|Ahmard Hall or LoNeal for our all-time team?
Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans
I thought one of Floyd Reese's biggest mistakes was failing to keep LoNeal in two-tone blue. Neal's career spanned 16 years with six teams and he gained the most recognition after leaving Tennessee, with four Pro Bowl and two first-team All-Pro selections.
As a Titan, Neal had only three carries for a total of negative one yard, but he managed to score a touchdown on one of those carries. Neal also caught 16 passes for the Titans and the longest reception was only 8 yards, but he was able to find the end zone on four of those catches.
Of course, his biggest contribution, including his part in The Music City Miracle, was as Eddie George's lead blocker. Two of Eddie's four Pro Bowl years, and his only All-Pro season, came with LoNeal in front of him.
Eddie was never quite the same after his All-Pro season in 2000 and there are three arguably good reasons for that.
1) Eddie rushed 403 times that year (see the Curse of 370),
2) Eddie came down with turf toe, and
3) Eddie lost LoNeal, his best lead blocker.
Hall has received more touches per year than Neal did, and gained more yards per touch. Hall has definitely been a better receiver than Neal was, though he has only scored twice, both times in 2008. I've been a little critical about Hall's ball security issues in the past, but he didn't lose a fumble last year. Part of that may have been because he had only 16 touches.
Hall, who led as many as 120 troops in combat, has been taking on more of a leadership role with the Titans. One thing you can say about Big Sarge is that he's provided stability at a position that once had five fullbacks in as many years - Neal, Mike Green, Greg Comella, Robert Holcombe and Troy Fleming from 2000-2004.
I recently wrote that there would be free agent fullbacks who were better than Hall, if the Titans wanted to upgrade the position. However, I suspect the Titans will instead proffer a new contract to Hall, who should also be an unrestricted free agent, after a new CBA is reached.
Just my opinion, but I think Neal was the better blocker and better player, but Hall made more contributions to the Titans, primarily due to longevity. What do you think about them? Which one gets your vote for fullback on our All-Time Titans team?
I say Neal - just due to his impact on the offense. Do any advanced stats show how often Hall was on the field for CJ's 2k season? I'll switch to Hall if his leadership becomes more obvious - news reports, etc.
Pro Football Focus had that data, and probably still does. I used to occasionally reference PFF when it was a free site but have not since it became a pay site. If anyone has a paid subscription to PFF and could answer this question, we would appreciate it. I'm a little hesitant about some of their stats since it's often hard to tell who's on the field on a given play but the data for fullback should be relatively accurate.
I'm not sure what other sites might have stats showing how often Hall was on the field that year.