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Will Patriots fill the fullback void?

ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli looks closer at the fullback position in his most recent piece, and notes that it is making a comeback of sorts.

Pasquarelli's piece provides a window to look closer at how the Patriots approached the fullback spot in '09.

When Heath Evans signed a free-agent deal with the Saints last offseason, the Patriots' outlook at the position changed. They didn't fill the void with a traditional fullback.

That hasn't changed this offseason, as the Patriots are currently one of 11 teams, according to Pasquarelli's research, not to carry a player with the "FB" designation next to his name on the roster.

Early in the 2009 season, running back Sammy Morris lined up there, taking him back to his early days with the Bills and Dolphins. Later in the year, such as the season finale at Houston, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a lead-blocker (see Fred Taylor's goal-line TD run). And in 35 snaps over the course of the year, the team had center/guard Dan Connolly as a lead-blocking fullback in more of a short-yardage power package.

If the Patriots once again keep five running backs on their 53-man roster -- Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk, Morris and Green-Ellis -- the approach figures to be similar in 2010.