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Old 05-02-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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...#ixzz0mkGRYsnV

Last edited by mesaSteeler; 05-02-2010 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

I'd really love if we had a fullback, like an actual fullback on the roster that would actually play in games.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
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.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

Fascinating. We are now the first team in the league to have a fullback controversy
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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Fascinating. We are now the first team in the league to have a fullback controversy
I like where this is going.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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Originally Posted by steelreserve View Post
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.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
"We got fullbacks. You guys take him too literally sometimes," said Tomlin.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on roster

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.
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