I have to admit the rookie the San Diego Chargers drafted that I am most looking forward to seeing at Wembley in October is so far unsigned fullback Jacob Hester, as he is the man who will be asked to sacrifice his own neck in order to block for LaDanian Tomlinson – still judged by many including www.nfl.com as the number one fantasy football player. Let’s be honest LT II would not have been the mega-stud he has been without some solid offensive line play and the human rhinocerous former Bolt fullback Lorenzo Neal (see pic).
This post was triggered by the news yesterday, 2 July 2008, that the Chargers signed two late round picks from the 2008 NFL Draft, running back Marcus Thomas and tackle Corey Clarke.
When I went to Florida on holiday last November I went to see the University of Central Florida beat the University of Texax El-Paso Miners 36-20 – home to Thomas, a 6ft, 215, back who ran for for 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior at Texas-El Paso. Maybe I was a curse that steamy Saturday on the at BrightHouse Network Stadium in November as Thomas ran for a devastating -1 (yes minus one) yard on 9 carries – averaging -0.1 yards a carry – hardly someone to have Ladanian turning his back in a hurry. The Chargers selected Thomas in the fifth round with the 166th overall selection.
If I was the Chargers GM (don’t we all want to be an NFL GM – dream job or what) I would focus some energy into getting Hester signed. No this particular Hester will not be returning punts 95 yards for a score every other week like his Windy City namesake, but in a world where establishing a quality running game is key to success having a no-neck fullback acting as a silent but deadly weapon, brushing away linebackers like a janitor sweeping away Autumn leaves, is the difference between mediocrity and and NFL playoff aristocracy.
I’m not sure how badly LT is missing Lorenzo Neal, but I know if I had a block of granite in front of me every play, I am one happy and confidfent dude. With a rookie now paving my way against the likes of Derek Johnson, Kirk Morrison, Gary Brackett and Jonathan Vilma (at Wembey !!!) I’m not sure I am going to be as relaxed.
What memories do you have of your favourite fullbacks ? And do you think LT will miss Lorenzo Neal ? I would love to hear your thoughts ………….