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  • 3 months later...

Unless Ballard plans on using Nix at DT, this moves shows just how LITTLE most around here know about building an NFL roster.  95% of the remarks said No Way to a FB.


gotta love us couch GMs.

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Maybe you carry a FB as a camp body for defense to practice against; maybe with expanded roster (which I don’t know when comes into effect) you actually keep one on the roster and to help protect Rivers.

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Fullbacks are not dead.  They're a niche role, but if you're going to run a lot, like we did last year, a good fullback can make a big difference, as an extra body to create gaps for the running back to exploit.


Having a fullback on the field sells a run and opens options on pass plays by forcing the opposing teams to commit an extra man to the rush.  Some fullbacks, like Kyle Juschek, can even contribute on offense themselves, but where a fullback really shines is in a support role, creating gaps and opportunities for other players on the field.  That doesn't mean that fullbacks are useless, they're just usually  not the focus of the play.


We haven't done much with fullbacks in recent years because we've been a throwing team that can exploit run opportunities that we get based off selling the pass.   Defenses had to respect Manning and Luck and not cheat up with their safeties to bottle up the run.


that isn't really true anymore, Brissett wasn't a great thrower and Rivers is on the decline. defenses figured that out and that's why we started struggling in the second half, we couldn't get Brissett going well enough to sell the pass so we could run, leaving defenses free to add meat to their front line, key in on the run and limit its effectiveness on key downs. 


So that leaves running as the only option on the table, and into the teeth of a defense that's ready and waiting for it.  And if you're going to run into the teeth of the defense, you need either meaty TEs or a fullback, neither of which we really had (Doyle tried, but he couldn't do enough on his own). You knew it was desperate when we tried our superstar OL at fullback, which was actually what originally prompted this thread.


Bottom line -- we can't run off the pass. Having Rivers will help but at his age and coming off a bad year I wouldn't be surprised if they limited his ability to hurt us with high risk plays.  So we're going to be running on run downs and the opponent is gonna know it's coming, and any passing we do is going to have to pass off the run, and that means that our whole offense is built on the run, which means the fullback has a decent chance to get enough snaps to be worth a roster spot, especially if that fullback can make the occasional catch

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It is not at ALL a coincidence that the year the Dynasty died, was the year when James Devilin was out for the season early in the year.  Skilled use of a fullback was an absolutely HUGE part of how they won the Superbowl in 2018, and why Sony Michel was so effective despite Mack being at least as talented as Michel if not more so.


Also note the countless times the TE has his own work to do on these plays.  Gronk and/or Allen are already blocking defenders and Devilin has to cancel out 1 more guy to open the hole.  That should put paid to the whole "use the TE as a FB" argument.  If everyone's doing their jobs the TE and the FB have different blocking assignments and both need to be successful to allow an RB to maximize their talent


They did this over and over again, Just watch the video, I know it's "them," but it's an example of how to actually use a good fullback in the modern NFL. 


A lot of their run designs are basically, the TEs handle their guys, the OL handles their guys, Devilin cancels out the last guy, and the RB scores.  That's nothing we couldn't figure out how to do, and it's a style Reich seems to WANT to play.

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