When Baltimore signed former Texans fullback Vonta Leach this morning, I reached out to Joe Owens, Fansided’s Houston Texan’s blogger, and asked for his thoughts on the Ravens acquiring Leach. He had this to say about Vonta:
Vonta Leach won’t be easily replaced. The Texans have been grooming Tight end James Casey in case this very thing happened. They also signed two undrafted rookie free agent fullbacks all in an attempt to find Leach’s replacement. While these guys may be able to physically lay down a crushing block to spring Arian Foster. What they won’t be able to replace, at least not anytime, soon is his composure and leadership on the field and in the locker room.
To see the rest of what Joe said, continue reading below…
Vonta Leach was a true professional in every sense of the word. A favorite here in Texas amongst both fans and his teammates. His teammates referred to him as “Sweet Feet” but by no means was that an indication of his lack of ferocity on the field. Leach had the propensity to be mean on the field which is exactly what you want in a fullback. Despite his mean streak Leach had a way of keeping teammates in the locker room loose and at ease. Ultimate example of veteran leadership.
The Texans will still likely sign a veteran fullback as insurance but Leach will be missed. The Texans had major needs in the secondary that needed to be addressed so the dollars had to be allocated as such.
Leach turns 30 this year and could play out the length of his contract no doubt but while a devastating blocker he isn’t going to go the distance on an up the gut run play like Le’Ron McClain had the ability to do.
Joe is completely right about Le’Ron McClain. With the signing of Vonta Leach, McClain will not return to the Ravens. Leach is a better blocker but does not have the same running ability. I still like the move though as it should bring a veteran presence to the young Ravens’ offense.
I attribute much to what Arian Foster did last year to Vonta Leach and I believe he was the unsung hero of that rushing campaign. I look forward to seeing what Ray Rice can do running behind number 44. I expect him to put up big numbers as he now has the best fullback in the league and a great O-Line to boot.
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