Bear Pascoe still goes to the tight end meetings run by position coach Mike Pope. But when he gets on the field these days, he's all running back.
Fullback, more specifically. Since Madison Hedgecock went down with a hamstring injury two games ago, Pascoe has gone from his three-point, in-line stance to the two-point stance in the backfield and filled in admirably. Considering how inconsistent Hedgecock had become, anyway, it would not be a stretch to expect Pascoe to remain as a lead blocker for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs for the rest of the season and, possibly, beyond.
"Bear is a real smart guy and he has adapted to it very well," Pope said during the bye week. "He is still coming on because it’s a little bit different running up the A-gap to block the linebacker than it is blocking on the end line of scrimmage. He’s a good, hard-working old cowboy and he’s done a good job."
Pope gives him his assignment, and Pascoe goes out and does it. In last Monday's case, Pascoe had linebacker Keith Brooking, and he did a good job with him as Bradshaw rushed for more than 100 yards.
"I say 'Hey, there’s 51, he’s your guy,'" Pope said.
Actually, the tight ends coach said Pascoe's job really isn't that much different than that of a move tight end, except he's going a little further to make the block. Kevin Boss did some of the move stuff in that same game, and aside from the angle of attack, the assignment and the basic technique was the same.
"It is a little bit different, but we do that with Boss, too," Pope said. "He was on the move the other night quite a bit to block 94 (DeMarcus Ware). It was the same move, blocking 93 (Anthony Spencer).
"It’s a little different when you’re deeper in the backfield and you have to read. For instance, if the defense slants, you have to read around the down lineman. But that’s not really not all that hard to watch one guy. If he pinches, you go behind him.
"It’s not that different. The impact, now, is a little bit more intense. That’s the good thing, Bear did a good job doing it the last two weeks."