Tony Fiammetta ready to go full blast for Bears
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 6, 2013 9:42PM
Chicago Bears' Tony Fiammetta (43), front, misses a drops a pass against Jonathan Bostic during NFL football team's mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: August 6, 2013 11:38PM
BOURBONNAIS — Coach Marc Trestman’s offense will feature numerous formations that spread out defenses and put running back Matt Forte all over the field.
But there’s still a place for the prototypical fullback, the hit-a-linebacker-in-the-mouth variety.
When fullback/H-back Evan Rodriguez ran into his legal troubles this offseason and was cut in June, the Bears quickly moved to sign Tony Fiammetta. The four-year veteran is more of a prototypical fullback than Rodriguez, who was a tight end in college.
Fiammetta played for running backs coach Skip Peete and special-teams coordinator/assistant head coach Joe DeCamillis with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. Those relationships helped lead to his arrival. He liked what he heard about the Bears’ offense. In 2002, when Trestman was the Oakland Raiders’ offensive coordinator, fullbacks Zack Crockett and Jon Ritchie were included in his plans.
“I had some people that helped me see what the system was about,” Fiammetta said, referring to Peete and DeCamillis. “Once I heard it was a West Coast offense, I know that it’s a wide-open offense and that the fullback does multiple things. The more I can be utilized, the better.”
Offensive coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer is installing a zone-blocking scheme, and Fiammetta said he’s comfortable with the fullback’s role in it.
“That’s what I’m used to,” said Fiammetta, who began his career with the Carolina Panthers and spent time with the New England Patriots in 2012. “A lot of teams around the league run it. Going back since my rookie season, I’ve had a lot of that in the offenses that I’ve dealt with.”
Fiammetta will be used for more than just lead blocking, but his main goal is getting on the same page as Forte. He makes sure to get as much feedback as possible from Forte.
“I’ve always thought that [Forte is] a great back, just watching him on film as I’ve been in the league and even before I got into the league,” Fiammetta said. “I’m just honored to be able to help him out, help him do his job.
“You’re almost like a personal bodyguard for the running back, and we’ve got to be on the same page. Moving forward, we’re going to try to build a rapport with each other and just try to get things done the right way.”