The writing is pretty much on the wall for Ravens fullback Vonta Leach that the smash mouth blocker isn’t likely to return to the purple and black in 2014.
In fact I am still trying to figure out why the Ravens even brought him back for 2013. His game reps had all but disappeared. Against bad run defenses the Ravens failed to utilize him and when they did they used him more for that awful swing pass that rarely worked.
Granted the teams horrid offensive line never really provided a run game for the Ravens this year and when it did the results were minimal.
“There were times that the running backs and offensive line weren’t on the same page, other times where it just wasn’t working” Leach told members of the media on Monday.
That was clearly evident whenever the Ravens were in short yardage situations and goal line situations this season. Countless times I was on the edge of my seat wondering when third an one and third an two became passing downs for the Ravens.
While Leach plans to meet with the Ravens brass this offseason about his role on the team he is likely going to be a cap casualty regardless. As our own Brian McFarland pointed out in his Ravens 2014 Free Agency Preview, parting ways with him would provide the team with a cap savings of about $1.7 M.
“If they had a role for me. Ideally, I want to come back here. I understand that this is a business.” Leach stated on Monday to members of the media.
It appears as more and more teams teams are shying away from the traditional fullback position. Some are using hybrid backs that have more than just one role or just eliminating the position all together. The NFL has become a pass happy league and the days of smash mouth football are dwindling.
“It is tough for a fullback, but there are still some teams that can use a fullback and I’d like to play one or two more years.” Leach acknowledged.
Leach will join a proud group of Ravens fullbacks that over the years put fear into opposing run defenses and made fans cheer for their jarring hits on defenders.
It will be sad day if the Ravens opt to part ways with Leach, particularly if the root of the problem remains…Juan Castillo.
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