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News: Mosley | What will happen at fullback?

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Bluefin, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    20 Questions: What will happen at fullback?

    04:17 PM CDT on Thursday, July 15, 2004

    By MATT MOSLEY / DallasNews.com


    [IMG]

    When Cowboys coach Bill Parcells says he's going on vacation, he means it. He's done everything but board the windows at Valley Ranch since last month's minicamp.

    But with training camp just around the corner, fans are hungry for Cowboys news. And that's why we'll address a different topic every day until the first practice July 31 in Oxnard, Calif.

    Who will play fullback this season?

    Forget the potential quarterback controversy. This team must find a fullback. Last year’s battering ram, Jamar Martin, rookie free-agent Lousaka Polite and journeyman Darian Barnes will probably compete for one spot. Last season’s starting fullback, Richie Anderson, will be a third-down running back this season.

    Martin (5-11, 256) blew open holes when the Cowboys ran out of the I-formation, but he’s not a threat to run the ball and does not possess the softest pair of hands. Barnes (6-2, 250), who came over on a draft-day trade with Tampa Bay, has the ability to catch passes and could also be an asset on special teams.

    Polite (6-0, 246) is the most intriguing of the three. He was elected a team captain at Pittsburgh three times and has a reputation for being a fierce competitor. He was an all-state linebacker in high school, but he preferred playing fullback because he enjoyed carrying the ball.

    Some of Parcells’ favorite players have played fullback (see Maurice Carthon and Anderson). Polite appears to have the versatility that Parcells craves. He showed excellent hands during the Cowboys’ two minicamps and has a knack for breaking tackles.

    He opened some eyes at the NFL combine when he lifted 225 pounds 28 times. If he proves to be an effective special teams player, he has a solid chance of making the team. At this point, Polite may have a slight edge over Martin and Barnes.
  2. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    I just can't see keeping one fullback.

    Richie Anderson has lost weight to better handle halfback and third down duties, he can't be expected to serve as the back-up fullback in addition to his other duties, IMO.

    The team looks poised to incorporate more double tight end sets this year and swinging one into the backfield via motion is a lot like playing fullback.

    But it isn't the same.

    Getting more powerful lead blocking at fullback will make life easier on Julius Jones and should lead to fewer negative runs.

    Why run the risk of keeping one fullback and losing him to injury or poor play?

    Lousaka Polite is the only candidate for the practice squad, but why risk exposing him to waivers to place him there?

    The Cowboys need a better running game this year and I don't think keeping one fullback to facilitate four quarterbacks or another position is the best route to reach that goal.
  3. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Polite (6-0, 246) is the most intriguing of the three. He was elected a team captain at Pittsburgh three times and has a reputation for being a fierce competitor. He was an all-state linebacker in high school, but he preferred playing fullback because he enjoyed carrying the ball.

    Some of Parcells’ favorite players have played fullback (see Maurice Carthon and Anderson). Polite appears to have the versatility that Parcells craves. He showed excellent hands during the Cowboys’ two minicamps and has a knack for breaking tackles.

    He opened some eyes at the NFL combine when he lifted 225 pounds 28 times. If he proves to be an effective special teams player, he has a solid chance of making the team. At this point, Polite may have a slight edge over Martin and Barnes.

    Move him to LB and make him a special team player
  4. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    If you look at some of the FB Parcells has had he is not looking for the lead blocker type guy. I would say it is more in the mold of Larry Center, Keith Byers and yes Richie Anderson who are decent blockers but their main roles is running and receiving
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and Brew... Staff Member

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    Agreed. Shame too because J. Martin excels at blocking.
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    If Martin can improve his pass catching ability he may find his way on the team. I do think he can fit a role in short yardage or goal line offense but by and large Parcell past does show he likes having FB who's main role is that of receiver and runner.
  7. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Very true.

    I know Big Bill wants a diverse presence at fullback to take advantage of defenses, I just don't want there to be only one option at the position, especially if it ends up being the rookie.

    Having an all around player such as Polite and a physical blocker like J-Mart for short yardage situations will give Dallas more options and opponents more to prepare for.

    Even if it ends up being Polite and Barnes, with Martin the odd man out, the team would be better off with two options instead of one.

    Polite is a rookie, Barnes has one reception and no carries in his career and Martin is a blocker unpolished in the other aspects of the game.

    I can't see leaving fullback up to any of these guys on their own.
  8. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree and I do think that will be the case. I still think Anderson is going to be the starting FB and Dallas will keep one of the other FB. In all I think you see Dallas keep 5 RB on the roster consisting of 3 HB and 2 FB with Anderson in a dual role at times.
  9. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    With Anderson entering his 12th season and dropping 10 pounds to play halfback and third down back, I don't think Parcells will consider RA as a starting fullback option.

    It's a nasty position where running collisions with defenders are commonplace.

    Parcells spoke of wanting to preserve Anderson being the guiding reason for moving Richie from fullback to halfback.

    I do feel that Anderson could still take some snaps at fullback from time to time, but it'd be a lot to ask him to serve as the primary back-up at both backfield spots.

