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What exactly is a third-down back?

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What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby kaiser » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:56 am

From RotoWorld:

""He's one of the great third-down backs in football," said (TB Coach Jon) Gruden of (Michael) Pittman."

That got me to thinking- just what the heck is a third down back? I mean, I guess it means that he is a guy who can power forward for one or two yards consistantly when needed for the first down, but come on, shouldn't any RB in the league be able to do that?
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby cooleyhigh » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:57 am

It's a 3rd and long specialist. Someone who can pick up blitzes and catch the ball well.
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby mattUTD20 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:58 am

It's more about pass catching and blocking than short yardage situations.
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby moonhead » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:02 pm

word.

dude picks up the blitz. can flare out and catch a nice pass in the flat in open space and pick up the first down.

/broken record
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby mikus » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:02 pm

Michael Pittman is a good third-down back.

But I think Kevin Faulk is THE best third-down back in the NFL.
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby moonhead » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:05 pm

mikus wrote:Michael Pittman is a good third-down back.

But I think Kevin Faulk is THE best third-down back in the NFL.

the team he plays for doesn't hurt that perception.

but i'm with you. he's about as good as it gets in that capacity. ;-D
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby kaiser » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:44 pm

Okay, that makes sense to me. Thanks.
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby LS2throwed » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:52 pm

mikus wrote:Michael Pittman is a good third-down back.

But I think Kevin Faulk is THE best third-down back in the NFL.



id throw a few up there with him as well, but he has earned everything he has done thus far...


but to further answer the question...3rd down backs must be able to pick up blitzes properly, catch passes out of the backfield well, alot of times are the quicker scat backs, more so then the starting backs, and also know how to grind inside to get short yardage...


3rd down backs might vary in size, but typically they are the most well rounded of backs, complete in every sense
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby JasonSeahorn » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:17 pm

tiki barber was supposed to only be good for a 3rd down back role when he entered the nfl.

extrapolate and kevin faulk is the best rb in the league.
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Re: What exactly is a third-down back?

Postby skibrett15 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:57 pm

LS2throwed wrote:
mikus wrote:Michael Pittman is a good third-down back.

But I think Kevin Faulk is THE best third-down back in the NFL.



id throw a few up there with him as well, but he has earned everything he has done thus far...


but to further answer the question...3rd down backs must be able to pick up blitzes properly, catch passes out of the backfield well, alot of times are the quicker scat backs, more so then the starting backs, and also know how to grind inside to get short yardage...


3rd down backs might vary in size, but typically they are the most well rounded of backs, complete in every sense

Complete in every sense except that they are relagated to 3rd down duty. So Complete in the sense that they aren't worth it on first and second down because they can't take the beating. Well rounded I would also disagree with. They are often not powerful at all.

3rd down back is a misnomer since it basically means the 2 min drill back, passing situation back, and hence 3rd down and long back. 3rd and 1 is not a time for the 3rd down back. It's a time for jerome bettis, the antithesis of a 3rd down back.

Anyways, brian westbrook is the best 3rd down back in the NFL. It just so happens he plays 1st and 2nd down also.
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