Guest Column - RB coach Bishop Harris on BJ Askew

As we were evaluating the running backs in this draft and based on what we felt our needs were, now and in the future, one of the things we were looking for was the versatility.<p>

[BJ] shows the natural instincts to come out and do some of the things we ask our fullbacks to do, which is difficult. BJ's greatest attribute from my evaluation is his versatility. Some things we didn't know about him because we didn't see enough of him on film. So we decided that I needed to go out to Michigan and work him out. I left that workout knowing that this guy was a solid football player and he's been coached extremely hard and well. I feel very confident that he can perform at [the fullback] position for us at a very high level.

I can't tell you about the guys that write those (draft) articles and (draft) books, but what I go by is what I expect the guy to do for us. Things I look for is not how much he can block, but whether he has the ability to strike a blow, and if he has the ability to change direction. Then it all becomes whether or not he can adjust to the coaching of what we ask him to do. I feel very strongly that he can. There is no question in my mind that he's a tough player. He plays physical and those are the attributes you look for. If a guy is like that, he will be a good blocker.

We feel very positive that BJ can come in and be a good runner. He has a great deal of experience playing for a quality football team as the lead runner for three years. So, we feel very comfortable that he can come in and do good things. He will be a quality ball carrier.

We are very fortunate to have a few outstanding runners, but you still need, going into a football game, the possibility that you might need that third guy. He will very amply fill that position for us and also continue to improve. We feel we got an outstanding guy with his versatility. He can adjust in space. He can run the football.

He has made the transition from running back to fullback in college. So, now our job is not to transform him in his move from running back to fullback, but to improve him. That is a big part of it for us.


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