On Monday, the Cleveland Browns signed former Cincinnati Bengals fullback Chris Pressley. The fullback position is always going to be one that's overly talked about here in Cleveland, and adding Pressley might be an indicator that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wants the team to have a traditional fullback again. Last year, the previous coaching staff utilized running back Chris Ogbonnaya at the position.
Pressley entered the league in 2009, spending training camp with the Bengals. He didn't make their roster, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him. He played there for one and a half seasons before the Bengals reclaimed him in 2010, where he had been since this past year. Pressley started 17 games from 2011-2012 with Cincinnati, but a torn ACL at the end of 2012 kept him out of action for all of 2013, and he was released. Now, Cleveland's willing to see what he has left in the tank.
In an article on the official team site, Pressley talked about the benefits of blocking in the zone-blocking scheme:
"You’re working against a defense’s strength. Sometimes they are a hard-flowing team, let’s find that cut, hit that seam, try and break [out a run]. Backside tight ends can come across or a fullback coming there and busting it open. It’s a great scheme as long as we execute it."
Shanahan utilized Vonta Leach at the fullback position when he was with the Texans, and Darrel Young at the position when he was with the Redskins. Both guys were effective and important to the zone-blocking scheme. There's no doubt that Shanahan will be looking for a guy to fill that spot on the 53-man roster, and right now, Pressley has jumped to the front of the pack.
Fun fact: Pressley was a college teammate of LT Joe Thomas at Wisconsin.