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Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Vonta Leach is the one that got away. Before he emerged as the most dominant fullback in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens, Leach spent 12 days on the New Orleans Saints roster in 2006. The Saints picked up Leach ...

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #1
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Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

Vonta Leach is the one that got away. Before he emerged as the most dominant fullback in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens, Leach spent 12 days on the New Orleans Saints roster in 2006.

The Saints picked up Leach after he was waived by the Green Bay Packers that year because their own fullback Mike Karney was battling a minor injury. But Leach was inactive for his first game, then he was waived before the Saints' legendary Monday night victory over the Atlanta Falcons when they reopened the Superdome.

From there, Leach signed with the Houston Texans, where he later emerged as a first-team All-Pro fullback in 2010. He has also been a first-team All-Pro for the Ravens the past two seasons.

Leach laughed at the idea that he was coming back "home" on Tuesday as he sat in the stands of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome during Tuesday's media day for Super Bowl 2013.

"I guess I could say teams didn't know what they had. And I also could say I grew and developed since then," said Leach, who began his career as an undrafted free agent out of East Carolina in 2004. "I started off my career in Green Bay, got an opportunity to make the team, which is what I wanted to do as an undrafted free agent. Then after I got cut, I got an opportunity in New Orleans for maybe about a month. Then once Karney got back healthy, then that's when I made a name for myself in Houston."

The Saints' coaches and front office do look back and realize they missed an opportunity with Leach. He and New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich stand out as two of the players they had a chance to develop in-house that they allowed to go on and star with other teams.

But it's not surprising that the Saints paid only cursory attention to the potential of a young fullback prospect, since the fullback plays such a minor role in their offense.

That's also why Leach was let go in Green Bay that year, when they replaced him with a receiver and decided to go with just one fullback on the roster.

The position is a dying breed in the NFL, where more and more teams feature multiple-receiver and tight end sets.

Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell admitted that when he was coaching with the Indianapolis Colts for much of the past decade, they might have passed on Leach as well because they rarely used a fullback.

"I can tell you this. I don't have to worry about whether we did or didn't (want Leach in Indianapolis). But I'm glad that he's here right now at this point in time," Caldwell said. "That's a talented guy. Vonta is a big, strong guy."

Leach understands that the fullback has become almost a specialized position in the NFL. But he obviously disagrees with that philosophy.

"There are a lot of teams that don't use fullbacks. There are a lot of people that don't know the importance of the fullback position. But a physical team, a team that wants to run the ball, they're gonna want a fullback on their roster," said Leach, who knows the position will be used by the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. "Once you start playing in the months of December and January and February, you better have you a fullback. ... Then hey, two teams that play physical football, we're here. And I think it's gonna be a physical game."


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Old 02-02-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
 
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

I forgot he spent a little time here. Same goes for London Fletcher.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

And how about Rob Ninkovich?
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

The Saints' coaches and front office do look back and realize they missed an opportunity with Leach. He and New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich stand out as two of the players they had a chance to develop in-house that they allowed to go on and star with other teams.

Ya can't keep everyone.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

There will always be that player that is just decent on your team that you let go that will become great somwhere else. Just look at Brees, he was a middle of the pack QB for the Chargers and an absolute superstar for us.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
There will always be that player that is just decent on your team that you let go that will become great somwhere else. Just look at Brees, he was a middle of the pack QB for the Chargers and an absolute superstar for us.
Exactly. We could easily throw Colston and Graham into this discussion as well. Honestly though, our offense really isn't all that fullback dependent. It seems like they're more receivers with us and can you really picture us actually using a linebacker effectively the past few years?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

I'm perfectly fine with Jed. It's not exactly like we're a team that relies on running the ball and needs great blocking by a FB.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach is one that got away from New Orleans Saints

We tried to keep Nink. He just kept getting hurt.
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