As we've mentioned in recent days, the New York Giants have taken an interesting approach to their fullback position since the start of training camp this past Monday. And by interesting, we mean they've been nearly non-existent, with both Henry Hynoski and John Conner seeing very few reps. However, that's not to say the fullback position hasn't been scrapped all together, as the team's tight ends — yes, the tight ends — have been filling in that role.
Now, with the first fully padded practice only mere hours away, The Star-Ledger is reporting it's no fluke the tight ends have been used in place of the fullbacks as the team is strongly considering a 53-man roster without a traditional fullback.
According to multiple people within the organization who requested anonymity in order to speak freely on the matter, the Giants have informed their tight ends that there is a good possibility that a fullback won’t make the final 53-man roster — leaving all of those duties up to the tight ends. Though injuries, personnel shifts and observances in the preseason could change the team’s plans, they entered the year hoping to keep their best four tight ends and give themselves some options on cut-down day.
This drastic change in philosophy flies in the face of comments offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo made earlier this offseason when he said he was brought up in the league using the traditional fullback and that, at least in some degree, would continue to use the position.
"Henry and John have both done a nice job. We mix — we’re in and out of personnel groups and those types of things at this point," McAdoo said. "You like to use the fullback. The way I was raised, a fullback’s a big part of the things you do. Henry and John have both done a nice job so far."
While the fullback position will still exist within the offense, it just may not feature an actual fullback. Rather, as some of the tight ends alluded to prior to the start of camp, their roles will be expanded.
"The role of the tight end is to get the ball. I mean, we're a big part of this offense," Larry Donnell told Giants.com. "It's not like we're option No. 3 or option No. 2, we're option No. 1 most of the time. We have a lot of designed plays [for the tight end] to get the ball and make plays."
Several other tight ends on the current 90-man roster have expressed similar sentiments to Donnell, telling reporters that they may, in fact, play one of the largest and most important roles in the offense all together. And should the team eliminate their fullbacks, instead choosing to carry four tight ends, that would certainly seem to support their beliefs.
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Tags: Ben McAdoo, Football, Henry Hynoski, John Conner, Larry Donnell, New York, New York Giants, NFL