By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
12:18 PM EST, February 12, 2013
The job description for Ravens Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach requires him to use his body like a battering ram to open up holes for Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice.
Leach is regarded as the most punishing lead blocker in the game, delivering big shots to linebackers and, once last season, upending unsuspecting Steelers nose guard Casey Hampton.
Leach did accumulate some injuries during the season, though, including a lingering sprained right ankle and a sprained right knee that hampered him some during the Ravens' stretch run before winning the Super Bowl.
However, he's not expected to undergo any offseason surgeries to repair the damage, as rest and rehabilitation are the pieces of medical advice he's been given.
"He is fine," Leach's agent, Ralph Vitolo, wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun. "No medical issues."
Many teams have gotten away from using a traditional fullback because of the increase in passing.
"It makes me feel good," Leach said. "Teams that want to be physical and want to run the ball, they have a fullback. People try to get away from it, but I think, over time, I think we will get back to it."
Leach is entering the final year of a three-year, $11 million contract and is due a $3 million base salary. His salary-cap figure for 2013 is $4.333 million.
Although they're facing a tight salary-cap situation, the Ravens would ideally like to keep Leach in the fold.
"I think it’s one of the most under-recognized positions in the game because of all the physical abuse he does to his body to see another man shine," Rice said of Leach. "The fullback position is not a pretty job.
"One thing about it is Vonta wants that responsibility to go out there and just knock people out for me and Bernard [Pierce] to go out there and be successful. He’s done it for many backs over the years. Look at what he’s done for Arian Foster. They often vouch for him. Linebackers around the league know he’s coming for them."