We have come to fullback in our series of New York Giants positional reviews. That means we have arrived at the 'All At Big Blue View Shall Bow To The Magnificence Of Bear Pascoe' edition of our reviews.
Ye shall praise the Bear or suffer the consequences. He is a gentle Bear, but you know he could hurt you if we turned him loose. Either with a bone-crushing block or, using those championship roping skills of his to tie you up and up and drag across an open field. So, you get the message I hope. (By the way, gang, the strongest thing I have had to drink so far today is a cup of coffee).
In all seriousness, when you talk about the Giants and the fullback position you have to give Pascoe all the credit in the world for the work he did this season.
A blocking tight end by trade, Pascoe, as we know, was thrust into the unfamiliar fullback role when an injured and ineffective Madison Hedgecock went down for the season with a hamstring injury. Learning on the fly, Pascoe did a tremendous job as the Giants blocking back. Whenever there were big holes for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to run through replays inevitably showed a big block by the Bear as part of the reason why.
Pascoe wasn't perfect at fullback, as his overall score of -1.3 from Pro Football Focus shows (he would have a 'plus' score, by the way, if not for a few penalties). The 6-foot-5, 251-pound second-year player may not be the ideal long-term answer at fullback, either, but under the circumstances it is difficult to be critical of the way he performed.
He did an unfamiliar job pretty well, much better in fact than Hedgecock had been doing it. In the 88 snaps Hedgecock played this season before going down, he compiled a miserable -7.1 rating from PFF. Most likely Hedgecock's Giants career -- and possibly his NFL career -- is over.
Will we see Pascoe with a number in the 30s next season as a full-time fullback? Maybe, maybe not. Vonta Leach, a wrecking ball of a fullback the Giants tried to sign away from the Houston Texans a few seasons ago, is a free agent and could be an attractive option if the Giants want to move Pascoe back to his natural tight end slot. There is also the draft in the Giants wish to use a choice on a fullback. Here's an interesting name if the Giants want to draft a fullback -- Henry Hynoski of Pittsburgh.
Whether it is at fullback or tight end, Pascoe needs to have a place on this team in 2011. We will just have to wait and see what that place is.
Overall Grade: 'Kudos'