The Indianapolis Colts opened training camp on Sunday afternoon, and one thing that may look different to fans when they finally see this year’s Colts in action is the use of a fullback.
The Colts haven’t used a fullback in many years. They rarely kept one on the roster in the Peyton Manning era, going with a spread one-back offense while keeping all the weapons at receiver and tight end for him. Last year was the same under former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who liked to air it out while running a lot of three-receiver and dual-tight end sets.
Those spots, five offensive linemen and Andrew Luck meant the team had no room for a fullback.
Now, the Colts are going to use a fullback much more with a new offensive coordinator and the signing of Stanley Havili in the offseason.
“Well, when we hired Pep Hamilton I’ve said from day one, in order to win in the National Football League, you have to run the football and you have to stop the run,” said second-year head coach Chuck Pagano.
“Now we just got a guy that looks like a fullback, smells like a fullback, he’s listed as a fullback. We’re going to do everything we can to improve our ability to run the football. It’s going to take pressure off our quarterback. It’s going to take time off the clock.”
Havili is a big 6-foot, 243-pound monster ready to help immediately.
Hamilton said there would definitely be more fullbacks on the field. “I think we have to have a true sense of balance in our offense. We got to be able to run the football as well as pass the football. We’re going to do whatever we need to do to score ultimately but a fullback, for us, being able to run the power schemes, being able to run the football, is a prized piece in our offense.”
Now having two guys in the backfield to block for Luck on certain passing situations will help tremendously. Luck was sacked 41 times in 2012, and at least once every game. They know the importance of keeping him standing up and not being put on the grass.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports and recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru