Bring Back the Fullback: Fred McCrary

  • mccraryToday we’re starting a new series here at OA, because the critically endangered pro fullback position is one or two ACL injuries from existing only in captivity.
  • Since he took over the Patriots, Bill Belichick has been a coach who loves fullbacks– from Marc Edwards to Patrick Pass and Larry Centers (More on all these guys at some point) to my personal favorite, Fred McCrary, great Patriot teams of the past fifteen years have often featured versatile fullbacks.
  • McCrary played at various times between 1995 and 2007, but that included a one-year stint as a prison guard. The fullback was one of the best in the game in terms of blocking, but was never well-known for his running and receiving skill: In parts of eleven different seasons, McCrary averaged just 1.2 yards per carry on 25 attempts. He rushed for one career touchdown, as a rookie in 1995.
  • He was slightly more prolific as a  pass-catcher, snagging 113 balls for 646 cumulative yards. He appeared in 6 games in 2003, earning a ring for the champion Patriots, before moving on to Atlanta and subsequently Seattle. There he played his final game in 2007, and mostly appeared as a special teamer. McCrary was one of the toughest guys in the game for over a decade, and he typifies the lunch-pail fullback that came to define the later part of the 90’s and early aughts.