When discussing the additions that the Buffalo Bills have made in preparation for a 2015 playoff push, players such as LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay steal headlines. But it's also possible that a guy like Jerome Felton ends up being just as important to the team's success than his bigger-name teammates.
Felton appeared on last Friday night's episode of The John Murphy Show, and spent some time discussing his role with the Bills, and his mindset as the team's fullback.
"Once the pads come on, I'll be able to really define my role and the type of physicality I bring," said Felton. "They brought me in here to be a physical presence and set the tempo."
Felton's blue-collar approach to the game should make his style of play and personality a favorite among Bills fans. The Bills are expected run the ball early and often in 2015, and offensive coordinator Greg Roman is known for his heavy use of the fullback in his offense. As noted earlier this year, Roman's offense in San Francisco used a fullback on 44 percent of their offensive plays in 2014, and 55 percent of their plays in 2013. Felton singled out Roman and his use of the fullback as a key factor in deciding to sign with the Bills.
"I remember watching the 49ers when Greg Roman was the offensive coordinator and thinking, 'Man, that's the type of offense I need to be in,'" Felton said. "He's just so creative and finding ways to run the football and getting guys in position to make plays. I always thought that was unique, and you look at the success he had with Frank Gore in San Francisco, I was just an admirer of his offense."
It was well known in Minnesota that Felton was referred to as the "secret service" for Adrian Peterson, and one can expect he will fill the same role in paving the way for McCoy in Buffalo. Murphy made a point to ask Felton about the importance of his relationship with McCoy both on and off the field.
"We'll definitely develop a rapport. We've already begun to do that. I hang out with him more than anybody on the team so far," Felton said. "We're already good friends, and we talk to each other and go watch a game or see a movie or stuff like that. We're already developing our relationship off the field."
If Felton has an effective and prominent role as part of the offense, backs such as McCoy and Fred Jackson will be that much more successful. Other new additions may garner more attention, but Felton's play could be the key to the Bills' ground and pound attack for 2015.