Some fans are excited at the prospect of the Buccaneers having a fullback on their roster again in Ko Kieft, but they already have a better option.
This offseason is going to be all about maximizing use for the Buccaneers. A tight depth chart and some very difficult cuts are going to force the team into finding guys that can use their talents in more than one area, and that could be what keeps Ko Kieft from seeing the field in year one.
The Bucs don’t have the space to easily roster four tight ends. Regardless of their roles, Tampa relies on their tight ends very little for a team that had a guy like Rob Gronkowski on the roster, and Kieft not being a capable receiver is going to hurt his chances.
Even if Kieft could catch, the Bucs cutting a wide receiver or a running back to make room for Kieft would be strange.
Even in the face of the difficult path ahead, Buccaneers fans are excited about potentially having a “fullback” back on their roster. Tampa has its proud history with the position, and the lovers of the way the game used to be played are plenty (although that way of playing is dead in the modern NFL).
Still, fans want a fullback, but the Bucs actually have a better option on their roster than Kieft.
Instead of keeping a tight end that can also play fullback, why not rely on a defensive tackle that can also do the same thing but better?
Vita Vea would be the best fullback in NFL history if the Bucs gave him reps every game. But that’s just the thing: the Bucs don’t need to give a fullback reps every game.
Tom Brady and that passing offense is the most reliable way of moving the ball. The Buccaneers rarely find themselves in positions where they need a fullback on the goal line to get that extra push, so why bring a guy onto the roster for this role when Vea is already there and much better?
We’re talking five or six reps on the season. Vea can block, carry the ball, and has even proven himself as a viable receiver. No fullback in the NFL is ever going to clock in at north of 340 pounds.
Vea has done well in this role. Why fix what isn’t broken? The defensive tackle is going to be a better option in such a pivotal year, frees up a roster spot for more valuable players, and would give Kieft a year to learn on the practice squad rather than in seven or eight wasted reps per game.
The Bucs don’t need heavy sets; they need to spread the field and pass, but they always have a reliable option to lean on that’s already on the roster if it really comes to that.
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