Fullback Lives At One Buc Palace

July 3rd, 2017

The Bucs really, really wanted a stud fullback last season. They even invested a sixth-round pick to get one.

That went to Dan Vitale, who quickly landed with the Browns after proving he couldn’t block at the NFL level.

Man, Joe saw Vitale get blown up too many times and too badly. Wise move for the Bucs to throw in the towel.

But did they throw in the towel on having a dedicated fullback, period? Joe asked general manager Jason Licht about that in March at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix. Licht was non-committal but said sometimes offenses evolve in that direction and that could be the case with the Bucs.

However, veteran fullback Austin Johnson is on the roster, and so is Quayvon Hicks, who was undrafted out of the University of Georgia last year and didn’t make the Titans’ roster.

Today’s Real Rock Riley video report from One Buc Palace includes practice footage of the Bucs using a fullback this spring. It’s here. First you’ll see Johnson (No. 46) leading for Doug Martin, and then Hicks for Jacquizz Rodgers.

Of course, playing fullback is very much about contributing on special teams. Johnson has experience with the Saints and was a college linebacker.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Bucs proceed. Tight end Luke Stocker has spent plenty of snaps as a fullback and he enjoys it, and the Bucs like him there — when he’s not injured. But remember, they did draft Vitale last season.

Joe will say the Doug Martin faithful might want a true fullback on the roster. Martin has only thrived with one on the team (Erik Lorig, 2012, and Jorvorskie Lane, 2015).

17 Responses to “Fullback Lives At One Buc Palace”

  1. rayjay1122 Says:

    Personally, I see the Bucs using a lot of 12 personnel sets so a FB would be rarely used. I see our most dangerous groupings being the 11 and 12 sets. Not so much with a 21 set. But that is just my offensive philosophy.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Martin has only thrived with a true fullback on the team (Erik Lorig, 2012, and Jorvorskie Lane, 2015).” I think those were also the only 2 seasons when Martin wasn’t injured Joe. And oh ya, those happen to be the only 2 yrs since 2010 when the Bucs ran for over 1700 yds on the season as a T-E-A-M (1837 yds in 2012 & 2162 yds in 2015). Fullbacks may be the key to Doug Martin (or other RBs) having great yrs, but I tend to think that the OLine’s effectiveness is a more significant factor.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    Stocker as a FB is an interesting proposition, and with crossover at another position would allow the Bucs to keep 4 TEs active.

  4. Lamarcus Says:

    Doug martin will 3000 yards if he gets a fullback. Watchout

  5. Jim Says:

    Poor Jorvorskie Lane. That was a real shame.

  6. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    Is Lorenzo Neal still in the league?!

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Maybe we can keep 2 QB’s and open a roster spot?

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    There are lots of people who will disagree with me on this but statistics support the fact that winning teams run the football successfully. It’s easy to get enamored with high-flying offenses but eventually you’re going to have to change your tactics or run out clock.
    Having a fullback is not a bad thing! We could use some help in short-yardage situations too.

  9. GhostofTedford Says:

    Perhaps we can find an Amazonian woman to breed with Mike Alstott and create a super full back. LOL.

    I rarely see an NFL team use a fullback anymore, but they say what goes out of style eventually comes back in.

    I thought Alan Cross was originally a full back…Yes or No?

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    I’m pretty sure the Bucs would keep an extra TE instead of a dedicated FB.

    Its easy to line up in a 12 personnel set and then shift one of the TEs into the backfield pre-snap to serve as a lead blocker. I bet we will be in that 12 configuration a good bit of the time on early downs this year. You can do so many things out of it and just play to the inevitable mismatches with audibles at the line.

  11. GhostofTedford Says:

    Yes he did….


  12. BucEmUo Says:

    Teams that run the ball.succesfully also have good defenses. You cant try amd.run down the clock when your playing from behind

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Joe saw Vitale get blown up too many times and too badly.”

    In what games????? He didn’t even play, did he?

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I checked. He had 4 plays in the preseason in Tampa. 3 were receptions (11 yards) and 1 was a run for 8 yards. While I admit that isn’t good, he was also a rookie and had almost no opportunities.

    He was never blown out that I could see.
    Many times in practice. –Joe

  15. bucs_365 Says:

    Let’s not forget Alan Cross. Dude is built like a FB, with receiving skills and they liked him well enough to keep him around as a UDFA. Caught a TD pass last year.

  16. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Alan Cross through a monster block on a Winston to Evans TD, I believe it was against the stinking Panthers! Sick block!!!

  17. ARGH_M8E Says:


    2 plays, it’s the block on the 2nd play!!! BOOM