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View Full Version : Could we see a new age of FB's???


SeanTaylorRIP
12-03-2008, 09:08 AM
Old School TE's used to be just a branch off OT's. They primarily stayed in box and sealed off the edge for runners, and stayed in pass protection many times on 3rd down. They ran intermediate routes at times to help work the middle, but to be a TE it was more important to be able to block than catch. In the 90's though the tide changed and TE's became an integral part of passing games, not just a complement. And now we have TE's who can't even block and are flanked out wide. I think we might be seeing a similar trend with NFL FB's, especially with the increased frequency of 1 back formations with more and more 4 and 5 WR sets.

I think we might see the further diminishing of true blocking FB's, as teams are electing to either have more wideouts on the field or an extra blocking TE. Of course we still have the Lorenzo Neal's and Tony Richardson's, Mike Sellersl and even new age guys like Ahmard Hall, but I can soon see the shifting in the role of a FB. FB's will be asked to lead block less and more to fill the role as short down back and a receiving option. Guys like LeRon McClain and Peyton Hillis getting more carries than their starting HB's, granted Hillis is now the HB. I think we will start seeing teams stop drafting FB's, and start converting bigger HB's to the FB position. Such as Earnest Graham lined up at FB. This I think will also lead to bigger HB's in the college game declaring the transition to FB prior to the draft to increase their draft status. I think we could start seeing the end of true run blocking FB's which reassemble LB's on the offensive end, and start seeing more converted bigger backs who are there to get short yardage carries and catch out of the backfield. It was never possible before, but now we could see FB's being drafted in which blocking is a weakness for them. In the past there was no way a FB was drafted if they couldn't block. With the pass happy league now teams will value a FB's ability to run and catch more than block.

awfullyquiet
12-03-2008, 09:19 AM
an FB's primary responsibility is to run block.

if you're taking away that from a team, they might as well just run single back.

FB's will be more versitile, but there is an art, a brutal dance, if you will to being a fullback that most larger RB's aren't equipped to handle.

could you see Brandon Jacobs runblocking in front of someone? No?

Gay Ork Wang
12-03-2008, 10:32 AM
god the Chargers FB is so horrible, LT has like always 1 guy in front of him in the hole

just watching the Falcons game made me pity him. Jacob Hester and Tolbert cant block

umphrey
12-03-2008, 11:09 AM
I think you will see more hybrid players. TEs that can flank out, TEs who can drop back into the backfield, FBs who can play running back, etc.

There will just be more of a grey area between TEs and WRs, and FBs and TEs, and FBs and RBs. New age offense is all about disguising the formation so if you can line a guy up at TE and motion him into the backfield, etc, it creates mismatches.

scar988
12-03-2008, 11:45 AM
god the Chargers FB is so horrible, LT has like always 1 guy in front of him in the hole

just watching the Falcons game made me pity him. Jacob Hester and Tolbert cant block

lol, and the Falcons have probably the best lead blocking FB in the game.

Turtlepower
12-03-2008, 11:48 AM
John Madden loves Madison Hedgecock. I don't think anything more needs to be said.

bored of education
12-03-2008, 11:49 AM
John Madden loves Madison Hedgecock. I don't think anything more needs to be said.

So he sucks, you are saying?

Turtlepower
12-03-2008, 11:50 AM
So he sucks, you are saying?

That's what it sounds like, but Madison Hedgecock has been amazing for the Giants this season.

bored of education
12-03-2008, 11:51 AM
That's what it sounds like, but Madison Hedgecock has been amazing for the Giants this season.

zomgz the gmenzz whoz haznt been amazingz for themz??

Gay Ork Wang
12-03-2008, 11:54 AM
zomgz the gmenzz whoz haznt been amazingz for themz??
Osi and Tiki!!!!

Turtlepower
12-03-2008, 12:04 PM
zomgz the gmenzz whoz haznt been amazingz for themz??

Kiwi is very overrated and Pierce is ridiculously unathletic on the playing field. He plays like Shaq.

Yatta!
12-03-2008, 12:05 PM
The value of a true lead blocking full back can't be underestimated. Guys like Neal, Richardson and Mack Strong all played integral roles when their RB was torching anyone and everyone. It's a shame that it's a dying position - I'm not a fan of this new trend.

The Unseen
12-03-2008, 12:17 PM
Let me also throw Greg Jones in the conversation.

Turtlepower
12-03-2008, 12:22 PM
Let me also throw Greg Jones in the conversation.

Greg Jones is easily in the top-5.

