Atlanta Falcons Roster Moves Add Some Veteran Players
The Atlanta Falcons roster was looking a little thin at fullback with the loss of rookie fullback Bradie Ewing to a season-ending knee injury, so the team announced that they have signed fullback Lousaka Polite, and tight end Chase Coffman. To make roster room, Atlanta waived injured tight end Adam Nissley, and punter Dawson Zimmerman.
Ewing, who has been placed on the injured reserve, was selected by the Falcons in the fifth round (157th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. He came out of the University of Wisconsin, where he started 10 of 52 games. Known as one of the best blocking fullbacks in college football, Ewing’s 30 touchdown-resulting blocks in 2011 are the most ever by a blocker in a season according to NFL Draft Report. Ewing was in competition with veteran fullback Mike Cox to take over the starting spot left open by the release of Ovie Mughelli.
To keep from remaining too thin at the fullback spot, the Falcons went out and signed Polite, a 6-0, 245 pound fullback who was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the 2004 NFL Draft. Polite spent three seasons with the Cowboys, and then played with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins before being released by the Dolphins in 2011. In December, 2011, Polite was signed by the New England Patriots, and saw action in all of the remaining regular and postseason games, including Super Bowl XLVI.
Polite has totaled 95 carries for 296 yards with one touchdown, as well as 41 receptions for 233 yards in 76 career games.
Polite should provide the type of fullback play that’s needed in offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter‘s scheme, which relies heavily on the fullback blocking, and moving with pulling guards on the offensive line. With two veterans like Cox and Polite, the Falcons should be comfortable with their depth at fullback.
To address a need at tight end, Atlanta signed Chase Coffman who was originally a third round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals of the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent the 2011 season on the Bengals practice squad after appearing in six games in 2010. He played four seasons at the University of Missouri where he set an NCAA record for tight ends with 247 catches. Coffman also ranks second among tight ends in NCAA history with 2,659 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns.