Former Patriots fullback Patrick Pass spoke with media at the Central Maine Youth Football Clinic this past weekend.
His words about his role on New England's 2000-2006 rosters were interesting -- in consideration of the current team.
"It's more of a dinosaur position now," he said of fullback. "You go back in the day, we were watching guys like Tom Rathman (who played fullback for the 49ers) and (former Charger) Lorenzo Neal. Those were bruisers then. Now you've got these hybrid tight end-fullbacks. Guys that are a lot bigger than a normal fullback, but can still run and catch the ball out of the backfield."
See the intrigue? The Patriots currently have three dinosaurs in their employ: Spencer Larsen, Tony Fiammetta, and Eric Kettani.
Though Bill Belichick said during mini-camp there's a chance the team could carry a traditional fullback, he added that the trio will probably engage in "crossover" competition (in relation to linebackers, tight ends, running backs, the kicking game) during training camp.
Larsen -- famed for starting an NFL game both at linebacker and fullback -- is certainly versatile. Fiammetta helped open up Dallas' running game last season (when healthy) as lead blocker. And Kettani? Belichick calls the Naval Academy graduate an "unknown quantity."
But for all three, that old Patriots mantra of, "The more you can do," is key. Just like when Pass was playing.
"I didn't really have a defined position," he said. "I did it all, receiver, running back, fullback, whatever I needed to do on the field, that's what I was going for."