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Vonta Leach draws high praise from current, former teammates

Vonta+Leach+TfKRe9Isds9m Getty Images

Plenty of folks complained about the presence of fullback Vonta Leach at No. 45 on NFL Network’s Top 100 list.  But there’s an argument to be made that Leach should have been even higher.

At Leach’s football camp in Robeson County, North Carolina, a current teammate and a former one sang Leach’s praises, loudly.

Ravens tackle Michael Oher shared with the Fayetteville Observer a story from last season’s Thanksgiving night game between the Ravens and 49ers.

Patrick Willis, my college teammate, is a monster and a real beast at linebacker for the 49ers,” Oher said.  “He’s usually the one running over people. But Vonta ran up to that man and just leveled him.  After we watched the film the next day, I had to give Patrick a call.  I think Patrick and I both agreed that Vonta is definitely the best fullback in the league, without a doubt.”

Oher thinks Leach should be getting broader acclaim.  “The way he runs over people is unbelievable,” Oher said.  “He’s just like another offensive lineman in there, only a little faster.  I know he made All-Pro, but he really doesn’t get the credit he deserves.”

Texans running back Arian Foster agreed.

“The fullback is the unsung hero,” Foster said.  “He gets people out of the way and does all the dirty work. . . .  Vonta was my fullback for two years. He’s the best in the game, and I missed him.  It was hard to see him go, but you can see he’s just doing the same great job for Ray [Rice] and the Ravens now that he did for the Texans.”

Although Leach humbly said that Foster and Rice have helped make Leach look good, he was candid about the importance of a good fullback to a winning team.  “Most people don’t pay attention to what the fullback does,” Leach said.  “But if you look at the teams that are always playing in November, December and January, they all have good fullbacks.  And when you make blocks like that one [against Willis], you make people start paying attention to you.”

If Patrick Willis is paying attention to Leach, then everyone should.

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11 Responses to “Vonta Leach draws high praise from current, former teammates”
  1. cheapseater says: Jul 2, 2012 6:50 AM

    In no way is Vonta Leach underappreciated. Everyone knows who he is. He deserves it. If you want to to see an underappreciated fullback, look no further than Jacksonville’s Greg Jones. Go look at some tape. He should be a perennial All-Pro. MJD will tell you as much… He’s holding a rushing title due in part to Jones.

  2. humbleminded85 says: Jul 2, 2012 6:55 AM

    When it comes to being an old school fullback, Vontae is the last of a dying breed. The best part about him is he so unselfish. All he ever talks about in interviews is getting Ray Rice more yards and TD’s.

  3. truthhurtstoo says: Jul 2, 2012 7:29 AM

    paties don’t have a good fullback…. or a running game. What gives?

  4. raqaiw says: Jul 2, 2012 7:41 AM

    hank you Rick Smith for not resigning or Pollard.

  5. 1historian says: Jul 2, 2012 7:53 AM

    I know this makes me old-school, and I am PROUD of being old-school, but the best runner EVER, Jim Brown was called a fullback in his day, and it was another fullback, – Alan Ameche – who scored the winiing TD in ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’.

  6. steeelfann says: Jul 2, 2012 8:21 AM

    Thanks Oher. Brings back memories of Dan Krieder pancaking Ray Lewis time and again.

  7. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jul 2, 2012 10:37 AM

    If he’s so damn great, why did the Texans get rid of him?

  8. Neftali Ramos says: Jul 2, 2012 11:50 AM

    Texans also got rid or Mario Williams, Eric Winston and DeMeco Ryan’s, so its not them not resigning Leach was a knock on the way he plays.

  9. nicopenelope says: Jul 2, 2012 12:42 PM

    I’m a Packers fan and remember thinking it was a big mistake in letting him go. I think they wanted someone who would catch more passes….ugh.

  10. ppdoc13 says: Jul 2, 2012 1:04 PM

    The texans purged a bunch of very good players for cap purposes. Bernard was the fans punching bag in texas. But in bmore we utilize him taking advantage of his talent and minimize his weakness which is pass coverage. I think if you gave their gm truth serum he would say allowing leach to go was a mistake although his replacement, kip vickers, isn’t bad at all

  11. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jul 3, 2012 9:23 PM

    Vonta Leach is a monster — much respect to VL, and this from a Raven-“hating” Steeler nut. Leach brings it – big-time baller. Absolutely love his game.

    The Ravens also picked up Bernard Pollard — another player who has a short fuse and plays nasty, physical football.

    Anquan Boldin: nasty wideout. Aging and slowed, but huge heart and will.

    Anyone notice a pattern here? Be it the draft or free agency, the Ravens continue to load up players with a hardcore mentality. Tough guys.

    Not a Raven fan in terms of they’re often a pain in Steeler Nation’s backside – but I respect their game and what they’re about. They’re the only team who brings it like the Steelers. Unquestionably, the best rivalry in professional sports.

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