I’ve been reading a lot of back and forth on why Vonta Leach should or should not return for the 2013 season. There are several different opinions out there and they all make a lot of sense, but one thing that I’ve not heard many discuss is how Jim Caldwell may be impacting this potential decision.
Why do I bring up Jim Caldwell? Several reasons:
1. John Harbaugh is the type of coach that lets his coordinators actually coach. By all accounts he listens to them and truly takes what they have to say to heart.
2. This is the more “telling” aspect of Jim Caldwell’s potential impact on re-signing Vonta – Just look at the Colts’ roster(s) while Caldwell was coaching in Indy. Almost every team under Caldwell while in Indy carried at least four tight ends and a lot of the time they were all active on game day. Though most of them were more or less dual threat TE/H-Back/FB types (which explains drafting Kyle Juszczyk) they almost always had guys who were established blockers as well (Gijon Robinson for example). In fact, the last year he was with Indy, Caldwell carried four tight ends and two fullbacks: Dallas Clark, Jacob Tamme, Brody Eldridge, Anthony Hill, Jerome Felton and Ryan Mahaffey.
Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are locks to make the team and be on the active roster. It is also highly probable that Juszczyk will make the team and be on the active game day roster. Since “Juice” can play, essentially, three different positions, there is less of a need to carry three true tight ends. This can open up a roster spot for Vonta.
While I think Juszczyk will be just fine as an H-Back/hybrid TE (and that includes acting as a run-blocker), no one can deny that Vonta is easily the best lead-blocking FB in the league. The problem is he offers little-to-no value as a receiving threat, so when Vonta is on the field the defense can almost bank on the play call being a run or play action of some sort. Juszczyk gives the offense different looks, but bringing Vonta back on a lesser deal to play in certain packages is only going to give a boost to the offense as well as provide excellent leadership in the locker room and on the field.
I mean, how can anyone forget this?!
For another perspective on the topic of Vonta Leach CLICK HERE