Before the season, a debate ensued on whether the Philadelphia Eagles even needed a fullback for their 2012 team.
After all, last year’s fullback, Owen Schmitt, played in less than 15 percent of the team’s plays and the Eagles didn’t even pursue him in free agency.
When I predicted my 53-man roster, I put four running backs on and no fullback. That’s because I thought the Eagles would either use rookie undrafted free agent Chris Polk as a running back-fullback combination, or they would just choose to go without a fullback.
I was pretty bummed when the Eagles kept Havili over a player like defensive tackle Antonio Dixon, who I still think could contribute in the rotation.
But Havili has proven his worth on this team, and not just as a powerful run blocker. He carried twice for 15 yards against the New York Giants, and also caught a pass for seven yards. Those 22 total yards may not seem like a lot compared to other teams, but these Eagles have seen years go by without any offensive contribution at all from their fullbacks (I’m looking at you Josh Parry and Thomas Tapeh).
He’s one of the tougher players on the team and is really helping running back LeSean McCoy succeed without star tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce.
I don’t think Havili will be a Pro Bowler anytime soon but he is at least an average starting fullback, and for an Eagles team that really didn’t know what they were getting with him when the season started, he’s definitely paid off.