St. Louis Rams depth chart battles: Fullback

Another preseason game gives the St. Louis Rams to get a better feel for some competitive spots on the depth chart. With a few notable exceptions, the starting lineup looks to be mostly written in ink at this point, barring injuries or a surprise performance. Superstars aside, depth plays a big role in whether or teams win or lose in the NFL. The Rams have a few interesting subplots brewing on the roster among players who will become a key part of the team's depth chart.

Yesterday, I looked at the bottom of the cornerback depth chart. Today's question is more about a particular position, the fullback.

And a quick reminder, Turf Show Radio is today at 5 p.m. Central. Besides the liquor store, it's only pregame stop you need to make. Don't forget to express your love for TST by voting for us in the Best St. Louis Sports Blog contest. If I don't win, my wife won't let me run TST anymore...without making me move into the basement anyway. 

Obviously, the days of the single-purpose fullback disappeared, going extinct, not coincidentally, about the same time as the lone back rushing attack. The hybrid fullback, however, is alive and well. 

Britt Miller saw a number of snaps against the Colts last week with the first team. His most notable play came on sneaky fourth-down conversion, keeping the Rams scoring drive alive. At 6'1" 250 lbs, Miller has prototypical fullback size. A converted linebacker, he doesn't have a long resume catching passes, something you would assume figures into his workload in Josh McDaniels' offense. 

Obviously, the Rams have their top three running back positions figured out, with Cadillac Williams backing up Steven Jackson and Jerious Norwood working situationally. Last year, the Rams kept four running backs, three tailbacks and fullback Mike Karney to start the season. Karney's playing time decreased as the Rams passed more and opted to use fewer and fewer two-back sets. Miller worked his way into the lineup, after being signed from the practice squad, as a special teams contributor, and he's a pretty good teams guy, as you might expect from a former linebacker transformed into a fullback. 

Miller's special teams ability might be the deciding factor. More likely than not, the Rams will keep a fourth running back. Miller's main competition would seem to be Keith Toston, who played very well against the hapless Colts last week. McDaniels kept four backs on his rosters in Denver, but never a true fullback type. In 2009, he had Peyton Hillis, but dealt him away the next year, and that was the closest he had to a fullback. 

It stands out to me that Miller took as many snaps as he did with the first team last week; however, the offense resembled last year's more than the new version. They also ran a significant amount of play action passes, which often featured two backs. 

Keep an eye on how much Miller plays tonight, when the Rams are expected to be using more of McDaniels' playbook. Keith Toston's role also merits attention to see if he can pick up where he left off last week. 

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker