Long time lurker, first time poster...
Looking at some of the stats that guys like Bob Sturm (Decoding Garrret 11/22/2011) harvest, it's unbelievable how badly our run-blocking is without a true fullback. It's painfully obvious to this fan (and most every other fan out there, I suppose) that John Phillips just can't get enough leverage because what makes him such a promising young Tight End is exactly what prevents him from being even a serviceable Full Back: the fact that he's 6'5" and not 5'11"..
We have a true FB on the practice squad in Shawn Chapas. I live in SEC country and he was a pretty good FB for the Georgia Bulldogs; an eager blocker and a good pass catcher.
What does it say about Chapas (or what does it say about the coaching staff) that even though our run production is almost 4yds/carry _more_ when we run behind a true FB than when we run behind a converted TE/H-back, he cannot get on the field for even a couple games? Is it getting to the point where putting Fiametta on IR is an option just so that we can find a true Fullback replacement?
Maybe we need to get Philip Tanner some reps at Fullback. He sure seems to hit the hole hard and isn't afraid of contact. I think he has a better frame for being a FB than any of the alternatives we have. Is "Cricket" Anderson still out there?
It's obvious that our offense works so much better when there's a real FB back there.