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Karney: Leading the Way

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Leading the way By Chris Pika, June 5, 2006; 1:30 pm, NewOrleansSaints.com Jun 5, 2006 – 1:30 pm Saints fullback Mike Karney is on the move a lot in the new Saints offensive alignment. Considered the eyes for the featured ...

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Old 06-05-2006, 03:28 PM   #1
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Karney: Leading the Way

Leading the way
By Chris Pika, June 5, 2006; 1:30 pm, NewOrleansSaints.com
Jun 5, 2006 – 1:30 pm

Saints fullback Mike Karney is on the move a lot in the new Saints offensive alignment. Considered the eyes for the featured backs who crash through the holes he opens, he also can be found catching passes as part of the multiple looks New Orleans will show this coming season.

The third-year pro out of Arizona State will be counted on to do more than block for Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush along with picking up onrushing linebackers in pass protection.

"He is so dependable and he is a guy who we can use besides just being a blocker," said Saints' Senior Offensive Assistant/Running Backs Coach George Henshaw. "He is going to be a guy we are going to move around and use also in the passing game."

For his part, Karney is ready to expand his responsibilities in the offense.

"There are some minor adjustments, basically shifting and motion, moving me around a little more," he said. "Running some more routes and catching some more balls -- that's the difference -- I'm used to lining up and going, now it's going to be more shifting and motion."

In order to be that versatile in the offense, Henshaw added, Karney will have to drop some weight.

"We got him to lose 10-15 pounds, so he is going to be a 250-255 (pound) guy," said Henshaw. "He is going to be able to move around, and his role is going to be much different than what it has been in the past."

Karney was rated as the top fullback in the 2004 NFL Draft and he had some experience in the West Coast offense late in his college career.

"I was strictly an up-the-middle lead back, but towards the end of my career in college at Arizona State, we went to more shifting and motion," he said. "I'm familiar with it, but I haven't done it in a couple of years. Now, it's getting my body and my mind back into it."

He has put in a lot of work for his expanded role.

"It takes a lot of mental preparation as well as physical preparation," he said. "Doing lifting and running and being here in the off-season is the most important thing. It's important to stick to it, because it's a long year and you have to be ready for it."

Henshaw said that being a good fullback in the NFL requires many skills.

"To be a complete football player (at fullback), you have to be a very good lead blocker but also, just as important, be good in the passing game so that people can't hone in and say that every time he is in the game, that he is a non-factor in the passing game," he said.

To keep opposing defenses guessing, Karney will have to be productive in the passing game.

"He's a guy, if things were to go his way, there's a possibility that he could go out there and catch 35-40 passes in a season," said Henshaw. "Again, just to be able to keep the defense from just playing the run all of the time that he is in there. He has to be smart enough to be able to move around and just be in different positions than being in the 'I' formation or something like that is a big help."

As a rookie, Karney helped RB Deuce McAllister to a 1,000-yard season in 2004
As a rookie, Karney helped RB Deuce McAllister to a 1,000-yard season in 2004
Michael C. Hebert
Blocking and opening holes for Deuce McAllister the last two seasons and now, the addition of rookie Reggie Bush, has Karney excited as well.

"It's an unbelievable opportunity to block for two great backs," he said. "Deuce is already a Pro Bowl guy and a known player and Reggie is a Heisman Trophy winner who has great potential in this league. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

How does an effective fullback do the dirty work for the running backs who follow him? Karney answers with one phrase.

"Communication is everything," he said. "You have got to be on the same page every play with your running back. I have to be his eyes and he has to trust in me so we watch film together and make sure that we are seeing the same things."

McAllister, with help from Karney's blocking skills, accumulated 1,074 yards in 2004, Karney's rookie season. Last season, an injury sidelined McAllister and Karney blocked for several different backs as he started 14 of 16 games, rushed six times for 12 yards and caught 10 passes for 61 yards.

"Deuce and I work great together and the running backs group is allowing Reggie to get used to his surroundings and the offense," he said about the two players who will depend on him this year.

"I came into the league thinking I was going to be a role player since fullbacks are role players," he said. "The opportunity to do what's ahead of me (blocking for McAllister and Bush along with catching passes), that's what you want as a player and I am looking forward to it."

Henshaw likes the attitude that Karney brings to the field every day.

"He is eager to do whatever he needs to do to help this football team win and that's the kind of people that we need," he said.



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Old 06-05-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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RE: Karney: Leading the Way

Question who is going to back my man up. I hope he gets more touches. he is another player haz did not use right. he is more than just a blocker
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:12 PM   #3
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Karneys the man, My brothers wife works with his ex-girlfriend in seattle and she said he always emails her, talking about a possible move to LA, and his home in Phoenix. His ex is coming to my brothers wedding in July and we keep telling her to invite Mike, it will be Saweet if she invites him and he comes. She has told him what kind of Saints junkies we are, and we hope he comes , if we party with Mike at a strip club in Las Vegas, I will send yall some pics.
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:37 PM   #4
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Dude! Pics here! Definitely!
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