FlyingElvis
12-03-2008, 12:30 PM
I think you will see more hybrid players. TEs that can flank out, TEs who can drop back into the backfield, FBs who can play running back, etc.

There will just be more of a grey area between TEs and WRs, and FBs and TEs, and FBs and RBs. New age offense is all about disguising the formation so if you can line a guy up at TE and motion him into the backfield, etc, it creates mismatches.

Right on the mark. But I think there is still a place for the true FB, it's just an extrememly diminished role at this point in the league. Everything has become so specialized in order to creat mismatches that the days of true smashmouth are gone. Thus, the FB is a short yardage player only in today's NFL.

Sniper
12-03-2008, 12:33 PM
The Eagles would like to know what this "fullback" position that you speak of is.

colts_fan8818
12-03-2008, 12:34 PM
I think that with the game changing into a pass first league, FB's will have to get more versatile, and be better at picking up short yards and catching passes, but I don't think they will play a larger part in the game for most teams, simply because there are a lot of HBs that can do a lot of the same things.

Mr. Stiller
12-03-2008, 12:46 PM
Right on the mark. But I think there is still a place for the true FB, it's just an extrememly diminished role at this point in the league. Everything has become so specialized in order to creat mismatches that the days of true smashmouth are gone. Thus, the FB is a short yardage player only in today's NFL.

I agree, but what I'd do for the Steelers to have a true Fullback. Having a 6'5 245lb 3rd String TE do it, even though he's alright, he gets 0 leverage...

And Carey Davis is a glorified Slow RB playing FB.. mostly ST's.

And looking to the draft, there really isn't any FB Prospects.

Chris Pressley is probably the most old school, but even he's looked disappointing.

Mr. Stiller
12-03-2008, 12:47 PM
The Eagles would like to know what this "fullback" position that you speak of is.

Tony Hunt.

BeerBaron
12-03-2008, 12:47 PM
I'm really hoping the Bears target Leonard Weaver in the offseason as he's been very well rounded as a FB in what I've seen and heard of him. On Thanksgiving, he was about the only Seahawk on the field who was trying to block...

And I agree, that if you want to hack it as a FB in the NFL anymore, your going to have to be versatile. I think being a competent lead blocker is going to be first and foremost...your simply not going to make the roster as the top FB unless you can plow a hole from time to time. But they'll be expected to run, catch, pass block and probably play special teams as well. A really good FB in the NFL will be a guy who can help the team out in a large number of ways in the coming years.

Brent
12-03-2008, 01:02 PM
Leonard Weaver
That guy is a beast. He can do it all. If the Seahawks let him get away they better hope that Owen Schmitt can equal his production and blocking.

Zyro_1014
12-03-2008, 01:25 PM
Tony Hunt.

Good joke my friend! lol

Bring on Havili! :)

Monomach
12-03-2008, 01:44 PM
This isn't a new thing. Back in the day, a lot of coaches had their fullbacks run very often, block sometimes, and catch a high number of passes. It's only recently that their role has been diminished into nothing but blocking, catching dump-offs, and running when you need 1 yard. The old-style fullback is just making a comeback.

These guys used to get early round draft picks used on them, after all.

Bears fans surely remember Matt Suhey?

BlindSite
12-03-2008, 03:10 PM
I think it depends on the offense and what college systems start to do.

As college's switch more to open spread style, offenses I think we'll see less downhill fullbacks who're bodies designed to destroy linebackers and more and more we'll see glorified FBs who're just HBs with some minor blocking talent who can run and catch more.

I think there's always going to be a call for the Lorenzo Neal type back, for team's like Carolina, New England, Atlanta, Pittsburgh who use the full back as a hammer in front of their running backs, (I know NE uses everyone everywhere, but they do use a lot of fullback).

Then again, there's been times when I've been watching Carolina this year and I've wanted to puke at how disappointing it was to see Hoover drop easy passes for touchdowns (x2) or first downs.

I think teams are better off with a Richardson type blocker, two RBs and a third guy like Jones, Alstott who can do it all, but don't overly standout in any area. I don't mind the idea either of taking some of the shorter Tight Ends from certain college offenses and putting them at FB.

Also, Mike Sellers needs more mention in this thread.

tjsunstein
12-03-2008, 03:22 PM
I think you will see more hybrid players. TEs that can flank out, TEs who can drop back into the backfield, FBs who can play running back, etc.

There will just be more of a grey area between TEs and WRs, and FBs and TEs, and FBs and RBs. New age offense is all about disguising the formation so if you can line a guy up at TE and motion him into the backfield, etc, it creates mismatches.

