Imagine a world where the Detroit Lions could have their own version of Rob Gronkowski at a really cheap price. Now forget that and imagine a world where the Lions could have a fullback that’s capable of way more than fullbacking. That’s right, guys, I’m talking about Danny Vitale again.
I can already predict @POD_Payton will write the "Lions need to sign Danny Vitale" piece now that the Browns have waived the Superback from IR— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) October 13, 2018
You know me all too well, Jeff. Maybe it’s because I have been talking about Dan Vitale since I was at SideLion Report in 2016. There’s a reason I do this. I believe in the idea that Vitale is a stud that nobody has used correctly in his entire career.
When Dan played for Northwestern, he played a position called Super Back. This is a combination of running back, fullback, wide receiver and tight end. That’s right, Dan can play all of those positions well enough. Yet, for some odd reason, the NFL lacks imagination in this regard, and they just make him a fullback.
The Lions actually could use a player like Vitale right now. Before I just wanted him on the team because I like him. Now the Lions are stuck in a bind where their tight ends are essentially nonexistent. Vitale can come in and be a receiving threat at that position. He could also take a little stress off of Theo Riddick catching passes out of the backfield. He’d give Nick Bellore a rest, or could even give him a run for his money as the team’s starting fullback. Don’t tell me Vitale can’t be a playmaker at each of these positions.
Seriously! Why is no team using Dan like this? Look what this guy can do at his size.
Here’s the issue: Danny just got waived by the Browns with an injury settlement. Vitale injured his calf back in August during practice. He hit waivers with an injury tag before the regular season, but drew no interest. Getting waived is never a good sign, but at the end of the day, he’s still just 23 years old. If he can get healthy, he has plenty of time to get back on track in his career.
The other problem is that the fullback position is dying in the NFL, and teams insist on having Vitale play solely fullback, despite his ability to do other things. It’s hard to show what you can do in the receiving game when you’ve only been targeted 10 times in your entire career. It makes you wonder what the Buccaneers and Browns were watching when they saw his game film, because they seem to ignore everything outside of his blocking skills.
In the end, who knows whether the Lions will actually do it? They don’t need him, but he could be a nice luxury to have at a super cheap price and with little to no hassle at all. If it doesn’t work out, say goodbye with no problems at all. If the Lions don’t sign him, some team will, and it’s only a matter of time before Rams coach Sean Mcvay finds this guy and makes him the super back he should be. I imagine he’s the only one gutsy enough to do it. Then again, maybe Vitale needs a guy like Jon Gruden and his “burn it all to the ground!” attitude to be used correctly. Someone has to do it. Please be the Lions.