Fullback building up some steam

Vonta Leach is sitting squarely on the bubble when it comes to making the Packers' 53-man roster at fullback this season.

With veterans William Henderson and Nick Luchey in front of him, Leach will have to have a great camp to make the team.

But Leach made some big strides in 2004, and his chances of making the squad may not be as far-fetched as is appears.

The 6-foot-0, 250-pound Leach was released in the Packers' final cutdown at the end of the 2004 training camp. He was re-signed to the team's practice squad and spent the first 10 weeks of the season there until he was promoted to the 53-man roster. He played in his first NFL game Nov. 29 against St. Louis, playing on special teams. He saw his first career action at fullback in the final two regular season games against Minnesota and Chicago.

Leach, 23, is about the same size as Henderson. He'll have to show in training camp an ability to catch passes out of the backfield like Henderson and block. Henderson, who was named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad last season, has mastered both. At 34 years old, he has shown no signs of letting up.

Luchey is expected to step in for Henderson eventually, but has yet to take control of the fullback job since he signed a six-year contract in 2003.

Expect Leach to give Henderson and Luchey a good push in training camp. If either one of the veterans in front of him is injured and slips in performance, the Packers have a solid prospect in Leach.

Todd Korth

Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

Packer Report Top Stories