University, where he was a three-time All-American and Mel Blount SBN Defensive Player of the Year not to mention the winner of the Ernie Davis award.

Baggs has also played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Toombs County, Georgia

Toombs County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,067. The county seat is Lyons and the largest city is Vidalia. The county was created on August 18, 1905.

Toombs County is part of the Vidalia, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Mel Blount—awards, championships, and honors

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