Jakob Johnson Claims Patriots Are Ditching Traditional Fullback Position

Johnson reveals new wrinkle in Patriots system for 2022


Mar 20, 2022

Jakob Johnson might have just provided the most insight we are going to have when it comes to the New England Patriots offense entering the 2022 season.

In what Johnson likely thought would be a throwaway remark, the fullback told the German media that he did not return to New England because the Patriots are not going to use a traditional fullback in 2022.

“The Patriots have informed me that they will no longer need my services next season simply because they will no longer have my position on the roster,” Johnson told the Newsdesk German Press Agency, as transcribed by RenĂ© Bugner on Twitter.

The fullback position has been an important part of the Patriots dynasty and was especially important last season with two power backs in Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson taking the majority of the carries.

It would be logical to assume that with the departure of guards Shaq Mason and Ted Karras, the fullback would be even more important to the power-run scheme in New England.

However, Johnson saying the Patriots are doing away with the fullback position does not mean there will not be lead blocking. In all likelihood, Johnson’s snaps will go to Jonnu Smith, who had success in the backfield with the Tennesee Titans.

It’s possible that 2020 third-round pick Dalton Keene could log snaps as an H-back, a role that he thrived in at Virginia Tech. It’s unclear how the Patriots will use lead blocking in 2022 but it seems as if the fullback position is no longer in New England, at least for now.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports
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