MEL BLOUNT

MEL BLOUNT

Class of 1989
Cornerback >>> 6-3, 205
(Southern University)
1970-1983 Pittsburgh Steelers

Melvin Cornell Blount  ...  Third-round draft pick, 1970 ... Prototype cornerback of his era with superior speed, strength, intelligence  ...  All-Pro four years  ...  NFL Defensive MVP, 1975  ...  Five Pro Bowls, 200 of 201 regular-season games  ...  Career totals: 57 interceptions, 736 yards, 13 opponents' fumble recoveries  ...  Started in four Super Bowl victories ... Had key interception in Super Bowl IX  ...  Born April 10, 1948, in Vidalia, Georgia.

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

A Pro Scouts All-America as both a safety and cornerback at Southern University, Blount became a starter in the Steelers secondary beginning in 1972. That season, he didn’t allow a single touchdown. A fixture at right cornerback, Mel was equally effective playing either zone or man-to-man defense. Known for his rugged but clean style of play, his specialty was the “bump-and-run” pass defense. Because of his size and speed, he literally overpowered pass receivers.

Midway through his career, however, the rules were changed making such harassment of a receiver illegal. Blount, a native of Vidalia, Georgia, wound up 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 wound up with 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. He started in four Steelers' Super Bowl victories (IX, X, XIII, and XIV).

Year

Team

G
Int
Yds.
Avg.
TD
FumRec.
Yds.
TD
1970 Pittsburgh
14
1
4
4.0
0
1
0
0
1971 Pittsburgh
14
2
16
8.0
0
0
0
0
1972 Pittsburgh
14
3
75
25.0
0
2
35
1
1973 Pittsburgh
14
4
82
20.5
0
2
0
0
1974 Pittsburgh
13
2
74
37.0
1
3
5
0
1975 Pittsburgh
14
11
121
11.0
0
0
0
0
1976 Pittsburgh
14
6
75
12.5
0
1
0
0
1977 Pittsburgh
14
6
65
10.8
0
1
15
0
1978 Pittsburgh
16
4
55
13.8
0
0
0
0
1979 Pittsburgh
16
3
1
0.3
0
1
15
0
1980 Pittsburgh
16
4
28
7.0
0
1
32
0
1981 Pittsburgh
16
6
106
17.7
1
0
0
0
1982 Pittsburgh
9
1
2
2.0
0
0
0
0
1983 Pittsburgh
16
4
32
8.0
0
1
3
1
Career Total
200
57
736
12.9
2
13
105
2
 
Additional Career Statistics: Scoring: 4 TDs; Punt Returns: 1-52; Kickoff Returns: 36-911

Full Name: Melvin Cornell Blount

Birthdate: April 10, 1948

Birthplace: Vidalia, Georgia

High School: Lyons (GA)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 21, 1989

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 5, 1989

Presenter: Dan Rooney, President, Pittsburgh Steelers

Other Members of Class of 1989: Terry Bradshaw, Art Shell, Willie Wood

Pro Career: 14 seasons, 200 games

Drafted: 3rd round (53rd overall) by Pittsburgh Steelers

Uniform Number: 47

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