My Chief Concerns: Position Battle: Fullback

To say the Kansas City Chiefs’ fullback position is full would be an understatement.  It is not unusual for any NFL team to carry just one fullback (or even no fullback a la Detroit Lions/Barry Sanders).  Last year the Chiefs carried two; Mike Cox and Tim Castille.  (It could be argued they carried three (3) if you count big Jackie Battle who has played fullback in the past).  

Since last year, The Kansas City Chiefs have drafted another fullback: 7th round pick Shane Bannon.  As it stands now (presumably) we have 3 fullbacks on the roster (four (4) if you count Mr. Battle).  There’s not much room on the roster for these boys.

More after the jump…


As I mentioned, carrying two fullbacks last year was unusual, but rotating Mr. Cox and Mr. Castille was very (IMO) very unusual: Here is the break down:

Mike Cox started two (2) games; played in seven (7) games; had zero (0) rushing yards on zero (0) attempts; and had four receptions for 27 yards.

Tim Castille started four (4) games; played in ten (10) games; had three (3) rushing yards on five (5) attempts; and had ten (10) receptions for 43 yards.

As you are aware, fullbacks are really not supposed to be statistical giants, but with all due respect to dwarfs everywhere, the abovementioned numbers come up a bit short. 

It is not surprising that the Chiefs drafted a new fullback, but do we really want a 7th round Ivy League rookie with no NFL experience blocking for our star running back, Jamaal Charles, or our All Pro Quarterback, Matt Cassell?  Hmmm?   Especially when he (Mr. Bannon) is receiving no reps at all (thanks again lockout).

So what is the solution? Do we keep Mike Cox?  Probably not, since he played in fewer games than Tim Castille, had very little statistical impact, and in essence is a Chan Gailey/Herm Edwards holdover.  Do we keep Tim Castille? It is possible, Tim is a Todd Haley guy, he did play in ten (10) games, but did not produce well, and obviously wasn’t “the guy” since he spilt games and time with Mr. Cox.

My Solution:  thank Mr. Cox and Mr. Castille for their time and effort, and release them both.  Let the rookie Shane Bannon fight with Jackie Battle over the fullback position.  Should the rookie fail to win the battle with Jackie, keep the rookie either on the roster or practice squad in order to develop, and give the starting FB position to Jackie Battle once again. 

You see, Mr. Battle’s time to become a star RB has passed (he only averaged 2.5 yards per carry on twenty (20) attempts as a RB last year.)  Yet he can grind out the tough yards on third and short or fourth and inches.  He can catch the ball, and he has experience blocking.  He is not going to beat out Jamaal Charles or Thomas Jones at the RB position, and the Chiefs would be better off, selecting an undrafted free agent RB or a free agent RB for the third RB position in order to develop him.  Jackie could still contribute his tough style and experience as a starting fullback, rather than a third string RB.  Of course, this would all change if Shane Bannon is the real deal.  Any thoughts?

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Tags: Barry Sanders Chan Gailey Herm Edwards Jackie Battle Jamaal Charles Matt Cassel Mike Cox Shane Bannon Tim Castille Todd Haley

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