Barrenechea moving from LB to FB

From Drew Edwards' blog:

"#Ticats Barrenechea moving from linebacker to fullback (and other news from OTAs)

Here's my story from today's off-season practice session which covers Auggie Barrenechea trying to make the move from linebacker to fullback.

There's a funny story about the picture on the right. Auggie was in the backfield during a team session today (offence vs. defence) and slid out into the flat. Porter couldn't find anyone, rolled out, saw Auggie and threw it to him.

It happened right in front of the sideline where the extra defensive players were standing and they exploded when Auggie caught it: I've never seen defensive guys so happy to have a pass completed against them.

I tried to deal with why the Ticats are trying to move Barrenechea to FB in the story - remember this is off-season workouts and nothing is set in stone - but here's a bit more on the mobe.

First and foremost - the Cats were really missing a good blocking back last season. Auggie is big, nasty and has loads of special teams experience, including as blocker on kick returns.

My sense is that Bellefeuille likes Barrenechea and appreciates what he brings to the table off the field: he was the only injured player I've ever seen Bellefeuille allow on the sidelines on game day, and it happened because Marcel thought Auggie to be a defacto coach, particularly on special teams.

Auggie hasn't played much at linebacker the last few seasons. The Cats are running three Americans there now and will for the foreseeable future. Hamilton has Canadian LBs and special teams aces Ray Mariuz and Yannick Carter already and signed Nathan Kanya this off-season. They need a blocking fullback and if Barrenechea can do it, they don't need to sign one or draft one.

And this is not neccessarily bad news for Darcy Brown. A team generally needs two fullbacks on the 42 because if one gets hurt, you lose a bunch of offensive packages. If Auggie can backup Brown - who is a receiving threat out of the backfield - play some short yardage and play killer special teams, that's pretty good value from a 32-year-old Canadian guy. And if a little bit of Auggie's grit rubs off on Darcy, so much the better.

[url=http://scratchingpost.thespec.com/2011/04/ticats-barrenechea-moving-from-linebacker-to-fullback-and-other-news-from-otas.html]http://scratchingpost.thespec.com/2011/ ... -otas.html[/url]

Yea, teams are very threatened by the 4 passes he’s caught over the past two seasons. :roll:

I still don’t know what Obie was thinking when he picked this guy, as it turns out he can’t block either.

I’m not sure how Auggie will do but one thing is for sure, he’s the kind of guy that will give 110% on every play and add some gritt and toughness to the backfield. :thup:

I agree about Brown to some extent. I feel he has talent but is a little slow to develop. Draft worthy but not 1st round material. More like 3rd or 4th. They clearly went on draft evaluation camp numbers and gut feeling more than any type of proven logic with Brown.

The best FB converts in both the CFL and NFL have tended to be LB's. I think most of the reason for that is that those two positions tend to go head to head on a lot of plays that include a FB. Because LB's go against FB's a lot they know about FB fundamentals and technique better than most other non-FB's would.

The FB position is a very unique one that in turn requires unique skills. The 3 things a FB does (block/catch/rush) are all skills that don't really compliment each other (at least not catching and blocking). How many receivers are good blockers? Not many.. How many blockers can catch a screen or flat pass? Not many.. The position also requires a very agile yet still quite large (220-250 lbs) fellow. Not many of those either.

He was open alot just OC Never gave him the ball
I think under Estimate Brown He going to be here a while
Being a former Slot he gas great size and Power

Hopefully this switch works better for you guys than when you tried to convert Bekasiak into an offensive lineman.

Nice rathole you dug there.

Kind of a different scenario, I think. Bekasiak was a young prospect struggling to find his way. Barrenechea is a 32 year old veteran. He’s most useful on special teams and the position change won’t take away from that. Not to mention there are much less technicalities to the fullback position as opposed to playing Offensive Tackle for the first time.

I think if the league changed the rules we could have some talented guys at FB. But they need to REDUCE the Canadian content rules!! Obviously there is not enough Canadian talent out there at the FB position which is a designated Canadian position. It's not good when we have to take a LB and convert him to an FB or take an FB and convert him to an OL, which has happened a few times in the past.

You're still playing this same broken record? Time to upgrade to a CD player!

I hope you're right, though I'm not sure I agree that a fullback has 'much' less technical responsibility than an offensive tackle. The fullback position, as others in this thread have noted, requires a polyvalent skill set: you have to pick up blocks (blitzes in particular), catch the ball well out of the backfield as a checkdown option while still having the wheels to pick up first downs after securing the ball, and be the kind of bruising runner who can convert in short-yardage situations on traps and dives. Barrenechea is 32. Can the old dog learn new tricks? We'll see. At any rate, at least he won't be a starter, so the impact shouldn't be as deeply felt if he can't adapt to the position.

On the whole, I'm not a fan of moving players from one side of the ball to the other, unless it's for specific set plays in specialized situations (e.g. using a DT as a lead blocker on a goal-line running play).

i pod?

Baby steps... baby steps!!

mikem, the NFL must be bush with what the Bears did with "The Fridge". Broken record, oh yea, but at least you "get" the CFL unlike many ignoramouses out there that don't have the brains to figure out what the league is about, I'll grant you that.