Until this season, the last player to both register a sack and score an offensive touchdown in the same game was the iconic William “The Refrigerator” Perry of the Chicago Bears back in 1985. Not only did Perry spend time stuffing the run but he also learned to open big holes on offense. In 2010, a couple of teams have revived the idea of giving the biggest guy on the team the ball.
They call him “the Fat Man” in the locker room. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Shaun Smith (#90) has also been been called out for his alleged extracurricular activities while trying to recover a fumble for his team. In week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks, he sacked Matt Hasselbeck and later scored on a 1-yard run. For some ‘old school’ fans, it was a thing of beauty watching a 330+ pounder push an NFL defense backwards. After watching the play, my friend told me he wanted to purchase a #90 jersey asap. Being a fat guy, he could fully appreciate Smith’s run.
More recently, B.J. Raji of the Green Bay Packers has conjured memories of “The Refrigerator”. According to ESPN:
…the 6-foot-2, 337-pound nose tackle’s appearance in the Packers’ offensive backfield in last Saturday night’s NFC Divisional Playoff victory at Atlanta stirred plenty of memories of Perry for many Packers fans, especially with Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Bears at Soldier Field just days away.For while Perry’s crowning moment on offense for those ’85 Bears was his 1-yard touchdown plunge in Super Bowl XX, the legend began on a Monday night at Soldier Field against the Packers. Playing before a national TV audience on “Monday Night Football,” the rookie defensive tackle steamrolled Cumby well into the end zone on a pair of short Walter Payton touchdown runs. In between, he scored on a 1-yard plunge, making him the largest player in NFL history to score a touchdown off a designed play.
So would Packers coach Mike McCarthy go so far as giving Raji the ball Sunday?
“No, not that far,” the coach replied with a chuckle. “I mean, that would be nice to do against Chicago to have some historical relevance, I’m sure.”
So, as football players – even 300+ lb nose tackles – get faster and more athletic, is it possible that the NFL will see a new trend on offense? It makes sense in many ways. If you’re a huge man with decent hands who can hit a hole – and anyone who tries to fill that hole – you might just find a place on offense when your team needs 3 feet.
If nose tackles were this big back in the 1930s and ’40’s, you better bet “up-the-gut” would have been the only play most coaches would run. No pun intended.
[Source: Mouthpiece Sports]