Sports Outside the Beltway

Dolphins sign veteran FB Schlesinger

Miami signed the long-time Detroit Lion to a 2-year deal.

Cam Cameron’s search for a player to pave the way for the Miami Dolphins running game ended with the signing of veteran fullback Cory Schlesinger.

Schlesinger, a longtime Detroit Lions, agreed to a two-year contract with Miami on Sunday, agent Joe Linta said.

Cameron’s offense in San Diego relied heavily on All-Pro fullback Lorenzo Neal clearing traffic for LaDanian Tomlinson. Schlesinger, a 12-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowl alternate, will be asked to do the same for Dolphins third-year running back Ronnie Brown – and possibly Ricky Williams if he returns to Miami.

Schlesinger, 34, played his entire career for the Lions, but a season ago became lost in the shuffle in offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s system, which rarely uses a fullback.

In Detroit, Schlesinger never carried the ball more than 47 times in a season. In 2001 he rushed for a career-high 154 yards on 47 carries and also caught 60 passes that season .

But the 6-foot, 247-pound Schlesinger made an indelible mark as a lead blocker. The Lions even kept track of the facemasks of defenders broken by Schlesinger during his 182-game career, crediting him with more than 200.

Schlesinger, a sixth-round pick in 1995 out of Nebraska, also has been a special teams standout. His 118 special teams tackles from 1985-2001 were more than any Detroit player in that span.

He missed only 11 games.

Schlesinger is fine as a short-term fix at FB for the Dolphins. The only drawback is the player’s age, which could make Schlesinger vulnerable to an injury. His record of only missing a few games as a Lion seems to disspell that idea.

The position of Fullback has certainly evolved through the years. They carry the ball less and block more. Players such as this tecently deceased former Miami Dolphin aren’t seen in the NFL very much today.

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