James Casey will get the first crack at taking Vonta Leach’s place as the fullback in the Texans' offense. He’s not the same type of guy, but the team has confidence he can handle the job and that it can shift some to better suit his talents.
He told Houston media Monday that he’s ready for it.
“I’m extremely confident,” he said. “I played two years in the NFL. I’m not some soft, weak guy. You got to be a tough guy to play in the League, especially playing line-of-scrimmage and tight end and special teams stuff. Fullback is a little different because you have a running head start and sometimes you’re one-on-one with the linebacker. I feel fine doing it. I’ve done it before.
“I feel comfortable doing it and I just got to go out there and prove that I can do it. It’s one of those things that you can’t just talk about it until you go out there and do it. Hopefully, I just let my actions answer my critics. I know there’s a lot of people that say ‘Can he do it? Can he not do it?’ I plan on being able to do it and hopefully I can go out there and show people I can do it.”
Gary Kubiak said there will be no mental challenge for Casey as he transitions, it will be purely a physical challenge.
Eight to 10 times a game, Casey will be asked to make a “straight-on-iso,” an isolation block, often times on the backside when he might have to cut down a linebacker.
“I just go out there and whatever play they call, I’ll do whatever they say,” Casey said. “If it’s motion out wide or if it’s staying in at fullback and going iso-block, I’m happy to do whatever and I feel capable to do anything.”
What will the toughest transition be?
“Just getting used to angles and read the line of scrimmage is the toughest part,” he said. “You got all those big bodies in front of you and you have to try to maneuver your way through them to get to the linebackers.
“You got a guy that you’re responsible for, but sometimes the line gets in your way or sometimes maybe somebody gets beat and you got to pick up their guy. So just getting used to reading the offensive line and getting through the line of scrimmage.”
Hearing him talk about it gives me more confidence in him. But I’m still a skeptic that needs to see it.