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Will the Redskins keep a fullback on the 53?

Jun 23, 2014, 11:02 AM EST

Darrel-Young-TD-celebrate

The Redskins went into the pre-training camp break with the same 90 players they had on the roster prior to OTAs. That means that Darrel Young remains the only fullback on the roster.

Some might look at that as good news for Young. Not having competition for your job could take a lot of the pressure off. But not if your job could be eliminated.

According to Football Outsiders Jay Gruden’s Bengals lined up in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers) on 40 percent of their plays and in 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR) on 43 percent.

So on 83 percent of the offensive plays the Bengals utilized just one running back. And almost all of the running back snaps went to tailbacks Giovani Bernard (627 snaps, 51%) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (472 snaps, 38 percent). Two players took snaps at fullback and they both were very much part-timers on offense. Orson Charles, listed as a tight end, played 67 snaps (5%) and Domata Peko played 16. Peko also started 16 games at defensive tackle.

If Gruden plans on using the fullback in a similar manner, he may decide not to keep a fullback on the roster at all.

He could use training camp and the preseason to evaluate his options. Tight ends Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul have lined up at fullback from time to time in the past and almost certainly will line up there in July and August. Perhaps Gruden will seek out some to fill the role that the 6-3, 322-lb. Peko did in Cincinnati. How would outside linebackers react to seeing Chris Baker (6-2, 325) barreling towards them on a kickout block?

One important difference between the 2013 Bengals and this year’s Redskins should be noted. In Cincinnati Gruden had one Pro Bowl tight end in Jermaine Gresham and a first-round pick in Tyler Eifert. Here Gruden does have Jordan Reed, who has Pro Bowl potential. But Paulsen and Paul are role players and Gruden might not want to run with two tight ends as frequently as they did in his old job.

Because of that and due to the fact that he is a valued contributor on special teams, odds are that Young stays around this year. But Gruden will have plenty of practice and game reps to experiment with alternatives so Young’s 2014 status remains up in the air.

  1. kenlinkins - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Rich: What is Mr. Young’s Cap hit if cut? Didn’t he just resign in 2013 for like $6 million over 3 years? That’s a lot of money for a Special Teams guy who only touch’s the ball twice a game in your offense.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      Young’s salary is $875L, cap hit of around $1.3 million. Since it’s after June 1 would save about $1 million to cut him and then eat some dead cap space next year. Considering that it would be $600K or so to replace him on the roster, money only a minor consideration in the decision.

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  2. captblood3000 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    If I were Young I would try to learn the tight end responsibilities in Gruden’s play book. Otherwise, he is going to have time on his hands.

  3. skinsdawg - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Not sure if Gruden keeps him. Or will even use him. But I’ll tell you this- the guy is a football player. I like how he plays, and he can receive out of the backfield too. He drifts well, and gets open. I like his game. Hope they figure out a roster spot for him. He’s tough too.

  4. shermanp79 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Young is an important part of the RB group. He will be here, Gruden will adjust and use a FB instead of 2 TE. If he was going 2 TE they would have drafted one because there is a huge hole if going that way. Young showed he can be an asset catching the ball jn the one game he was the focus. Maybe long term it changes but not this year. He is someone they could trade and get something for him. If memory is correct? I believe he has made the Pro Bowl. If so you don’t just cut a young pro bol guy just to change scheme. Gruden will design offense to the players here.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      Just for the record, Young has not made a Pro Bowl.

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      • shermanp79 - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        I don’t know why I had it in my head he made the Pro Bowl??? He is a good FB but he could be used more too. I think he stays and Gruden just puts the FB in his offense. Maybe he will then make it this coming year. LOL He has more production in him if given a chance.

  5. JamesP - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Any idea on stats when DY was used as lead blocker versus 1 back plays? It seemed as though Morris performed better with him in the backfield.

  6. skinsdawg - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Sherman- I agree with you, in that I like D Young a lot. He’s a good football player, and he helps solidfy the offense. He does those little things. Not a sexy player. But a good, tough one. But also for the record, and since you mentioned it….. the Skins did draft a TE. Ted Bolser. He appears to be a guy that doesn’t like to block a lot- but prefers to go downfield in the passing game. We’ll see. Both of these guys are going to have to fight for a roster spot, apparently.

    • shermanp79 - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      I think Bosler is too short and slow. I don’t know his stats but I thought he was more of a blocker? I don
      ‘t see him making the team and certainly don’t see him beating Young out for a roster spot. I’m going to look up his college stats and Draft Grade.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        At 6’5 Bolser is only considered short playing Center in the NBA.

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