The fullback position is one that requires smarts, multiple skill sets, courage, and above all else—brute strength. However, the FB position is becoming a dying breed in the National Football League with all these running backs coming out of college as sheer mammoths, but the Philadelphia Eagles felt adding veteran FB Leonard Weaver to the team during the 2008 offseason.
For the Philadelphia Eagles, the fullback position is one that was lack luster and was seemingly almost forgotten about by the Eagles since the days of John Ritchie.
In fact, during the 2008 season, the Birds were so desperate for a FB that they tried using RB Tony Hunt at the position in an effort to save his career, since he had the ideal size, but the task proved to be entirely daunting for him due to the required blocking, and he was released from the squad.
Finally, last offseason head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg realized the importance of having a talented FB in the backfield, so they went out shopping and parked their new Ferrari in the driveway—Leonard Weaver found a home where his skill sets can be complemented by the players surrounding him!
During the offseason (2008), Weaver was considered one of the most sought out players to be signed with multiple teams for his services, but since the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles run extremely similar offenses it was clear why he decided to join the Eagles.
In his first year with the Eagles, Weaver put on display why the Eagles felt he was a required asset to this team. Weaver is a finely tuned machine who is quick to react and can punish any defender when the ball is in his hands. He has a nasty set of skills in the run and pass game which is why the Birds felt it was needed to make him the highest paid FB in NFL history this past offseason.
2009 proved to be his best season ever, as he garnished his first ever Pro Bowl appearance after amassing 323 yards on 70 attempts (4.6 average), and two touchdowns. His longest run of the season was 41 yards—that ended in a touchdown in the first matchup against division rival New York Giants.
That play proved to be Weavers the longest carry of his career and the longest run by an Philadelphia Eagle FB since the days of Anthony Toneys 44-yard play on Oct. 8, 1989.
Weaver, as mentioned, was also a force to be reckoned with in the passing game also, as he went on to register another 140 yards on 15 receptions for an average of 9.3 YPC (yards per carry) while recording another two TDs. His longest catch of the season was a 59-yard reception during the Eagles-Falcons game.
Entering his second season with the Eagles, Weaver has a huge responsibility in 2010 to block extremely well for new starting QB Kevin Kolb.
He may not see the same amount of touches per game as he did in 2009, mainly because of the stable of RBs currently on the Eagles roster in starter LeSean McCoy, newly acquired Mike Bell, and LSU standout rookie Charles Scott.
Still, having Weaver on the squad is a huge plus for the Eagles—he can absolutely create matchup problems, if he is given the ball he makes plays happen, and he very well could become QB Kevin Kolb's new best friend on the team.
It is a good thing Weaver doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty; actually, he relishes an opportunity to lay a hit on someone. This is very important to Kolb so he can have legitimate time to screen the field, find an open player, and release the ball.
Besides his tremendous play on the field, Weaver is a stand up citizen off the field as well.
During his spare time he still has plenty to do from spending time with his family, working with the Urban Racing School in Philadelphia, a program that serves over 100 students annually, and enjoys listening to Gospel and R&B music.
He has also set up an informative website on the proper care of diabetes which you can log on to www.leonardweaverfoundation.org
Did You Know:
During an offseason, Weaver partakes in UFC fighting Training in Philly with his trainer Bernard Watkins, something he has been doing for approximately four years now.
When asked why he spends his offseason this way, Weaver stated:
“I’ve actually been doing it for four years. It helps with awareness, core strength, and balance
It’s no wonder the man is such a bruising force in the backfield!
Do we all remember this: In the matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, Weaver decides to argue with a Niners player in the Eagles backfield rather than get into formation. It’s alright, Leonard buddy, I don’t think any of us are mad at ya—maybe very humorous but not mad!
You can veiw the video I posted as well as other Philadelphia Eagle related columns at www.bleedingeaglegreen.com