Within the confines of Lambeau Field, Packers fans adore fullback-turned-folk hero John Kuhn. He’s big and strong, runs hard, and by all accounts, is the ultimate team player.
But despite the wishes of a large portion of the fan base, Kuhn may not be a guarantee to make the team this season.
Recently, ALLGBP writer Adam Czech mentioned Kuhn in his “What If” Roster Scenarios piece. Adam asked the question, “What if a RB/FB emerges as a really good pass blocker?”
The question is absolutely valid. The Packers went out and spent a second-round pick on Alabama bruiser Eddie Lacy in April’s NFL Draft, which should help cure their short-yardage woes and add a physical dimension to the running game. In recent years, Kuhn handled the majority of the workload in short-yardage situations, but with Lacy in the fold, that may no longer be the case.
Still, Kuhn is likely the team’s most reliable pass protector in the backfield. And unless another running back or fullback proves to be, as Adam puts it, a “really good pass blocker,” then Kuhn may be looking for work.
Here’s what Adam says about Kuhn: “Due to make $1.6 million this season — (Kuhn) might be out of a job. Besides being the only reliable blocking back, what else does Kuhn bring to the team besides a recognizable fan chant whenever he touches the ball? He’s not a reliable option for picking up short-yardage first downs. He’s not a run blocker. He’s got decent hands, but it’s not like his receiving would be sorely missed. I know he’s tight with the quarterback, and cutting a reliable pass-blocking back in this offense would be risky, even if another back emerges as a blocker in preseason. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kuhn gone if Mike McCarthy is confident in having someone else out there on third downs to protect Aaron Rodgers.”
Adam is absolutely right. Kuhn brings a couple things to the table: he’s a good pass blocker and an above-average receiver. But on the other hand, he’s far from a guarantee to pick up a third or fourth-and-short and he’s by no means a dominant run blocker. Given the downward spiral of the fullback position in the NFL, Kuhn’s spot on the roster will likely come down to what everyone else does, as Adam suggests.