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mesaSteeler
05-02-2010, 12:04 AM
Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster
Sunday, May 02, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No rookie on the Steelers' 90-man minicamp roster faces the dichotomy that confronts Demetrius Taylor, an undrafted defensive tackle from Virginia Tech.

Taylor is the only fullback listed on the Steelers' 90-man roster, a position he has never played and which the team's coordinator says will never exist in his offense.

"There's not a fullback on the roster," Bruce Arians declared three days before the Steelers opened the 2009 season. "There's a running back who plays fullback, a tight end who plays fullback. I don't have a fullback. There's no fullback in my offense, there's never going to be one."

In this minicamp there is one, precisely one. Taylor actually played fullback one year -- as a high school freshman. He then moved to running back and linebacker, went to Virginia Tech as a linebacker and moved to defensive tackle. At 6 feet, 270-something, he is not big enough to play that position in the pros. (Well if the the Great, Never Wrong, Arians (who calls endless pass plays in terrible weather, in the red zone) has his way he'll be cut next week. - mesa)

Nevertheless, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin saw something during the Virginia Tech pro workout day and asked Taylor if he thought he could play fullback.

"He had the explosive, fullback-type movements," Tomlin said. "He ran a 4.70 in the 40, he had a 9-something broad jump, he kind of looked like a fullback. I asked him if he had a [running-back] background. He said he did, he was one in high school, he was recruited as one."

He has been recruited as one again, the only listed fullback on a team that supposedly will try to run the ball more consistently (per Steelers president Art Rooney's instructions). Other players have lined up at the position in games, but only Taylor is listed as a fullback. Tight ends David Johnson and Sean McHugh and running back Frank Summers have played fullback, and the Steelers are taking a look at running back Isaac Redman there as well.

Arians was declared off-limits on the topic this weekend, and Tomlin scoffed at what his coordinator said last September about the fullback position.

"We got fullbacks. You guys take him too literally sometimes," said Tomlin. (Sorry Mike I think Arians meant every word when he said he would not have a full back. - mesa)

Last season, before the Steelers let him go as a free agent without making an offer, halfback Willie Parker talked about how much better it was for him and others to run behind a true fullback. He decried the loss of it in the Steelers' offense.

Tomlin said those types of pure fullbacks are tough to find.

"Those high school fullbacks are playing different positions on college football teams because very few teams employ a fullback," Tomlin said. "So you have to turn over a stone or two and find out who is that kind of animal."

Tomlin turned a 270-pound stone over to discover Taylor.

"He has nice quick-twitch," Tomlin explained. "We won't know until we know, that's the reality of it. We were excited to give him an opportunity."

If Taylor can pull it off, he would not become the first to do so, but would join the few.

"When I was in Detroit, we had a defensive lineman come in and convert to fullback and did well, Jon Bradley," said McHugh, a Lion before he became a Steeler.

Indeed, Bradley played defensive tackle for Tampa Bay from 2004 through 2006 (Tomlin being on that staff for two of those years) before he went to Detroit and switched to fullback. He played fullback for the Lions in 2007, listed as 6 feet 1, 301 pounds. He played in 15 games that season, started six.

Defensive lineman Dan Klecko also has played some spot fullback for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.

So, why not Demetrius Taylor?

"I was pretty good," Taylor said, recalling the one year he played the position. "I could go out there and make some big-time blocks."

The Steelers will need some of those to get their running game in gear.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10122/1054921-66.stm#ixzz0mkGRYsnV

steelerdude15
05-02-2010, 12:51 AM
I'd really love if we had a fullback, like an actual fullback on the roster that would actually play in games.

steelreserve
05-02-2010, 05:04 AM
I don't have a fullback. There's no fullback in my offense, there's never going to be one."

Yeah, then why was Carey Davis on the roster for the entire season? Was it just because you felt like you needed a player who was that bad and only played rarely? Nice job, Einstein.

solardave
05-02-2010, 05:18 AM
It would be nice to see us line up using a FB at least part of the time. When we did it before they knew what was coming and couldn't stop it. It can be that way again. We could close games out.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-02-2010, 08:50 AM
Carey Davis was not a FB. Taylor will not make the 53. Arians will still not have a FB in his offense, he never has and never will, so get used to it people. If he does, then it was mandated and it will cause friction in the offensive coaching side of the ball.

