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Lawrence Thomas Officially Makes Switch to Fullback

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When Jets defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas lined up at fullback early in the teams match up with the Dolphins two weeks ago, nobody knew if it was a gimmick, a wild experiment, or a tryout.

Whatever you want to call it, the Jets obviously liked what they saw as Thomas got more looks at fullback again the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and threw a few key blocks to spring Bilal Powell free to break away and pick up some big gainers.

Now, it appears to be a full-time gig.

Thomas emerged at practice in Florham Park today wearing number 44, a switch from his defensive line number of 97.

A former college fullback at Michigan State before switching to the D-line, acting as a lead blocker isn’t entirely new for Thomas.  If his early results are any indicator as to how he’ll play moving forward, the Jets may have one heck of a 285 lb battering ram filling the role of lead blocker better than anyone the Jets have had since Tony Richardson.

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Mr October. He does throw some nice blocks on the move.

I wouldn't want him coming at me. I'd like to see some more swing passes to him as well. 

So glad we're not wasting a roster spot on T-Bone anymore. 

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17 minutes ago, Warfish said:

How long till he gets his first carry?

I wouldn't expect one soon.  He had several catches in college, but only one carry for one yard.  I think he was more TE in high school than RB.  Can't believe they gave him Riggins number.

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2 hours ago, Sarge4Tide said:

He'll probably continue to play DL as well as FB

Per Bowles during his presser today -- will only play D in emergency.

 

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Poor sucker, fullback is a death knell position, new coach comes in or a new schema and you are out.

I actually liked the guy on the dline.  He did look comfortable in the o backfield though.

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16 minutes ago, Lith said:

Per Bowles during his presser today -- will only play D in emergency.

 

Wow ... Just wow!!!

A play or two is one thing but to totally change his role is...AMAZING!!!!!

 

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2 hours ago, #27TheDominator said:

I wouldn't expect one soon.  He had several catches in college, but only one carry for one yard.  I think he was more TE in high school than RB.  Can't believe they gave him Riggins number.

Just a number. Riggo is more skins than Jets.

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I love this move. The guy is doing the job and thats all you can ask. Bad news for the "suck for Sam" crowd. He might add a win or 2 to the total with a key goal line block in a close game.:D

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We needed an extra blocker that was obvious. And this guy is mobile. We saw Tommy Bohanon starting for the Jags last week and this guy seems to have a better upside. And the running game has improved. It's a smart move by the coaching staff. 

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15 hours ago, LIJetsFan said:

Is it possible/probable that the 2016 vets were the REAL problem and that Bowles might actually turn out to be an ok HC?   I LOVE what this team has been doing recently.  This DL to FB move is just the latest example.  That includes starting McCown for now in order to let the rest of the offense find it's groove.  We shall see but atm I've feeling hopeful about Mac/Bowles.     

Hope you're right as well, because I was so down on Bowles the 1st 2 seasons. Maybe it was the VETS that did him in, because he does have these guys looking pretty pumped each game. While I do agree with your statement on why McCown is starting I hope that won't be lasting much longer. I think the Browns game should be his last game no matter win or lose.

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This guy is going to wear out some D Lines he is huge and physical. Too bad that catch he made didnt end in a TD it was close and he looks like he has soft hands out of the backfield. Will be like having another TE Fullbacks can be very active in the west coast offense. How many safeties are going to want to tackle this guy with a full head of steam

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18 hours ago, LIJetsFan said:

Is it possible/probable that the 2016 vets were the REAL problem and that Bowles might actually turn out to be an ok HC?   I LOVE what this team has been doing recently.  This DL to FB move is just the latest example.  That includes starting McCown for now in order to let the rest of the offense find it's groove.  We shall see but atm I've feeling hopeful about Mac/Bowles.     

This part has been hard for a lot of people to swallow. I don't know what they're seeing in closed practices, film study, etc. I want to believe they're benching Petty/Hackenberg because what they see is obvious: these 2 aren't NFL QBs (or they're too far away, anyhow). 

