Originally Posted by deucetx
Couple of things when comparing the running game. In 2011 it was not all Casey. it was Vickers too. In fact, they nearly evenly split the run blocking plays that season (Casey 215; Vickers 204) which sort of tells you how the team felt about Casey's run blocking abilities since Vickers had a total of 281 plays and they were all mainly for run blocking.
None the less take PFF grades. Since 2008 Leach was top three in run blocking every season except the one we had Slaton and Moats sharing the load. Even one season Slaton averaged 4.8 with Leach. Casey? He has been graded as one of the worst run blocking fullbacks in the league generally graded in '11 and '12 in the 20's (24th and then 21st).
So yeah at FB from the blocking perspective he has been hot garbage or maybe lukewarm garbage, heh. He has other benefits which are better to be focused on while letting someone else field the lead blocking role.
Here is the deal. They had "that guy" that everyone thinks we need in the FB role, and were not willing to pay him market price. They've brought in others like him, and finally gave the role to hybrid TE. That tells me that they may not value the traditional FB role as much as some here think they should, or at least were not going to pay for it.
Casey came in and succeeded in the opportunities that were given to him. They did not ask him to be a Leach. They asked him to do something different. He was on pace for 40+ catches on the season until the last 5 games when the offense sputtered to 18 points a game. Only one FB had more receptions than Casey on the year, even with only 6 receptions in the last 5 games. Foster had 13 of his 17 rushing TD's from 3 yards or less, and while I don't have the data handy, I'll go on a limb and say Casey was lead blocker in goal situations.
I'm not going to argue that he is comparable to Leach from a blocking perspective, because he isn't. But in the role that they have placed him in, he is doing his part to make this team successful while being an incredible value financially. Casey is not hurting this team, and there are much easier targets on both sides of the ball where we can point to about needing improved play.
Casey will get more than the $615K he made this season. He deserves it and the Texans should pay it. But he shouldn't break the bank, and I doubt the team will put an offer on the table that will. If he goes in FA as a TE to another club, then so be it. But I think it would be stupid for the team to simply let him walk. He is way too versatile a player. IMHO.