Versatility and Sherman’s fullback future

Posted by Darren Urban on March 26, 2013 – 4:30 pm

My question was about philosophy on tight ends, but the first response was about fullbacks, and that made everyone take notice.

“I’m not a fullback guy. I never have been,” Bruce Arians said, and anyone who knew the Cardinals immediately thought of Anthony Sherman. Sherman was the Cards’ fullback the past two years, a piece in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense as a blocker, really, and also a key guy on special teams. Sherman was good enough on teams to be named a captain, and that alone might provide hope for Sherman going forward, even after Arians’ blunt analysis.

This doesn’t have anything to do with Anthony Sherman, really, but how Arians likes to use his tight ends — as potential decoys.

“I want tight ends who are multiple,” Arians said. “If you are a defensive coordinator and I send a fullback in and take out a tight end, I will get your best call for that. If I have two tight ends (in the game), and you don’t know if one will play fullback or one could split out wide, you’re going to give me a down-and-distance (defensive) call. You don’t have a specific call. The more flexible tight ends can be, threats at receiver or dual in-line backfield blockers, the more pressure you put on the defense.”

Arians went on to say Rob Housler was a player who, when Arians was with the Steelers, Arians thought about drafting and making a big wide receiver. Arians sees him as a mismatch for defenses, while Jeff King and Jim Dray (assuming a tight end isn’t drafted) will do the “dirty work.”

Where does that leave Sherman? He played 236 offensive snaps a year ago in 13 games. That would probably dry up. He also played 156 snaps on special teams, and that’s a role he can excel within. Sherman had no rushing attempts all season and only five catches. As Sando noted, Arians did work with a fullback last year, but that guy was considered more of a big running back in Arians’ eyes. Whether Sherman can be the same for the Cardinals — and Arians — is yet to be seen.


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28 Responses to “Versatility and Sherman’s fullback future”

  1. By Rich on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    Uh Oh……..see ya Sherm !!!!!!!!!

  2. By beardinals on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    Sherman seems like a guy who works hard. I hope they can find a spot for him in the system.

  3. By andystandsup on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    Housler would have to improve on his blocking then.
    Would be a reprieve for Dray, IMO, cuz I was thinking he was gone if Whisenhunt had stayed.

  4. By Credit Card on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    I love lunch pale tough guys on a team. They give the team a type of internal toughness. Always can relied upon, play through injury, sickness, and bail-out their sissy counterparts. If you ever have a chance to look at sherman during a play — and not follow the ball, this guy is a hitting machine.

  5. By mycolt45 on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t know if I trust Arians.

    He still hasn’t addressed the front line, which is the real problem. And when do we get a real quarterback?

    And how come the Cardinals get some good players, then they release them for cheaper players who aren’t as good? Don’t the Bidwills want to win?

    I sense another horrible year coming.

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    No team ran the ball worse than the AZ Cards did in 2012. We averaged 75 yrds a game and 3.4 yards a carry.

    There were many, many factors to this pitiful stat. Injured running backs, we couldn’t throw the ball so teams stacked the line, weak offensive line play, being down all the time and forced to throw, even Sherman didn’t get the job done.

    So, Arians changing it up to a two TE offense and Sherman moving on or using Sherman less, is OK by me. I absolutely love what the Patriots do with the two TE system. With Gronk and Gonzo being mismatches, teams use different personnel and the pats are able to run over teams.

    I have said many times I love Housler and think he can be such a mismatch against any LB. If we could add Tyler Eifert, it would add something that defenses would struggle to match up against. When teams change personnel to match up to cover these guys, it will help the run game. Not to mention many one on one situations for Fitz.

    If ever a year you wish you had a few 1st round picks, this is it.

  7. By ored on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    one would think he would be a plus in the locker room and on spec.teams,don’t know why he could’nt be used on short yardage situations,never really was a fan of sending undersized backs up the middle for tough yardage.

  8. By mark on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    Sherman is a workhorse. I am not sure if that will last with BA though. It sounds like he is really committed to a 2 tight end system. It also makes me curious if he is looking a potential tight ends in the draft as well. I know Housler is a beast when he has the ball in his hands. I still remember him bulldozing though guys last year and getting alot of yards after the catch. He is a special talent we should utilize to the fullest. With that being said I still think he needs to work on his blocking and consistency at catching. Jeff King has been an awesome addition since we have had him. I feel like he has been underrated and really stepped up when he came into the game. I think his age is a huge question mark though. I would love to get another young talent similar to Housler to put together in a package. Imagine how deadly an offense could be with two versatile tight ends!

