For a team that prides itself on smashmouth football, the Chicago Bears don't use the fullback very often. This needs to change.
It's the most hard-nosed position in football. But for all its blue-collar toughness, the fullback position is also versatile. They're expected to block, run and catch. Having a great fullback can open up the entire offense.
Yes, the position has been on a steady decline for several years, but the opportunity of having an iconic fullback in the Bears backfield is just too good to pass up.
The Bears are already a great running team under head coach Matt Eberflus, leading the league in rushing with 3,014 team rushing yards in 2022 and finishing in second place this previous season, per StatMuse.
They're among the best-rushing teams in the league -- imagine what they could do with a fullback leading the way.
One advantage the Bears have is they wouldn't have to sign a fullback on the free-agent market. They already have Khari Blasingame (a great name for a fullback, by the way). Blasingame was the starting fullback for the 2019 Tennessee Titans, a team that went all the way to the AFC Championship Game thanks to power back Derrick Henry's running and Blasingame's supreme blocking.
The Bears haven't used a fullback too often, electing to go for spread formation runs that ex-out the fullback in favor of adding another wide receiver or tight end on the field.
Putting a fullback in the game could make the Bears less predictable by using different formations.
It gives Justin Fields a checkdown option. It gives the team a power back for short-yardage situations. It also gives them a lead blocker on runs and quarterback draws, a play the Bears ran a lot this season.
No fullbacks were drafted in 2019 and '20, according to the Associated Press. Just one fullback was selected in the 2021 and 2022 drafts as well. Having a fullback would make the Bears different. What's wrong with that?
Although the position is struggling to get the respect it deserves, the NFL's elite clubs still use the fullback. The San Francisco 49ers employ Kyle Juszczyk on the bulk of their snaps, and the Baltimore Ravens are always finding ways to get Patrick Ricard involved. Both teams are Super Bowl favorites.
With Luke Getsy out as offensive coordinator, the Bears will be starting over on offense. Let's hope the new and improved Bears offense has a fullback.
Greg Roman and Klint Kubiak have interviewed for the vacant offensive coordinator position, per Yahoo Sports. Both have a history of using a fullback.