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I LOOOOOOVE signing Vonta Leach. I view this as a considerable upgrade as a true fullback. McClain is a great all around FB because he can block, carry, and catch, but I think that Leach will be a big upgrade in purely blocking IMO.
This is great for Rice. I expect big things for Rice next year.
BTW how is Leach as a pass blocker
He can stick a D-end as well as most lineman, but the one downside is he's not a threat at all on passing downs so most of the time he's subbed out for a 3rd wideout or 2nd tight end. But for basic passing out of two back sets or the 11 formation or whatever you want to call it, he's very good.
However, he's still much better going forward run blocking, making play actions more ideal because he can de-cleat a linebacker and open up the middle of the field for Rice, Boldin, whoever.
I've read that he actually isn't bad as a receiver out of the backfield. He has had a couple of 20 catch season with Houston (not bad for a FB, but last season was pretty uneventful in that category). That's definitely not the reason we signed him though.