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Old 06-07-2012   #1
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Default Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

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June, 7, 2012
Jun 7
2:10
PM CT
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Now that we've gotten over the ants-in-the-pants episode with Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers, we can focus on why the Cowboys signed him and the Houston Texans let him go.

Texans running back Arian Foster rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns last season behind starting fullback Vickers. Foster had seven games with over 100 rushing yards and three games with 30 or more carries. Foster is an elite running back, having rushed for 2,840 yards with 26 touchdowns the last two seasons.

Vickers was released by Houston when the season was over. It was an interesting decision by the Texans, given they signed Vickers to a two-year deal after the 2010 season. But salary-cap concerns forced the franchise to make hard decisions, which also included letting star linebacker Mario Williams go in free agency.

"It was a shocker, I was shocked," Vickers said. "I was shocked. Then by Foster getting his (new) deal I would think thereís more reason you got somebody thatís going to protect him. I guess they just didnít value the position. I guess thatís what it is."

It's not like Vickers is a one-hit wonder, either. As Cleveland's fullback in 2010, he led the way for Peyton Hillis to rush for a career-high 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns.

But Vickers hit the free-agent market and signed with Houston for the two-year deal.

After 2011 ended, Vickers was placed on the open market and sought a team that valued the fullback position. Enter the Cowboys, who have always employed a fullback on the roster. When DeMarco Murray emerged as a talented force at running back last season, he praised the work of then-fullback Tony Fiammetta.

There was a thought Fiammetta would return to the Cowboys, but that changed when Vickers became available.

"That's why I'm here, because they value the position," Vickers said.

With Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner and Murray as the running backs, Vickers said he has to adjust his game for them and not the other way around. Developing a chemistry with the running back is key to any successful running game when a fullback is involved. Vickers said he has to see the holes just like the running back does, or create one when there's a wall.

"It's just the same approach, even if I was going to be with the same guy," Vickers said. "You approach it the same way, every year. So it never changes, always approach each year the same way as if weíre just meeting each other and we've got to get on the right page. Chemistry is a must, even being with somebody two or three years, chemistry is still the same. You're going to have different linemen and you're going to be going against different defenses (with) different things going on."
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Old 06-07-2012   #2
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

Leach was twice the blocker and could actually catch a pass and they let him go. What's shocking about the release of a FULLBACK who didn't run, didn't catch, wasn't a contributor to special teams and oh yeah wasn't like the greatest FB of all time?

I'll tell you, it shocked me when they didn't cut him the play after he dropped that TD.

Arian Foster has yet to be awesome because of the guy in front of him. We learned that because of Vickers' play. He was no Leach but Foster continued on.
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Old 06-07-2012   #3
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

It shocks me that he doesn't understand "it's just a business," when they regurgitate that line all the time.
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Old 06-07-2012   #4
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

It's because he got ants in his pants.
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Old 06-07-2012   #5
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

I'm not surprised that they let him walk, but I am surprised that we lost a starting FB, 2nd string Tight End and we're counting on Casey to replace them both? I just figured we'd sign someone to fill the void of one of those guys leaving. Graham better be ready to step up this year, and if Casey gets hurt then we're screwed. The kid they're moving from defense isn't a viable option for giving us any PT this year.
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Old 06-07-2012   #6
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

ProFootballFocus 2011 ratings of FB for blocking:

1. Jed Collins
2. Vonta Leach

4. Lawrence Vickers


27. James Casey

...out of 29 total FBs who tooks at least 25% of their team's rush snaps. If you include all rush snaps, Vickers drops to ~12/55. Casey stays at the lows.
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Old 06-07-2012   #7
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

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Originally Posted by TimeKiller View Post
Leach was twice the blocker and could actually catch a pass and they let him go. What's shocking about the release of a FULLBACK who didn't run, didn't catch, wasn't a contributor to special teams and oh yeah wasn't like the greatest FB of all time?

I'll tell you, it shocked me when they didn't cut him the play after he dropped that TD.

Arian Foster has yet to be awesome because of the guy in front of him. We learned that because of Vickers' play. He was no Leach but Foster continued on.
Yeah, no joke. I was at that game. I told my wife right then that that would bite us in the ass. It did.
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Old 06-07-2012   #8
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

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Originally Posted by drs23 View Post
Yeah, no joke. I was at that game.
Wasn't just at that game, I thought for a split second that ball was being thrown to me. It was on a direct line to our seats.
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Old 06-07-2012   #9
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

Last year was all about getting over Leach and Vickers was just our rebound. I mean c'mon, the guy wasn't even good enough to play for Cleveland.
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Old 06-08-2012   #10
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Default Re: Lawrence Vickers shocked Texans let him go

Quote:
Originally Posted by drs23 View Post
Yeah, no joke. I was at that game. I told my wife right then that that would bite us in the ass. It did.
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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Wasn't just at that game, I thought for a split second that ball was being thrown to me. It was on a direct line to our seats.
Me too, except I was 2nd tier and on the other side of the field. I saw the play developing well before the defense caught on to the FB leak.

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