In 2006, the Cleveland Browns drafted a fullback named Lawrence Vickers in the sixth round of the draft. The team already had veteran Terrelle Smith on the roster, so the decision to take Vickers seemed like a move for the future. When he was drafted, I don't remember the overall consensus on him, but I recall that I thought he was supposed to be more of a "fast fullback" -- a guy who could carry the football for some tough yards -- rather than a blocking fullback.
Vickers' first season as a fullback did not go well thanks to some controversial plays he was involved in. For some reason, we would insert him into the game on 3rd-and-1 and run either a fullback pitch or an option pass for Vickers to throw. Smith was released before the 2007 season though, meaning the job was Vickers'. We haven't had to look for a new fullback since.
In his first season paired with veteran running back Jamal Lewis, Vickers helped pave the way for 1,304 yard, 9 touchdown effort. In the following years, he helped lead the way for unknowns like Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis. The Browns might be considered a low-level team around the league the past several years, but one constant has been our running game. The arrival of a guy like Joe Thomas helps that too, but the fact is that Vickers is as good of a blocking fullback as we could ask for. He does what is asked of him, and he is not known as an a**hole like Le'Ron McClain.
The team faces a decision on Vickers once the lockout ends. Let's hope they make the only move that is smart -- keeping Vickers locked up and allowing him to continue paving the way for Hillis, Montario Hardesty, and whoever else he ends up blocking for as a member of the Browns.
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