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Eisen's Mailbag: Nikita Whitlock



How special a player is Nikita Whitlock? How often do you see NFL players contributing on both sides of the ball?** -Patrick

Dear Patrick:
It happens, but it's pretty rare. If you were a fan in 1985, you would remember Chicago defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry doubling as a fullback. He scored two touchdowns in the regular season, and one in the Bears' Super Bowl XX rout of New England. Whitlock is unusual because he is listed as a fullback on the roster, but doubles as a defensive tackle. I can't recall an offensive back who also lined up on the defensive front. Whitlock was a defensive tackle at Wake Forest, so he's familiar with the position. But it's an unusual transition in the NFL.


The new PAT rule seems to be having effects on games, as there are more missed PATs. Do you believe that this trend will continue and will we see more team's going for 2?

Dear Robert:
I do believe the trend will continue because a) 33-yard extra points are more difficult to make than 20-yards, and b) the weather is only going to worsen between now and Jan. 3, when the regular season ends. I think you'll see more missed extra point attempts (though nothing dramatic), and teams try for two points more frequently, particularly in bad weather games.

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