The Development Of A Fullback

November 13th, 2012

Probably not since all-around good guy and fan favorite Earnest Graham played fullback have the Bucs really had a decent, honest-to-goodness fullback.

When Joe talks about a fullback, he means one that can run for a few hard-to-get yards, a fullback who can deliver a bone-bruising block, a fullback who is also a weapon in the passing game.

The past few games have shown that yes, the Bucs indeed have a fullback. His name is Erik Lorig.

Originally drafted by Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik as a defensive end out of Stanford, Lorig has blossomed as one of the top fullbacks in the NFC, specifically catching the ball, so documents’s Captain’s Blog.

Lorig’s receiving numbers – nine catches for 63 yards and a touchdown – aren’t overwhelming, but they are pretty close to the best totals by any fullback in the conference. Only Carolina’s Mike Tolbert has more, and Tolbert is the one player on the NFC fullback ballot who is more involved as a primary ballcarrier in his team’s offense. (That, by the way, is no knock on Tolbert or his qualifications as a fullback.)

Lorig even has better passing numbers than one of the better fullbacks in football, Green Bay’s John Kuhn, who Packers fans swoon over like Joe does Rachel Watson.

Think about the toys No. 5 has to play with: Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Dallas Clark, Doug Martin, Tiquan Underwood and now, Lorig.

No wonder Josh Freeman is racking up yards better than Joe is polishing off beers. With five talented pass-catchers on the field at any one time, good luck to opposing defenses in trying to cover all five at once.

24 Responses to “The Development Of A Fullback”

  1. thegregwitul Says:

    I’m loving it!

  2. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    A big fan of Lorig’s now. I have to say I had questions about him in the beginning of the year but he has had marked improvement.

    I’m a huge fan of using that lead blocker in the running game. So many teams go single back or use a fullback that can’t really block. Lorig adds a lot to this offense and I’m stuffed with crow because of it.

  3. Joe Says:

    Joe welcomes e-mailing him with news tips rather than hijacking a thread. Thanks guys.

  4. SteveK Says:

    Good for Lorig! He is really starting to carve a roll out as FB.

    John Kuhn is a beast. I got to see he and Jahri Evans run all over Division 2 football, good times.

    Kuhn is silently a great player, I hope Lorig can develop into “John Kuhn”.

  5. passenger27 Says:

    Lorig is a very average player..improved at this point from what he was but that’s not saying much still consistantly blocks the wrong guy and I’m not sure if he has ever carried the ball. Hopefully bucs get a true fullback in the offseason . I love D.mart but a back that could help in short yardage and uhh maybe block the correct guy can’t hurt. Maybe Lonnie Pryor from FSU or any competent veteran

  6. Mike J Says:

    Jbrooks8604, I haven’t been a big fan of using a full; I have tended to think it’s just ”old school” thinking. The lead iso play can be very effective, though. I wonder if any of these analytical sites has any info on the use of a FB vs. a one-back/ two-tight end formation? I guess it would have to consider down/distance.The proof is in the pudding.
    Lorig has done a great job w/ timing on the zone runs, BTW.

  7. Pete 422 Says:

    Lorig started to come of age in the Minnesota game. During that game & since then, he has been blowing people up. Passenger 27 makes a good point, but as of the Vikings game, Lorig has been blocking the right guy & opening up holes springing Doug E Fresh.

    We have a full back folks & he is only going to get better.

  8. buxter Says:

    Sending a guy the size of Lorig crashing into the line helps takes the punishment off DMart and wears defenses down at the same time. Soft hands are an added bonus.

    Though far from a finished product, he has exceeded expectations this season. It’s a new offense. He’ll figure it out, he’s from Stanford not LSU.

    Power running…. shots downfield too. High time to celebrate the death of dink and dunk.

  9. Bucsalltheway Says:

    A lot of people bash lorig but I can’t remember too many games where earnest graham was in the line up and we scored 35 points minimum in three contest back to back so obviously he’s doing something right. The last really blown blocking assignment was during the game vs Dallas but other than that he’s been very solid in keeping #5 jersey clean.