Like our system in which Donald Lee and Tory Humphrey will lineup as the second back in a shotgun set.

RaiderNation
12-03-2008, 03:29 PM
Raiders are trying to make Michael Bush into a FB. Be nice if he could learn to run block, we would have 2 good running backs in on almost every play

Menardo75
12-03-2008, 05:26 PM
god the Chargers FB is so horrible, LT has like always 1 guy in front of him in the hole

just watching the Falcons game made me pity him. Jacob Hester and Tolbert cant block

Hester isn't a true fullback he was supposed to be L.T.'s change of pace guy. Then they found out Tolbert couldn't block...

Go_Eagles77
12-03-2008, 05:32 PM
Raiders are trying to make Michael Bush into a FB. Be nice if he could learn to run block, we would have 2 good running backs in on almost every play

That's what the eagles did to Tony Hunt and right now he's not on an NFL roster. Not saying that would happen to Bush, but I still don't think it's a good idea.

Menardo75
12-03-2008, 05:34 PM
That's what the eagles did to Tony Hunt and right now he's not on an NFL roster. Not saying that would happen to Bush, but I still don't think it's a good idea.

It's not he is not a physical kind of player, even though he is a monster.

Jughead10
12-03-2008, 05:35 PM
I disagree. I think we will see more of the traditional FB in the future. It has been phased out to 3 wide singleback formations, and twin TEs, but I see it making a comeback. Teams like Philadelphia have been criticized for not having one because of their extremely poor short yardage production. Also let's not use Hillis as an example. His is a situation because of extreme injuries the HB position. He is probably more of a natural HB anyway.

TheBuffaloBills
12-03-2008, 05:38 PM
I would like to see a split back system for the Bills. Having two extra RB's going out wide will cause havoc for Linebackers.

Brodeur
12-03-2008, 05:42 PM
http://www.detroitlions.com/photos/Schlesinger_051116.jpg

Toughest. Fullback. Ever.

jkpigskin
12-03-2008, 06:32 PM
i dont think the FB position will change
i think for the ravens situation, they saw that McClain, who is originally a FB, could actually be a solid runner. Ravens have been right, when McClain lowers his shoulders, no way are you gonna tackle him 1v1. like even when he's in, we have Neal or some other FB in front of him(most of the time)

so i think we are just in a period of time, where players are very versatile and can adjust to new positions/opportunities

Monomach
12-03-2008, 06:40 PM
http://www.detroitlions.com/photos/Schlesinger_051116.jpg

Toughest. Fullback. Ever.

Bronko Nagurski?
Larry Csonka?

Both were way tougher.

nobodyinparticular
12-03-2008, 06:57 PM
http://www.detroitlions.com/photos/Schlesinger_051116.jpg

Toughest. Fullback. Ever.

This man

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2006/writers/franz_lidz/01/26/end.game/p1_ritchie.jpg

says he's tougher.

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2008/06/medium_JONRITCHIE

That look says he wants to gnaw your face off.

Paranoidmoonduck
12-03-2008, 07:07 PM
A new kind of fullback as compared to what? We've probably seen the full spectrum of the primarily running, catching, and blocking fullbacks that we will ever potentially see. We've even seen some who combined two or more of those abilities.

The change at tight end came when team realized that the position posed a very unique coverage problem if they put the athletes they had shuffled off to other positions there. It became more normal to take a big receiver and ask him to gain weight. The problem with the fullback is that if he's good enough at either running or catching and isn't extremely good at blocking, he'll either become a halfback or (if he's tall enough) become a h-back/tight end. There's nothing that a fullback does that makes him more of a matchup nightmare than a halfback, and if teams want to double the things defenses have to keep track up, they just stick two of their halfbacks in the backfield.

Tight end is unique because it doesn't necessarily make sense to move someone like Antonio Gates to wideout, not to mention bigger guys like Gonzalez, Witten, Heap, etc. Fullback won't ever see the kind of athlete bump, because guys who have the size and speed, someone like Brandon Jacobs, just gets moved to halfback. I mean, to be clear, a fullback is only really a fullback by definition when he lines up in front of a halfback, and in that case what can happen? He can run a flat, he can take the short handoff and plow into the middle of the trenches, or he can throw a lead block. I don't see a whole lot of job expansion, mostly because offenses either have a very drastic line drawn between the halfback and the fullback, or no real line at all.

Hawk
12-03-2008, 07:07 PM
Fullbacks used to be premier backs so its more of a blast from the past.