  9. By vegas4u2012. on Mar 26, 2013 | Reply

    Sherman,remines me of a chevy w/a 350 engine..durable,w/a very good attitude.Arians said he wants guys with motors…once he sees him in action,he will find a place for him on the roster!Also,would love to see..Housler used more in a flanker position.He appears to be to quick for most LB’S,& big for most DB’S to cover.With Fitz.,Roberts,& Lloyd…your talking about some serious targets…GO BIG RED!!!

  10. By Eazy E on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    I like a h-back or tight end also, but fullbacks still have a role in the NFL. Sherman is a pretty good athletic fullback. Power formations or Jumbo packages are where fullbacks make their money usually. How about a Michael Robinson or Marcel Reece? He wouldn’t take those guys out because they are really good versatile FBs. They have a place.

  11. By Ezz on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    Hearing anybody from our new Cardinals talk literally disgusts me.

  12. By Corgon on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    The Sherminator has good hands 🙂
    We’ll draft a TE. It’s a bit more than 99.9%.

  13. By D on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    Players that should have Uhaul on their cell phone speed dial


    maybe Schofield depending on the draft

  14. By donttakelosses on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    Love BA: He has thought it all out, has a plan and will execute it in framing the roster. An artist at work. Cool to watch. No view on Sherman’s future, liked his past here. Liked him on Special Teams. Can he play LB? 😉

  15. By Annette F Richters on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    Anthony Sherman………….John Riggins……….Am I the only one that sees the similarities????
    Our Sherminator can get us three yards anytime we need it. I don’t know why Whiz kept using Beanie for that when Sherman was always three to four yards into the secondary from where they were tackling Beanie.

    Please…………..Please let BA see the potential. Besides, Sherman has great hands too. Talk about confusing the defense when Sherman drops the block and ends up 5 yards downfield between LBs and the line. 🙂
    Hope Bruce reads these.

  16. By joe 67 on Mar 27, 2013 | Reply

    As I said in a earler post, sure Hope BA finds a place for him. He can run, block and catch. Don’t find’em everyday. Come on Coach, you want flexible players, be a little flexible as a coach. Use the weapons you have. We just had a coach that wouldn’t bend or change his thinking.

  17. By monzz on Mar 28, 2013 | Reply

    Time to move on with this, Sherman was Whiz N Punts blocker? You people are either blind or can’t see, the cardinals sucked last year no blocking no running no passing TIME for a change let BA run the team and respect his changes we have a chance to be proud of our team!!

  18. By cardsalltheway on Mar 28, 2013 | Reply

    “We’ll draft a TE. It’s a bit more than 99.9%.”

    Yeah, in the 1st round…
    1. Luke Joeckel
    2. Dion Jordon
    3. Sharrif Floyd
    4. Geno Smith
    5. Eric Fisher
    6. Dee Milliner
    7. Tyler Eifert(TE) Notre Dame

    I got the message!

  19. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 28, 2013 | Reply


    Anthony Sherman………….John Riggins……….Am I the only one that sees the similarities????

    If we’re playing the race card, and seeing two big white power backs then yes, there is a similarity there. Otherwise, no, I don’t see it. Different positions and skill sets. Having said that, I want to make it clear that I like Sherman but Riggins he’s not.

  20. By Annette F Richters on Mar 29, 2013 | Reply

    Mike Ellingbe, I hope you will take this as it is meant concerning “playing the race card”. That has no part in my life, and that statement has no place on this site.

    Besides your racial bent, there are several who believe that the Shermanator can get three yards between the tackles with the line that BA is going to play. I expect it is you that is a bigot for it surely isn’t me or any of my friends.

  21. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 30, 2013 | Reply


    The race card comment stemmed from the comparison to Riggins. It gets me that we always compare white to white, black to black, etc., when comparing players. Sherman and Riggins don’t even play the same position, so what other reason is there to compare them, other than the obvious physical similarities? Not calling anyone a bigot, just pointing out there’s no other reason to link an underused fullback to a HOF running back.

  22. By Annette F Richters on Mar 30, 2013 | Reply

    Well Mr. Ellingboe, You evidently aren’t old enough to have seen Riggins play. I have. I have also seen Sherman play. They are cut from the same cloth Mr. Ellingboe, and since you don’t know it, you shouldn’t comment on it. JMHO>

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