Tell me, Steelers Nation, if any of these names ring a bell with you?
Chris Fuamatu Ma'afala (I actually got the spelling correct without looking)?
Some of those names may not be familliar, but others every Steelers fan knows. What do they all have in common?
Every one was a fullback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since the Steelers made Bruce Arians the offensive coordinator, the Steelers have not had a TRUE fullback on the roster.
Why? Because Arians didn't see the importance of the position—which, in my opinion, explains a lot as to the offensive struggles the Steelers have had in the running game.
Now that Arians is gone and the Steelers are committed to having success in the running game again, it is time to dust off the position, and fill it with a TRUE fullback. NOT a tight end who is playing the position, but a REAL fullback.
Art Rooney II has stated that he wants success from the running game, and unless you have a serious problem with math, like adding 1+1, it is not hard to understand that the problems the Steelers have had in the running game are due to not having a fullback on the roster.
Yes, I said it.
Now, the I am a HUGE supporter of Kevin Colbert and the entire Steelers organization, but it is time to take the blinders off and make the one free-agent signing that they do every year on a player who is going to come in and be a contributor.
And, I have the person.
Vickers started his career with the Cleveland Browns in 2006, entering the league as a sixth-round pick out of Colorado. In his four seasons with the Browns, Vickers was the lead blocker for guys like Jamal Lewis.
In his four seasons with the Browns, Vickers scored three touchdowns, ALL on short passes, ALL against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After becoming a free agent in 2012, Vickers signed with the Houston Texans, where he was a lead blocker for Arian Foster, who went from undrafted free agent to good player. What happened when the Texans brought in Vickers to be Foster's lead blocker? He became the best running back in the league.
What Vickers would bring to the Steelers' table is the one thing that their offense has been missing—a blocker who would rather block a linebacker than run the ball, and a big threat out of the back field who can catch the ball, then do damage.
The Texans cut Vickers because he was due a $1 million dollar salary in 2012, which was simply too much for them.
Though Pittsburgh cannot afford to go out and spend stupid money on stupid contracts, finding a player who not only fills a need, but is also a solid player at that position, has been to the Pro Bowl and is affordable is a no-brainer.
The Steelers should have already made the call, but if they haven't, it needs to be made. Having a player with a history of success in the AFC North is exactly what the Steelers need.
Vickers could be that guy, and he could be exactly what the Steelers need to fulfill the dream of Art Rooney.
Last year, 3rd- or 4th-and-short was a nightmare for Steelers Nation.
Imagine with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown out wide, Ben under center and Isaac Redman lined up behind Lawrence Vickers?
What do you stop?
This could be the final piece for Lombardi No. 7.