Fullback (American football)
A fullback (FB) is a position in the offensive backfield in American and Canadian football, and is one of the two running back positions along with the halfback. Typically, fullbacks are larger in size than halfbacks and in most offensive schemes their duties are split between power running and blocking for both the quarterback and the other running back.
Many great runners in the history of American football have been fullbacks, notably Marion Motley, Jim Brown, Franco Harris, Mike Alstott, and Larry Csonka. Fullbacks are typically known less for speed and agility and more for muscularity and the ability to shed tackles. In the modern NFL, Fullbacks are not usually deployed as ball carriers but are mostly used as a lead blocker to allow smaller, quicker backs to get to the secondary of the opposing team's defense. In the early 2000s, the many NFL teams used blocking fullbacks, such as Tony Richardson and Lorenzo Neal, with great success. These backs cleared the way for some of the decade's great running backs. Recently, some teams have actually phased-out fullbacks altogether in favor of two tight end sets (notably, Indianapolis Colts have fullback spots filled by backup tight ends). The remaining prominent fullbacks in the NFL such as Ovie Mughelli, Leonard Weaver, Owen Schmitt and Vonta Leach are still employed as lead blockers and do not often carry or catch the ball. In spite of their usually infrequent carries in modern NFL offenses, some fullbacks have actually led their team in rushing. Notably Le'Ron McClain was the rushing leader for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and Tony Richardson led the Kansas City Chiefs in rushing in 2000.
Although technically a running back, typically fullbacks are primarily valued for their blocking in most modern day offenses. In the flexbone formation, however, the fullback (sometimes referred to as the A-back) can often be used as the primary rushing threat. In many other offensive schemes, the fullback is used as a receiver, especially when the defense blitzes. In selected plays, some teams will have a defensive lineman report as an eligible receiver to line up as a fullback. Examples of such players who have been frequently used as situational fullbacks include Haloti Ngata, Vince Wilfork, and Isaac Sopoaga.
The position is less frequently used in Canadian football, which focuses more on passing than running the ball.
See also 
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