We briefly wondered if the Cincinnati Bengals would go without a true fullback this year, mostly sparked by Football Outsiders analysis that suggested Cincinnati's rushing offense was better in single-back formation than in two-back formation. And if they needed a fullback on a play, they could always use Brian Leonard, linebacker Dan Skuta or defensive lineman Domata Peko (dear God, please Peko). Yet it makes too much sense that Cincinnati keeps at least one fullback, due to the Bengals re-re-dedication to the rushing offense, along with a West Coast offense that tends to require support from a good fullback.
That being the case, Cincinnati does have a roster battle taking place at fullback. Actually it's a roster battle by name only.
With Vakapuna out with a muscle injury since the first practice, Pressley is running away with it. He's been fearlessly banging people on the goal line and he's showing good hands, which Gruden has to like since he throws it to everybody.
Pressley gained fame among Bengals fans as being a little ball of exploding awesome during HBO's Hard Knocks in 2009. Pressley was eventually signed to the team's practice squad after the Bengals, who favor veterans over rookies, kept Jeremi Johnson heading into the 2009 regular season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Pressley to their 53-man roster in late October, allowing him to make his first NFL start on November 22.
Pressley returned to the Bengals after Tampa Bay waived him on in early November during the 2010 season, starting the final four games with the Bengals, contributing to an offense that didn't allow a quarterback sack in the final three games. Cincinnati also posted 380 yards rushing in those final three games he started -- the best three-game rushing performance by the Bengals in 2010.