In response to TrueChamp's comment:
In response to Salcon's comment:
Before this thread, I never really knew the value of having a true, skilled fullback in the backfield.
It seems like a unique position where there probably aren't many players that fit the bill out there.
I remember those days of Pass, Edwards, Evans etc. catching passes out of the backfield, running in short yardage situations, lead blocking and blitz pickup.
I guess running backs like Ridley, Bolden and Vareen would have to adjust their game with a FB leading the way?
I don't think they would need much of an adjustment, plus just having another option in the back field helps to confuse a defense. For example, I just watched the 1st qtr of Pats Bucs again and on the opening drive we lined up Bolden and Vareen split on either side of Brady. We still had Amendola, Ballard, and Suddfield in the game. I love seeing an offense like this mixed in with our other down field stuff. A 2 back set with 2 RB's or 1 RB and 1 FB can give a D another aspect to defend against.
To me it is what we were missing in the Obrien era(not saying its all OB's fault). We didn't have this dimension to the offense for whatever reason. In the play I mentioned Bolden went right and Vareen was wide open in the left flat for a 1st down pass from Brady. I expect/hope to see more of these type plays being called this season. Like you I remember the days of our FB's picking up key 1st downs and our offense being being more diverse. If it's not Devlin, it will be Hoomy, or Bolden, or Blount. While they are not true FB's I think they have the physical make up to get the job done. It might not be worth keeping Devlin on the roster if other guys have more value for positional depth and can still fill the void at FB.
That is more of a 2HB formation, and with a player like Vereen, it's a shift on an 11 package really.
It doesn't fundamentally change much about the game, because neither Vereen nor Bolden/Ridley are "take-on" blockers. They can't lead the other one.
One thing it can do, in a pro-set formation, is force the defense to guess which direction a run might go to, and have to prepare a personell package to deal with Vereen split wide.
OB couldn't do that, btw, because he didn't have a RB like Vereen who can also split out or play the slot if he has too.
The guy has a unique gift for that. I'm glad they are thinking outside the box to get him on the field, and then do other things to add value to the package ... like running a 2HB pro-set.