Will Zach Banner be the next Refrigerator Perry? Will Duck Hodges hand off to him on the goal line and Banner, all 360 pounds of him, fly over the pile and into the end zone as Steelers’ Twitter collectively loses their minds over?
No. The answer is no.
Mike Tomlin shot down the very notion of Banner getting to play fullback during his Tuesday press conference. Here’s the full exchange.
Reporter: “Is Zach Banner athletic enough to be used as a fullback on the goal line?”
And then Tomlin laughed.
Not laughing? Zach Banner.
Everyone dies this week… I’m tired of the disrespect https://t.co/QojP77N4vD
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) December 10, 2019
It’s been a tough week for #72. First, Devlin Hodges opted against throwing to him – and trust me, Banner was wide open – in the first half of Sunday’s win. Now his head coach is joking about how immobile he is. How rude.
Of course, this is all in good fun. The Steelers can joke about these things because of the massive win streak they’re on, victors in seven of their last eight, this MASH unit of players stepping up and turning into a cohesive, effective bunch.
If you’re wondering about emergency fullbacks, Trey Edmunds has logged a two or three snaps there in recent weeks after Roosevelt Nix was placed on injured reserve. And Tyson Alualu has one snap in the backfield this season on a goal line play. If anyone will fill the old “Bronco” package Doug Legursky once held, it’s Alualu, not Banner.
Bringing it back to the football field, Banner is coming off one of his best performances of the season. He logged 25 snaps in the victory over the Cardinals, his second highest snap count and largest percentage, as the Steelers ran for 140 yards. Expect a film room breakdown on his performance a little later in the week. Just don’t expect there to ever be a video of him lining up in the backfield.