Minnesota Vikings Wise to Expand FB Jerome Felton’s Role
Not a lot of people saw Jerome Felton‘s 2012 season coming. He was just another free agent signing last spring, and he had yet to really breakout over his four-year career. Things got off to a terrible start for Felton in Minnesota, as he was arrested for DUI after falling asleep at the wheel in a McDonald’s drive-thru. Now a year later, he’s one of the bright spots for the Minnesota Vikings heading into the 2013 season.
Previously, Adrian Peterson didn’t like fullbacks in front of him, but after his best season as a pro, I’m sure he’d probably tell you otherwise now. Felton cleared the way for AP all season long in 2012, and he no doubt deserves some credit for the near recording-breaking season from Peterson. Felton ended up making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, and subsequently he earned a new three-year deal worth over $7 million. But will his role with team increase moving forward?
Head coach Leslie Frazier recently spoke on his fullback, and indicated that the team does plan to get him more involved in the offense this season.
“We want to find some ways to maybe get the ball out of the backfield to him, catching the football. We want him to work on some things this offseason and not just be satisfied with the fact that he’s a Pro Bowler.”
This is a good call by the Vikings’ coaching staff. There’s no reason to just be content with Felton as a blocker, when he clearly brings much more to the table. Fans shouldn’t expect to see him get any more carries than last season, because he’s just not needed in the rushing game. But I do like the idea of him as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He did catch 13 balls for 133 yards back in 2009, so he’s shown that he can at least be a contributor.
Christian Ponder could for sure use another safety valve to check down to, so why not see what Felton can do with the ball in his hands a little more in 2013?
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