Once again, Pascoe, the handy utility man, will find himself holding down the fort at fullback until starter Henry Hynoski comes back from knee surgery. But that doesn’t mean he won’t’ be involved in some of what ‘s in store for the tight ends. Here’s his take.
Q: Looks like no matter what you do, there’s always going to be fullback in your future. So after all this time, how has it been reaquainting yourself to the position?
A: It felt good to be there, helping out where I can. I’m still getting reps at tight end too, but I think we’re going to do a lot of things with Brandon and myself and the tight ends in the offense, so the opportunity to work at different positions is a good thing.
Q: A couple of years ago, we spoke about the challenges of having to do double duty at tight end and fullback. Having done it before, do you have a different approach about how you divide your time so that you are fully up to speed with both positions and any possible scenario that might occur in a game?
A: Oh definitely. Even though I haven’t really done it much for so long, it really is second nature now. At first it was like, ‘Ok, I’m going into practice now so what plays am I going to be running at fullback and what plays am I going to be running at tight end?’ Now, it doesn’t matter what the play call is; I have it down pat. The techniques are a little different but not much –it’s a matter of blocking up on the line or from the backfield. It’s kind of come to the point where it’s expected now.
Q: One thing I’ve always been curious about – how much does the offense change from year to year? Obviously I’d think some things change as far as new wrinkles, but when you have new personnel at key skill positions as happens this year at tight end, running back and potentially third receiver, is the change greater than less than usual?
A: Maybe five or ten percent of the offense? Really not much. For the most part, we have most of the same guys back and we have the same offensive coordinator so it’s not like we have to start from scratch. The guys that are coming back know what we’re doing and are keyed into what our offense is trying to do. We just have to work on bringing the young guys along and getting them cued into their details in their jobs.
Q: I want to circle back to something you said at the top of this discussion. You mentioned that you thought the team was going to do a lot of things with the tight ends. What can you tell me about that?
A: Brandon has been mostly working up on the line but he’s also done a little bit of the H-back. I think what’s so great about our group this year is we’re probably more versatile than we have been since, I want to say, Kevin Boss’ final year here (2010). I think the talent we have here, the fact that we’re lining up at different positions is going to allow us to insert more new wrinkles into our offense.
Q: So if I’m understanding you, no one from the tight end group is plugged into a specific role?
A: Not just yet. We’re going to be versatile this year, I think. In our minds, we’re going to be a very big part of the offense.
Q: Bigger than in the past?
A: Could be. I don’t really know how teams will start playing us when we get into the season and stuff like that. We just have to see how it goes, but I just think it’s a distinct possibility of the tight ends creating a big force in the offense this year.