Fullback Vonta Leach: “It's like I never left” the Ravens
Even though Leach missed seven weeks following his release, he quickly stepped back into the routine on his first practice on training camp, and added that it felt like he “never left” the team in the first place.
When the Ravens terminated Leach’s contract on June 11, after failing to renegotiate the deal, general manger Ozzie Newsome indicated that the team was still interested in re-signing the fullback this offseason or during training camp. But the outlook on that reunion seemed considerably bleak with Leach visiting the Miami Dolphins, less than two hours following his release by the Ravens.
Although Leach called the whole re-signing process a bit frustrating, he held no hard feelings against the Ravens since it’s all “part of the business.”
"I've been cut, I've been released probably five or six times in my career, so I've seen it all, done it all," Leach said. "It's just part of the business and unfortunately I know first hand.”
"I'm just happy to be back,” Leach continued, “and whatever I got to do, in whatever role I have on this team this year, I'll be ready for it."
Last season, Leah appeared in all 16 games with 13 starts for the Ravens, while running 67 yards for one touchdown on 21 attempts and also recording 36 catches for 212 yards. However, Leach’s primarily role was to open running lanes for teammate Ray Rice, who rushed for 2,507 yards and had 25 total touchdowns over the past two seasons.
Leach’s started on-field work by following Rice during agility drills, and then took snaps with first team-offense during the 11-on-11 scrimmage in Wednesday’s training camp practice. His return to the Ravens’ backfield means a decreased role for rookie running back Kyle Juszczyk. Still, Juszczyk believes the team could work around a way to give him some time on field Sundays as well, owing to the two players’ diverse game play. Juszczyk is more of a mobile, pass-catching fullback, while Leach is seen as one of the top lead blockers in the league.
"I felt like Vonta coming back is good for this team. Vonta is a great player, he's a great blocker and he's going to help this running game a lot,” Juszczyk said. “For myself, he's somebody I can learn from and as far as having two fullbacks, we're two different players and we can find roles for both us."