Monday, December 21, 2020

PFJ All-Backup/Role Player Team

 By John Turney
NFL Teams are more than the 22 starters and the kickers and so on. In this age of specialization, which has been around since the 1970s there are the wave rushers, the nickel and dime backs, the cover linebackers and rush backers, the receiving backs, and the backups—the guys that step in for a hurt lineman or quarterback. 

Let's honor them a bit. 

Here are our picks—
Alex Smith, the lock for Comeback Player of the Year got Washington into contention for the NFC East title. Taysom Hill held the Saints steady why Drew Brees was out. He also was a contributor before that as well. 

Cam Akers has now secured (perhaps) a starting role and recently ran for 177 yards, but has been part of a three-headed running attack. Chase Edmunds has been a fine role player as has Dobbins. Kareen Hunt has spelled Nick Chubb and is a good runner and excellent receiver.

The linemen have all stepped in and played well as the "next man up". Some of them, Justin Murray for instance, has played at a Pro Bowl level when he's been filling in but has played too few games to get that recognition. 

Ryan Kerrigan is the old pro designated pass rusher. Franklin-Myers has a lot of quarterback hits for the number of snaps he's on the field, Morgan Fox is a wave lineman who plays inside and some end when Rams go to their 6-1 look and he gets good pressure and holds up versus the run. 

The 'backers a mix of guys who have stepped in or are role players in different packages. The DBs are nickel and dime backs who flash on film and make plays. Some get more playing time than others, but we sure hear their names called a lot. 

That's it. We had a long list of honorable mentions, so your team's guy was considered, but these are the names we went with. 

Agree or disagree, let us know in the comments section. 


  1. With Humphries and Raymond out, Firkser and Jonnu need to step up for the Titans playoff game, hopes. Davis has turned his career around at WR but Brown is hurting.

    Claypool for the Steelers may have hit the wall, unless he can step up again for a struggling Big Ben.