If we were truly looking to develop one of them, and see some realistic potential there, then the better of the 2 kids should have been on the field as soon as healthy enough. My guess is the decision was easy/obvious based on what coaches and players alike have seen from hundreds of reps and drills and meetings for all 3 of them. The CS is also surely aware McCown is 38 on a 1 yr contract, Petty is 26 and locked up cheap this year and next, and Hackenberg 22 locked up for cheap for yet another year longer than Petty. They would love nothing more than for Petty or Hackenberg to be worthy of starting.

My take is I don't really care - or I don't care anymore - if they're going to also trot out 2 veteran WR starters. McCown's value as starter drops IMO if Stewart/Hansen get so few snaps on offense.

I get it if we're really contenders, but I'm not buying this team as a serious contender just because they beat Jacksonville and Miami. The offense hasn't eclipsed 20 points in 4 quarters. The one time we scored 23 took 3 OT possessions, and got a FG on a 2-yard drive that began in FG position. On D, the only team we held to under 20 was Miami, who just got outright shut out -- by freaking New Orleans at that. In other words, I'm not seeing a lot of justification for bench-stashing both the 2 young QBs and the young receivers.

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9 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

My take is I don't really care - or I don't care anymore - if they're going to also trot out 2 veteran WR starters. McCown's value as starter drops IMO if Stewart/Hansen get so few snaps on offense.

100% agree. Either you're developing a QB by having him throw to veteran WRs, or developing WRs by having a veteran QB throwing to them. A veteran QB throwing to veteran WRs with young players benched behind them on a team that probably has a ceiling of six wins is inexcusable and completely pointless. 

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2 minutes ago, slats said:

100% agree. Either you're developing a QB by having him throw to veteran WRs, or developing WRs by having a veteran QB throwing to them. A veteran QB throwing to veteran WRs with young players benched behind them on a team that probably has a ceiling of six wins is inexcusable and completely pointless. 

I get not having inexperienced young Petty/Hackenberg throwing to an inexperienced young WR trio of Anderson-Stewart-Hansen. What they're doing is absolutely pointless unless the team is a realistic contender (or unless health issues we're unaware of are influencing the decisions). They are not realistic contenders, and the injury report suggests they're all healthy, so I'm not a fan of this combo.

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4 minutes ago, slats said:

100% agree. Either you're developing a QB by having him throw to veteran WRs, or developing WRs by having a veteran QB throwing to them. A veteran QB throwing to veteran WRs with young players benched behind them on a team that probably has a ceiling of six wins is inexcusable and completely pointless. 

I will add to this that the one potentially valid reason for Forte is as a reliable vet in blitz pickup/receiving out of the backfield with an otherwise young skill position group.  As pointed out repeatedly by everyone, the current set up makes no sense.

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2 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

I will add to this that the one potentially valid reason for Forte is as a reliable vet in blitz pickup/receiving out of the backfield with an otherwise young skill position group.  As pointed out repeatedly by everyone, the current set up makes no sense.

Yeah even the prior season. Was fine with picking up Forte IF we were going to play a young QB who needs blocking/receiving reliability out of the backfield more than the occasional explosive play Forte's not generally capable of anymore. Picking him up, and then re-signing Powell as well the next day, and handing the QB job over to Fitzpatrick (and now McCown) erases pretty much any value Forte had in the first place. Oh, and he cost a 2017 4th or 5th round pick to boot (erased the Ivory loss).

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21 minutes ago, slats said:

100% agree. Either you're developing a QB by having him throw to veteran WRs, or developing WRs by having a veteran QB throwing to them. A veteran QB throwing to veteran WRs with young players benched behind them on a team that probably has a ceiling of six wins is inexcusable and completely pointless. 

I totally agree.

Petty should be starting from here on out as long as he is healthy.

This is the perfect time to let him take the reigns - when the season is not completely lost and he has veteran players around him that have had some time to play together and gel.

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In regards to Thomas, he has been playing on both sides and it sounds like he will continue to do so.  Bowles actually said the main motivation to have Thomas switch is that he was required to report in every time he stepped in at FB, because he was listed as DL, but he can now still play both positions without having to do that.  Seems like its mostly just a matter of making things simpler, which makes sense.

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