Veteran running back LeGarrette Blount's decision to sign with the Lions was ultimately a blend of both comfort and fit.
The fit being Detroit's need for a back with his running style. The comfort being the relationships he already had with general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia from their time together in New England.
"My relationship with Matt has always been a great one," Blount told reporters Monday via conference call. "Even though he was on the defensive side of the ball ... anytime I ever saw him in any part of the building, whether it was just walking by in the hall or in the cafeteria or practice or whatever the circumstance may be, anytime he walked past or anytime we were around each other, it was always laughs and jokes.
View photos of running back LeGarrette Blount. Photos by Associated Press.
"Obviously, we get serious when it's time to do the job, but for the most part we laughed and joked and clowned around and we enjoyed each other, and it got to a point where we had gotten really close."
Blount spent three and a half seasons in New England, all of them with Patricia and two and a half with Quinn.
"There's a lot less pressure on you when you're signing somewhere to a team that has a coach that has the relationship that me and Matty P have," Blount said. "I know what kind of structure and what kind of things he's going to bring to the table."
Blount spoke of a real comfort level walking into the practice facility at Allen Park and seeing a lot of familiar faces, not only in Quinn and Patricia, but also strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash Jr. and chief of staff/head coach administration Kevin Anderson, who Blount also knew from their time in New England.
In Blount, the Lions have acquired a 245-pound bruiser who should immediately make an impact in the short-yardage and goal-line situations the team particularly struggled in last season. Detroit converted just 50 percent (7-of-14) of their rushing attempts on 3rd & 1 and 4th & 1 last season, which ranked last in the league.
But Blount isn't just a short-yardage back. Just two seasons ago, he rushed for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Patriots.
He helped the Eagles to a Super Bowl title this past season rushing for 766 yards (4.4 average) while sharing the backfield with Jay Ajayi.
Blount should immediately upgrade a Detroit run game that averaged just 76.3 yards per game in 2017. Only 36.4 percent of Detroit's 363 rushing plays gained at least four yards. Only the New York Jets (36.3) had a lower percentage.
There was also a severe lack of big plays in the run game for the Lions. Detroit ranked 29th in the total amount of runs that gained 10-plus yards (34) and 26th in 20-plus-yard runs (7).
"They (Detroit) are going to get a good veteran running back that has a lot of years and a lot of miles left on him that's going to play as hard as he possibly can for the organization and for Matty P," Blount said.
"I'm not one that's used to losing a lot of games and Matty P isn't one that's used to losing a lot of games, so we want to go out there and just everything we can do to possibly get us wins we are going to do it."
Blount's signing adds a veteran leader with three Super Bowl rings to the running backs room that also currently includes Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Tion Green and Dwayne Washington.
"Ameer and Theo, I like them," Blount said. "I've seen them play and I like the grittiness. I like how hard they play. You can tell they play with a lot of passion.
"My job is to help add value and our goal is to just do our jobs together and get all these wins we can get."