Arizona Cardinals need Kyle Juszczyk to solve run game problems
The Arizona Cardinals offense has been missing a fullback since Anthony Sherman in 2012, when former coach Bruce Arians basically said “we don’t need you” and before you knew it, Sherman was on Kansas City’s roster. The Arizona Cardinals need Kyle Juszczyk to help alleviate the lackadaisical run game. There hasn’t been any significant running game production outside of the 2015 season, and potentially maybe even the 8-game outburst in the 2019 season could be included in that remark.
The fullback position has survived many attempts at extinction, come at the hands of the NFL’s pass-happy schemes and dynamic playmakers. However, with defenses catching up in the first two levels in terms of athleticism, asking an offensive lineman to go from his respective gap to the opposite, get to the second level and make a block can be a challenge.
I absolutely despise the idea of a blocking tight end, as you might’ve just put another offensive lineman out there instead. So that’s out of the equation (not sorry Maxx Williams). Having a fullback is what makes all of this possible, and the Arizona Cardinals need Kyle Juszczyk to fill this part of that backfield that’s been missing for years.
Before I get to why “Juice” would be a great fit, there’s one more thing I have to address and that’s actually the argument that “fullbacks DON’T make an impact” on the running game. Just take this story on how 21 personnel and a fullback vaunted the Tennessee Titans on their improbable AFC title game appearance in 2019. A handful of other playoff teams also used a fullback to spring their rushing attacks in that same year. Given the right personnel and scheme, the fullback position helps.
Arizona struggled with pulling linemen.
For a lot of the season, the Cardinals ground game struggled to make blocks at the second level. Most would be due to being in 11 personnel and asking a wide receiver or a tight end to make a block, specifically down blocks.
I don’t care what perimeter TE/WR you put out there, not very many skill position players can make that block. A fullback would help this, and ”Juice” has been opening gaps for his runners since he was in Baltimore. Setting the edge on counters and zone reach plays is critical to getting yards quickly.
The Harvard grad is not only known for his blocking, but being able to make splash plays as well in the receiving game and has been known to master a fullback pass a time or two.
Juszczyk also has something that the Cardinals are missing on the offensive side of the ball, and that’s some actual visible display of competitive nature. His style of play can fire up anyone, and plays like the one above just make you wish for football season again. His physicality in his play would be a great sight to see.