BRADY HENDERSON

‘He’s a real hammer’: Will Tukuafu back in Seahawks’ backfield

Aug 22, 2016, 10:23 AM | Updated: 5:08 pm
The Seahawks brought back Will Tukuafu after looking at several younger, cheaper options at fullbac...
The Seahawks brought back Will Tukuafu after looking at several younger, cheaper options at fullback. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – While the Seahawks were taking looks at several fullbacks with the thought that they may be able to get younger and cheaper at that position, Will Tukuafu was waiting for a call.

It came a couple weeks ago when Seattle brought him in for a workout. The Seahawks signed him over the weekend and waived former Husky Jonathan Amosa, one of a handful of fullbacks who had a trial run in Seattle’s backfield. The Seahawks concluded that Tukuafu, who spent the last two seasons with Seattle, may still be their best option.

“We brought Will in a while back now with the thought that we’d see how it goes with the other guys that we have in here,” coach Pete Carroll said Sunday. “Will has really brought an attitude to the position and an intensity that we really like. Nobody was matching up to him so we thought we’d bring him in, see how he looks.

“He’s a very versatile football player, very unique football player, and our way of using him makes him somewhat valuable in that he can play and give you some snaps on defense when you need it. He’s a real hammer, when you block with the fullback position, so we’re going to see how he does and if he can fit in and help the team.”

Tukuafu, 32, said he was spending time with his family at home in Utah and staying in shape in case the Seahawks called. He said he had some interest from a few other teams but that he had dealt with a minor ankle injury earlier in the offseason.

“I feel good,” he said after practicing for the first time on Sunday. “Running around – I know we’re just in helmets and stuff like that, but just getting back with the guys feels awesome.”

Even as one of the few NFL teams that still uses a fullback, the Seahawks only do so on a portion of their running plays. That’s one reason why it made sense to look for a younger and cheaper alternative to Tukuafu and Derrick Coleman, who weren’t re-signed after sharing duties at that position the past two seasons.

Brandon Cottom was getting a look there before tearing his Achilles. Tre Madden suffered a season-ending injury of his own. Taniela Tupou, another former Husky, has gone back and forth between fullback and defensive tackle while Kyle Coleman is another option Seattle brought in before re-signing Tukuafu.

Carroll said the fullback position is still important to the Seahawks to “keep the diversity to the offense.”

“That’s an aspect of it that we’ve always really liked and it gives us an aggressive attitude,” he said. “Will kind of fits that makeup. He’s 290-something pounds, so he blocks. As a fullback, that’s an unusual position that he fills. It is part of our attitude, part of our makeup. He’s one of our guys and we think the world of him, so if it can work out, it would be a real asset to have him here.”

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