GoSlash27
05-02-2010, 10:06 AM
Fascinating. We are now the first team in the league to have a fullback controversy :chuckle:

steelerdude15
05-02-2010, 10:39 AM
Fascinating. We are now the first team in the league to have a fullback controversy :chuckle:
I like where this is going. :wink02:

SMR
05-02-2010, 11:47 AM
Yeah, then why was Carey Davis on the roster for the entire season? Was it just because you felt like you needed a player who was that bad and only played rarely? Nice job, Einstein.

I wonder about that myself. That would be like an "excuse" for BA not to use a fullback.
:banging:

Psyychoward86
05-02-2010, 12:12 PM
"We got fullbacks. You guys take him too literally sometimes," said Tomlin.


:sofunny:

Galax Steeler
05-02-2010, 07:52 PM
A full back would be nice in the Steeler lineup but as El-Gonzo stated he will probably not crack into the starting lineup. As much as I would like to see a full back I don't think it will happen.

JSH6487
05-02-2010, 08:15 PM
Arians is a moron. Can't believe that clown is still around.

Chidi29
05-02-2010, 08:44 PM
The fullback comment is blown so way out of propotion.

Actions speak louder than words. And David Johnson saw plenty of time as a FB/H-Back in the latter half of the season. McHugh had a similar role two years ago.

LVSteelersfan
05-02-2010, 10:07 PM
Arians is a moron. Can't believe that clown is still around.

I don't always agree with you but this is one time that I have to concur. But he is our OC and we have to live with him come hell or high water. If they did not get rid of him during a non-playoff season, he will go nowhere if we make the playoffs this year.

MasterOfPuppets
05-02-2010, 10:36 PM
The fullback comment is blown so way out of propotion.

Actions speak louder than words. And David Johnson saw plenty of time as a FB/H-Back in the latter half of the season. McHugh had a similar role two years ago.
i think they're referring to a REAL fullback, like one who actually lined up at fullback only in college .... :noidea:

Acerinox
05-03-2010, 01:33 AM
"He had the explosive, fullback-type movements... he had a 9-something broad jump... He has nice quick-twitch,"

This Taylor is the future of our offense. It is clear Tomlin thinks he has both suddenness and glide.

Here's a completely made-up rumor to get you excited: Tomlin is grooming Taylor to be the FB that he wants... so the team can have one ready and waiting... when Arians is FIRED and replaced with a RUN-FIRST OC, as Tomlin wanted all along.

FSUBoo
05-03-2010, 01:59 AM
Quick, someone get me KUHN on the phone. Wait, why not go trade for the Terminator
:sofunny::sofunny::sofunny:

Third Rail
05-03-2010, 12:49 PM
Just curious, does anyone know offhand how many teams in the NFL routinely use a fullback in their schemes?

I've seen people say that the reason we have such trouble with the running game is the lack of a FB, so I'm curious to see which teams do and don't use one so I can gauge if that might truly be the problem, or if the issue is with our RB corps.

pancake
05-03-2010, 12:57 PM
I hope this kid can make the transition to FB...

xbroughneck
05-03-2010, 03:23 PM
The fullback comment is blown so way out of propotion.

Actions speak louder than words. And David Johnson saw plenty of time as a FB/H-Back in the latter half of the season. McHugh had a similar role two years ago.

I kinda agree. Having a TE that knows how to block can negate the need for a fullback. I liked what I saw out of David Johnson at the FB spot last year. Hell, the lack of a FB isn't the real cause of the Steelers run woes.

It's
1) situational playcalling
2) Having Spaeth in the offensive set to run block (yeah, I'm pointing fingers)

With the right players, and with Ben as the QB I think Arians offensive "scheme" can work. It can put up some good numbers with Ben.

That said, he can't call plays worth crap. There is flow to the Steelers offense and they only truly move the ball at a consistent clip when Ben goes no huddle.

But that's just my opinion.

I do wish we could see David Johnson, or our new FB, blow up Ray Lewis on a run between the tackles.

St33lersguy
05-03-2010, 05:46 PM
They should find an offensive player to try at fullback and keep him on the DL and try to develop him into an NFL defensive lineman

Chidi29
05-03-2010, 06:43 PM
i think they're referring to a REAL fullback, like one who actually lined up at fullback only in college .... :noidea:

And that is Arians fault....how?

Psyychoward86
05-03-2010, 07:13 PM
They should find an offensive player to try at fullback and keep him on the DL and try to develop him into an NFL defensive lineman

lol, what?

STEELAMANIA
05-03-2010, 08:15 PM
Its just an experiment.........or is it????

markymarc
05-08-2010, 10:20 AM
Forget the FB...let's just line up Doug Legursky there :thumbsup: