Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Erik Lorig: The Versatile Star Of The NFL

This Jewish football star was picked up as free agent by the New Orleans Saints in March.

By: Shalomlife Team

Published: June 27th, 2014 in Sports » World

From an early age, many aspiring NFL players configure their play based upon their role models and the particular position they wish to play in. From pulling the strings as a quarterback to being a brick wall as a defensive end, each player is able to develop during their college years in the hope of turning professional and being picked up in the draft. Versatility is a rare commodity in the NFL, but Erik Lorig carries the ability to play in different positions that provides a welcome alternative for any coach who acquires his services. The New Orleans Saints picked up Lorig as a free agent in March following a four year spell at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the Jewish fullback’s ability to do a dependable job as a defensive end providing a wonderful commodity for Sean Payton to harness during the upcoming season. His presence in the roster could improve the Saints’ odds of success during the 2014/2015 season, with the betting sports blog the best place to keep up to date with the latest NFL news and betting odds.

‘Jack of all trades’

Standing at 6ft 4 in and weighing 250lbs, Erik Lorig would appear to be your typical every day NFL tight end. His considerable physical stature was prominent from an early age as a highly-rated tight end, earning the All-Bay Conference Defensive Player of the Year award along with others during his junior and senior year at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in California. Stanford utilized Lorig’s quick burst off the line at halfback or fullback during his freshman campaign, but a new coaching staff realized his potential to play as a defensive end throughout the rest of his time at college. It was then that Lorig emerged as a ‘jack of all trades’ talent that was primed to have a bright future in the NFL.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Lorig in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft, with his versatility utilized throughout his rookie season as he switched between defensive end, fullback and tight end positions. He joined a number of Jewish players plying their trade in the NFL who follow their own unique religious traits as a Jewish athlete. Lorig made his NFL debut against the Cincinnati Bengals at the age of 22, and went on to record impressive figures in the blocking, receptions and catching columns. His one and only career touchdown, to date, came at the Minnesota Vikings on October 25, 2012, with his ability to catch the ball making Lorig much more than a tough-tackling blocking fullback. Lorig himself believes that he is capable to do a little bit of everything on the pitch, whether it is pass protecting, catching or blocking.

Saints’ chances in 2014/2015

Acquiring a versatile player in the form of Erik Lorig provides Saints coach Sean Payton with an interesting option ahead of the upcoming NFL season. Lorig has been observed showing fluidity in his ability to turn and run, whilst also catching passes in the backfield which may indicate that the New Orleans Saints may be creative with their formation selections in 2014/2015. Payton stated that the acquisition of Lorig was primarily based upon his skillset to play as a blocking fullback, but his versatility is undoubtedly an interesting option to have on the Saints’ roster.

The Saints continue to improve under the guidance of Payton, and will look to build on their largely successful 2013/2014 campaign where they reached the play-offs. They came up against the number one seed Seattle, who demonstrated their strength in offense and defence by beating the Saints 23-15; the Seahawks went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII with a 43-8 demolition of the Denver Broncos. Lorig’s arrival will add more versatility to the Saints’ offense, and accompany an impressive defensive line which may be the key to reaching the Super Bowl in 2014/2015.
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