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Kyle Juszczyk Aims to be Latest Fullback to Thrive Under Bobby Turner

Posted Jun 12, 2017

San Francisco's "offensive weapon" is next in line to learn under the 49ers esteemed running backs coach.


To try and pigeonhole Kyle Juszczyk to one position would discredit his diverse skill set. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound fullback will be asked to lead-block, run the football and catch passes in Kyle Shanahan's offense.

The San Francisco 49ers made Juszczyk the league’s highest paid fullback this offseason – a position that didn’t even exist on the team’s roster last season.

Juszczyk has split his time between the tight ends and running backs throughout the offseason program. That means he's gotten plenty of work in with esteemed running backs coach Bobby Turner.

Shanahan brought Turner with him from the Atlanta Falcons this offseason. In his 45 years of coaching, he’s spent 22 season as an NFL running backs coach and owns two Super Bowl rings.

The Turner-Shanahan connection extends into multiple generations. Prior to their two seasons together in Atlanta, Turner spent 19 years working for Mike Shanahan with both the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins.

“(Bobby’s) been in this system for how many years? And has been coaching for 40-something years. So, you can go to him about anything in the offense – any positon, any play,” Juszczyk said. “And he’s usually going to have an answer for you.”

You only have to go back a few years to see how successful Turner can be with a talented fullback. Turner helped transform Patrick DiMarco into a Pro-Bowl caliber player within Atlanta's high-powered offense. DiMarco's success serves as a prelude for what Juszczyk could be capable of in San Francisco as Turner's latest understudy.

“Bobby’s been phenomenal. The guy is just a wealth of knowledge,” Juszczyk said. “He’s had so much success with so many different types of backs in this league that it’s a great opportunity each day sitting there and taking in what he’s teaching us.”

During his four-year tenure in Baltimore, Juszczyk became one of the Ravens go-to skill players. He ranked fourth in both receptions (37) and rushing touchdowns (1) in 2016. Though Juszczyk's numbers won't jump off the stat sheet, his value to Shanahan and Turner goes well beyond total yards and touchdowns.

So call him whatever you want - fullback, tight end or simply “offensive weapon” - you can be assured that Juszczyk will be ready for whatever is thrown his way.

“For me, it’s never really mattered too much about what position I’m listed as. It’s not going to stop me from where I’m going to play on the field,” Juszczyk added. “I’m happy to be listed as a running back, and I’m going to do whatever they ask me to do out there.”


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