John Paul Foschi (That's FAH-she), signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in mid April, is the prototype of the off season signings of Herm and Chan Gailey.
Completely under the radar signing. Check.
New York Jet under Herm. Check.
Yellow Jacket under Chan Gailey. Check.
It makes a lot of sense that coaches prefer players they're at least remotely familiar with. I count three Tech guys who played under Chan Gailey and I think at least five connections to Herm's Jets.
Foschi was picked up by the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He bounced around on the practice squads of the Jets, Broncos and Vikings in '04, before playing in ten games and starting five for the Oakland Raiders in 2005.
Foschi blurs the line a bit between tight end, fullback and probably even a sub on the offensive line because of his size - 6'4", 270 pounds. Playing that many positions means you're on the field a lot, with Foschi playing virtually every snap during his senior season at Georgia Tech. He's played mainly at fullback while in the NFL but like his bio says, Foschi is expected to work at the tight end position.
The signing of Foschi is more evidence pointing towards the Chiefs looking to use multiple tight end formations this year, which has been reported elsewhere. 7th round draft pick Michael Merritt is 6'4", 263 pounds. Second year guy Michael Allan is quite big too, 6'6" and weighing 254 pounds. Brad Cottam is 6'7" and 269 pounds. So we have some massive players at the tight end position and none of them are particularly known for their receiving ability.
If you ask me, even without even seeing Foschi play a down, I'm betting he won't make the team. We already have Gailey favorite Mike Cox at the full time fullback position, and there's enough competition for the next Jason Dunn (Geez, how quickly did you forget that guy?) that you can't say really anything definitive at this point.
We wish him the best of luck of course. There needs to be a mini documentary done on these practice squad guys. It has to be an interesting life while it lasts. You could be signed by another team thousands of miles away literally in an instant. No warning. Just go.
Since we're talking about fullbacks and that sort of unstable free agent life, I might as well bring up my favorite of the two Chris Manderino Q&As, which was the first one.
Also, as a practice squad player, you know that you are available to become activated by any of the other teams in the league. It is mentally tough to be thinking about whether you will be activated the next week with either your own team or another one throughout the league. You have to try to keep from getting distracted because it is your job to perform your role in helping the team prepare to win. It is mentally tough to be watching on the sidelines on game day when you prepare all week long and do not get to play.
You could at least get one of those cheesy pre-game mini documentaries out of this idea. It helps that Chris was so descriptive and wrote well enough to let you really get into his head. A practice squad player has to have huge amounts of energy to constantly deal with moving, learning near offenses and the general toll that physical football takes on you. And it sounds like Chris adjusts well and has a good attitude about it.
Okay, back to JP Foschi. There's really not much out there about Foschi now that I'm winding this post down and realizing what I've written. He injured his knee against the Chiefs actually in September 2005 that didn't really keep him out long. He's a basketball player as well. Can't get enough of those.
The blocking tight end may be the ultimate symbol of a Herm Edwards offense. You know he loves these guys. Especially the ones that play fullback too. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the actual action of blocking is Herm's favorite part of the game of football.
That's it for this morning. I'll do my best to get another community projection up later today but I'm not making any promises. This would be a good time for the, ahem, editor at the bottom of this page to come up with a post to add to the pile.
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