  10. RIs_Buc Says:

    Lorig > graham as a fullback.

  11. teacherman777 Says:

    I respect Erik Lorig. He seems to be a real football player. His improvement this year is astonishing. He really does smash people sometimes. He is a Tough football player.


    Have you guys seen Coleman the FB from LSU this year??

    He is the sickest athlete I have seen in years in the SEC. He is 271 and fast, fast, fast, and he blocks likes he loves it. Think Vonta Leach but as big as a DE and fast enough to outrun SEC DB’s!

    I am calling it here, u heard it first.

    Future All-Pro fullback J.C Coleman from LSU. (who also was converted from DE to FB as a freshman at LSU)

    @joe -perfect foto to show the beast we know as Erik the Red!

  12. Red86 Says:

    Let’s talk about the Viking and Raiders game. Watching highlight on Martin big run convince me that Martin’s ball carrier vision and patience are the main reason for his success. Lorig is a decoy for LBs that let the defense know the play is going in the direction Lorig running. Please check out all those big run plays and really examine them. If any one deserve the props that you guys n gals give to lorig on the run, it the O line and many cases Donald Penn for keep the cut lane available.

    I will give him props for having decent hand. After all he used to play TE at one point in his career. But, Lorig is overrated right now. We still need a better blocking FB to be more effective at running the ball.

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m very happy for Lorig, but its about damn time. This coaching staff really seems to be getting the most out of their players. I’m most impressed though with the young DB’s. I know they still give up plays but they’re making big plays too. I sure hope they can keep this train rolling because right now they are about as good as any team on a given day.

  14. 1976Buc Says:

    Lorig has been a much improved pleasant surprise.

  15. Bucsalltheway Says:

    I never said he was all of the success but he’s a main reason and he’s been healthy being our only fb carried on the roster. I just think he’s on the rise and being productive handling his roles week in and week out and that’s the props I’m acknoweledging. I would love to see him tote the rock but he doesn’t have ball carrier vision I think and the coaching staff is finding ways to get him involved in open space.

  16. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I had my doubts about the guy…still do to a slight degree. But he’s certainly turning my head a bit at this point.

    Just goes to show how absolutely horrible Greg Olson was.

  17. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Also…I think it’s possible he could be developed into a really good run blocker.

    Still leaves us short an Alstott type of FB, but Lorig certainly seems to be finding a good role.

  18. Pete Dutcher Says:

    BigMacAttack Says:
    November 13th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I’m very happy for Lorig, but its about damn time. This coaching staff really seems to be getting the most out of their players. I’m most impressed though with the young DB’s. I know they still give up plays but they’re making big plays too. I sure hope they can keep this train rolling because right now they are about as good as any team on a given day.


    I agree.

    I think there is even a possibility that by the end of the season 1 or 2 of these guys could be a regular starter.

    I’m curious if Barber thinks on of them is more like him than the others too.

  19. guns4roses Says:

    No props for Earnest Byner?

  20. SacBucs Says:

    Peyton Hillis was our new a-train but we let K.C. Get him. That’s not a knock on Dom because I just had crow for dinner. I’m impressed with Joe’s taste in women hubba hubba. I’m impressed with the fans on this site. We love our bucs. I was nervous about the coach the coaching staff the draft. The offense the defense but now I wouldn’t have wanted it any diffrent.

    REAL Coaching is saving jobs

    Erik is smashing because of it!

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    Earnest Byner you say???

    I believe that he was possibly the best coach signing they made. Still I think back of our concerns with Schiano putting his staff together and the roadblocks he ran into. Looking back now, he made some good choices, for the best. They have a long way to go yes, but it appears to be a smooth oiled machine and that is leadership. Ultimately time will tell.

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    And as well as they are playing I think they will do well to finish 8-8, but I hope for much more and 10-6 isn’t out of reach.

  23. astrobuc Says:

    Please no more fullback wheel routes.
    what a disaster.

  24. Mike J Says:

    SacBucs, did Tampa Bay offer Hillis a contract? First I’ve heard about this, but I am a ways removed.