This past season, the Philadelphia Eagles finished with a 7-9 mark. Although there were strides made from the previous year (mostly under head coach Chip Kelly), this was a club that dropped nine of its final 13 outings following a 3-0 start. For first-time NFL head coach Doug Pederson, it was a somewhat-respectable start to his career. During the year, the Birds did manage wins over the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. Still, it all added up to a last-place finish. Now the team looks to get better.

And a ground attack that was inconsistent at best in 2016 just added a big piece.

Adding a Super Bowl champion

This offseason, the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots opted to go in a different direction when it came to their ground attack. The club didn’t make much of an attempt to bring back Legarrette Blount, who enjoyed a career year in Foxborough. He ran for a personal-best 1,161 yards and led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns. Now the Philadelphia Eagles have announced that the eight-year pro (with 5,122 career rushing yards and 49 scores on the ground) has agreed to join the team via a one-year deal. It’s a contract that could be worth up to $2.8 million via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Blount joins a backfield that already includes Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, as well as 2017 fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey from San Diego State.

What Blount brings

This past season, the Philadelphia Eagles ranked 11th in the NFL with 113.3 yards per contest on the ground. But this was a running attack that was extremely inconsistent.

During the team’s 3-0 start, Pederson’s club racked up at least 30 rushing attempts and 100-plus yards on the ground in each game. And the Birds’ offensive attack managed to score an impressive 10 touchdowns. But the Eagles finished the season with only 32 offensive visits to the end zone in 16 contests, split evenly on the ground (16) and through the air (16).

As previously mentioned, Blount hammered his way into the end zone for 18 rushing touchdowns in 2016. Having a reliable sledgehammer in the backfield will make second-year quarterback Carson Wentz’s job a lot easier as well. It won’t be easy escaping the NFC East basement this year due to the likes of the Cowboys, Giants and Washington Redskins. But a player like LeGarrette Blount can help the Eagles keep those opposing defenses a lot more honest this fall. And that’s at least one step in the right direction.