There are different ways to measure dominance. Some may consider stats or accolades, but very few players come along that literally force changes to the way the game is played. Mel Blount, the latest guest on "All Things Covered,"was a game-changer. The 1975 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was so dominant that the league instituted the "Mel Blount Rule" to limit the contact defensive backs could make with wide receivers. Blount joined the podcast to discuss his reaction to that rule (which happened while he was still active), the vaunted 1976 Steelers defense, Terry Bradshaw's toughness and the role of HBCUs in the football landscape. Highlights from the conversation with the Pro Football Hall of Famer are included below.
Mel Blount on the 'Mel Blount Rule'
"When that happened, I took it as an insult. ... You're putting this rule in because you think that's the only way I can play and that it's going to slow me down. The older I get, the more I appreciate the fact that I had that kind of impact on the game."
Mel Blount on the Steelers' dominant 1976 defense
"1976 was the best team we ever had even though we didn't win a Super Bowl."
Mel Blount on his playing style
"I had long arms which was an asset, I could run, had quick feet and I always played with a chip on my shoulder."
"This is the thing about growing up during segregation. We were taught we had to be twice as good if we wanted to compete."
Mel Blount on if he played now
"If I was playing in today's game and they're playing 16 games and they're throwing what, 80% of the time? I'm coming out of every game, and I'm not lying, with at least two interceptions, if not more."
Mel Blount on Terry Bradshaw
"I'd take Terry Bradshaw and I'd go out there and be just as comfortable and confident that we could win a game with that guy than with anybody else, because he was one tough cookie."
Mel Blount on the importance of HBCUs
"When you look at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and you see the number of players who went to HBCUs ... it tells you what kind of talent there was. "I think Deion (Sanders) being at an HBCU is really huge for historically black colleges."