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Patriots could super size kick return spot with addition of LeGarrette Blount

09.02.13 at 2:10 pm ET

FOXBORO — LeGarrette Blount has only been around Gillette Stadium for a few months, but he’€™s already laid claim to having one of the most impressive rides on the team.

The running back, who drives a 1993 Caprice — with 28-inch rims — has gotten a few looks when wheeling around Southeastern Massachusetts. Blount was asked Monday afternoon if the people of Foxboro have gotten used to seeing his ‘€œbaby’€ around town.

‘€œOf course. They love it. I love it. That’€™s my baby,’€ he said with a grin after practice on Monday. ‘€œGrowing up, where I grew up in the ‘hood, I saw a lot of people driving cars like that, and I was like, ‘€˜One day, I’€™m going to get one.’€™ And then, I did. I love it. I love it. People love the car.

‘€œIt’€™s a cool car — it’€™s really nice inside and everything. I had the whole thing customized, so it’€™s a pretty cool car. I like it.’€

The big back — who checks in at 6-foot-0, 247 pounds — is not just a car guy. With the recent release of running back/kick returner Leon Washington, he also could become one of the bigger return men in recent NFL memory. He’€™s seen plenty of practice reps at the spot over the course of the summer, and returned one kick for 27 yards in the preseason against the Lions.

‘€œHe’€™s got a lot of experience carrying the ball and he has good vision, good running skills and seemed to pick it up well,’€ said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. ‘€œMost return guys aren’€™t that kind of size. I’€™d say it definitely puts him in the above-average category. No doubt about that.’€

Blount, who has not worked as a returner at the NFL level in his three years in the pros, said Monday he’€™s done some work back there in college and high school. He welcomes the chance to show a little versatility.

‘€œI’€™ve been back there practicing it the whole time I’€™ve been here. [The Detroit game] was just my only chance to go out there and do it live — get some live action. I like it, though. It’€™s something different,’€ he said. ‘€œThat’€™s not usually a position that a guy my size is usually in. I just like the fact that I can go back there and hopefully make some things happen.’€

Since the Patriots shipped Ellis Hobbs III out of town after the 2008 season, they have struggled to find consistency in the kick return game. Last season, using a variety of players back there — Devin McCourty, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead and Matthew Slater — the Patriots averaged just 21.2 yards per kickoff return, 25th in the NFL.

Blount figures to be part of a mix this year that includes McCourty, as well as Edelman (who will still serve as the primary punt returner), Slater, rookie Josh Boyce and Shane Vereen. The 26-year-old Blount said he’€™s working with a lot of those same guys to try to get a sense of what sort of challenge he’€™s facing.

‘€œJust some guys who have done it before: Julian, Devin, Slater. Just some guys who have done it before,’€ he said. ‘€œThey’€™re giving me some key pointers — some tips about how it’€™s done. Some things to look out for. [I’€™m] just kind of look at those guys and ask some questions as I go.’€

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