    However, keeping two true fullbacks and Anderson as a halfback would mean parting ways with Aveion Cason or ReShard Lee.

    It's a pickle.
  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    It should be interesting to see how this plays out during training camp.
  11. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    The draft that I was so happy with is looking more and more like a bust.

    Gurode (fighting for job)
    Ross (gone)
    Bryant (what will happen?)

    and now maybe Martin (fighting for job), all gave me such great hope and are question marks.
  12. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    I really want to get a good look at barnes. He seems more versatile than martin, and i think we'd have two TE's and three wrsas much as we have a FB on the field, so i don't think hed be a liability in run blocking(is he weak at it?)Polite reminds me of witten. A guy who played linebacker but has a knack with the football in his hands, and who has a little mean streak when blocking. He has great potential imo...
  13. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Interesting how the perception at the time compares to reality. The 2001 draft has been more productive than 2002 draft. The 2001 draft had more starters and contributors to the 2003 play-off team.


    Quincy Carter -starter
    Tony Dixon - Solid special teams, nickel/dime DB
    Willie Blade - starter
    Markus Steele - Solid special teams player
    Matt Lehr - Starter. He's underrated player. Stay healthy, contributes at C and G
    Daleroy Stewart - Rotational player along D-line
    Colston Weatherington - 7th RD. pick Gone
    John Nix - 8th RD pick Gone
    Char-ron Dorsey - 9th RD, pick Gone

    Nobody reaaly knows how these things will turn out. Roy Williams is the only Blue-Chip player
  14. Hollywood Henderson

    Hollywood Henderson Benched

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    I agree with u Bluefin....
    I also was mildly disappointed in Parcells offense last year...
    Anderson is a AWFUL blocker...

    The Tampa game showed that our offense was very predictable with Barber blitzing off the corner 3 times in the 1st half dropping Hambrick for 3 yard losses....each time...The same play was run in the 2nd half 2 more times with the same result...

    I saw Martin only have one average block all year, the rest were very good effective powerful blocks!

    I expected a return to smash mouth football and got passive, poor blocking Anderson...

    I could see a very effective offense with J.Jones and a great Blocker like Martin smashing away at LBers for the game...

    Any QB that ends up starting for us with be more effective with a true FB and more then 1 one on the team...

    It will be interesting to see if our offense uses what talent we do have to our advantage this year...
  15. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Just the idea of a big bruising blocking FB for goal line situations was what has made me want Martin to remain on this team and do well....after all it seems we could go up and down the field...but then our running game would run out of gas inside the 20....however I could see how a FB that can run and catch could help that situation....but IMO just gotta love a thumper in there to blow up people and let the RB run across that goal line.

    Sadly though it seems as Martin is going to be gone.
  16. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Nice post HH

    Richie Anderson blocking last season left alot to be deisred. Jamar Martin was knocking LBs on their kisters. It doesn't come as surprise that Richie is taking on the 3rd down role. I doubt he'll see that much FB duty.

    I think the Cowboys will carry 2 FB and 3 RBs. I think both FB will contribute on Special team and the RB (other than Julius and Richie) will also play alot on Special Teams. Maybe Julius might get some spot duty returning Kick-offs depending on how KO return candidates perform and how effectively he runs the play on offense.
  17. LeonDixson

    LeonDixson Illegitimi non carborundum

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    I really want to see us keep 2 FBs but if we only keep one I'm willing to give the rookie the job. I love J-Mart's blocking but he is fairly one diminsional. I saw Polite play (on television) a couple of times last year and was HIGHLY impressed. He seemed to have it all.
  18. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Offensivley Jamar Martin is one dimensional, but he is a solid Specail teams contributor. He was blowing up wedges all season long. He was wrecking ball on Kick off coverage.
  19. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    After the '02 season, I was optismistic that class might rank very closely with the '89 class that provided Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston, Mark Stepnoski and Tony Tolbert.

    Now, I'm wondering if Roy Williams may be all we end up with from that class.

    That would be a setback.


    Even though Jamar Martin only received limited snaps, I really thought Troy Hambrick was more assertive running behind him.

    T-Ham just didn't seem to have confidence in Anderson's blocking while trusting J-Mart to collide with a defender, even if it wasn't always the right one.


    I also like having Martin on the field to help make teams bite on all the play action Bill Parcells loves.

    If it's 3rd and two, aren't defenses going to pay J-Mart more attention storming towards the hole to keep a lane open than they do Anderson?

    Putting Martin on the field more should make defenses think run, IMO.

    That can be exploited.

    I simply like the dimension J-Mart brings to the offense and I don't know if the other candidates have similar traits.

    I also don't know if Martin can round out his game enough to convince Parcells to keep him around.

    We'll see what happens, but it's just fun to have a fullback on the team capable of breaking defender's equipment.
  20. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    My thoughts exactly. 2001 was a disappointing draft. 2002 looked to me like it was going to be special, now it looks like it is about 1 guy unless Hunter is good enough. Thank good ness for the 2003 draft with Newman, Johnson, Witten, and James all potential starters. I am excited to see what the 2004 class led by Julius can add.

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