KANSAS CITY MO - JANUARY 09: Fullback Le'Ron McClain #33 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts to the crowd prior to playing the Kansas City Chiefs in their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9 2011 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Chiefs will have to make the decision on whether or not adding a top-tier fullback would help improve the teams' already dominant run game for 2011.
The Kansas City Chiefs led the NFL in rushing in 2010 and that came on the strength of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Sure, you can't have that level of success and not have a extremely productive offensive line, but Charles was nothing short of fantastic in 2010.
The Chiefs had Mike Cox and Tim Castille as fullbacks in 2010 and for the most part neither of them really separated themselves as a top-tier fullback in this league. So when you have guys like Vonta Leach and LeRon McClain on the open market like they have right now. It's only natural that you look to improve on the teams bread and butter, and for the Kansas City Chiefs that is pounding the rock.
Leach and McClain could both bring something different to this team and more than likely upgrade the fullback position. Anytime you improve a position on the football team, you in fact, improve the team. But is there a dire need of a new, expensive fullback?
The Chiefs just drafted Shane Bannon out of Yale as a fullback/special teams player and one must not make the mistake of overstating a rookies role before he ever steps foot on the field. But with Cox, Bannon, Jones, Charles and a Haley-stated fact of Dexter McCluster getting more time in the backfield next year, then adding a new guy to the rotation might not be the best fit.
There are a lot of positives that could come out of the Chiefs adding a top-rated fullback to a team that averaged 164/yards per game last season. But the old cliche runs true in this case that if it's not broken, then don't fix it. The Chiefs took the necessary step of adding Rodney Hudson in this past draft as a developing center that should take over for Casey Wiegmann, who just re-signed on a one-year deal, as soon as Wiegmann hangs it up and calls it a career. The rest of the offensive line remains intact for 2011.
The addition of Jon Baldwin should also help loosen up defenses that should in turn, help the rushing offense by creating space. All of these factors add up to the fact that despite the talent of both McClain and Leach, there just doesn't seem to be the perfect fit for these guys to be able to step in and make a difference from day one. It's not like these guys are coming in as rookies and trying to find their way. These are established veterans that are looking to define their careers and prove they are worth the contract that both of them will most likely sign for and enjoy in the next week.
I doubt many Chiefs fans would be upset if either of these players were signed for 2011. But it just doesn't make sense for the Chiefs to pay these guys the contracts they'll demand so they can only help them try and maintain their already-established standing as the best rushing team in the NFL.