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Roster analysis: Who will play fullback?

Let's look a look at one of the biggest questions for the Giants heading into training camp. Do they have anybody who can play fullback on a regular basis?

It's a question even offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride isn't sure he has the answer to. Here is what he told

"We are waiting to see. Can Robert Douglas play the fullback position (in place of Jim Finn, who is out for the season after shoulder surgery)? Do we have to go to (rookie free agent tight end) Mike Matthews and move him back there, do we have to play with two tight ends? I really don’t know. Now we’ve done both. We’ve done a lot of two tights and taken the backside tight end and moved him around as if he was a fullback, but so much of it is really going to be once we put the pads on who plays. So we will certainly be scrutinizing and seeing if somebody can play the fullback position. I thought Jim Finn did some things very well for us and his loss will be felt."

Let's take a closer look at the candidates.

• In the red corner. Robert Douglas. Douglas has been kicking around practice squads for the past two seasons, including part of last year with the Giants. He is 6-foot-1, 230 pounds and the only true fullback on the roster.

• In the blue corner. Mike Matthews. Matthews is an interesting case. He's a 6-foot-4, 270-pound rookie free agent from Georgia Tech. He was signed as a tight end, but also played some fullback in college.

• In the white corner. Your guess is as good as mine. Right now, nobody.

MY VIEW: Considering that the Giants spent a long time in the off-season seemingly trying to find a real power fullback, Matthews might get a long look. Especially since he can catch the ball.

PREDICTION: Douglas wins the job, based mostly on the fact that Matthews has little experience at the position. I think, however, that the Giants will use a variety of backfield sets. Some true fullback sets, some H-back sets using tight ends Kevin Boss or Darcy Johnson, some straight two-tight end sets and, occasionally even using a reserve lineman (like they did last season with Rich Seubert) as the lead blocker.

This position will generate a lot of attention and debate. In the end, though, I'm not sure how much it matters. It's fullback, and the Giants should be able to find a lot of ways to provide a lead blocker for whoever is running the ball.