Baltimore is such a perfect fit for Vonta Leach. The way he plays, the edge he has on the field, he seemed tailor made to end up a Raven. The rumored gap between what the Ravens paid and what the Texans offered is just that, a rumor – but I can’t say I blame Leach for leaving.
Sure, he leaves the comfort of an established offense, his teammates, a system he knows, etc. But he absolutely deserved to be the highest paid player at his position in the league. I wish him well, and bonus for me because if there’s one other team that I actually like in the NFL other than the Texans, it’s the Baltimore Ravens.
Fans should not be upset at Leach or the Texans in this case, and overwhelmingly, they don’t seem to be. If the Texans were being cheap and not throwing money around in free agency, you could certainly be justified in calling them out. In stark contrast to that, they have actually addressed two vital needs. Something had to give. You wanna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs.
It remains to be seen if James Casey can be an effective fullback. He’s certainly intriguing at the position because he has such a different skill set. Casey can run, he can catch – he can be very a versatile weapon at fullback. Vonta was limited in what he could do, but the one thing you need most out of a fullback, he did exceedingly well. Leach is an absolute hammer, and it simply didn’t matter if other teams knew what was coming, because they could rarely stop it. Ask any Colt linebacker from game one last season, and pretty much any other linebacker Leach got a read on.
If Kubiak wants to add wrinkles, he can do it with Casey. If he wants a repeat of last season’s running attack, he probably will have to go out and get a veteran fullback. There are a couple available, most notably LeRon McClain, but he is close to signing with the Cheifs and he is apparently insistent on getting carries, rather than just being a blocker. Free agent Lawrence Vickers, formerly of the Cleveland Browns is out there, and he’s apparently in play. John McClain reported that the Texans are in talks with his agents. Perhaps it’s just exploratory – but Vickers did not have a good season last year. The Texans may just be set to see what they have in Casey, and their two undrafted free agent rookies, Zac Pauga and Bubba Bartlett.
I will miss Vonta Leach. I loved how he seemed to enjoy mixing in a bit of extra-curricular activity with defenders after the play. He seemed to feed off the contact and violence of the game. I loved that he would often times initiate shoving matches with the defense. He just had an ugly demeanor on the field, and I like my football teams like that. When I look at the rest of the offense, I don’t see anyone who has that nasty streak. Once in a while Duane Brown and Eric Winston show flashes, but with Vonta – it was something I could count on. As I’ve said before – sure, it’s purely cosmetic – but it’s just how I like my football.
Gonna have to find myself a new unofficial HoustonDiehards.com mascot. Vonta’s image will have to come down soon.