Alualu adapting to fullback role, looking forward to Del Rio's return to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - From first round pick to bottom of the roster role player.

That's been Jaguars defensive end Tyson Alualu's career path thus far. He was a healthy scratch in the first two games of the season and has served in a handful of small roles since being added to the roster on game days.

On Sunday, Alualu's biggest role was opening up a giant hole in the Chicago Bears defense.

The defensive lineman lined up at fullback with the Jaguars at the Chicago one-yard line. He drilled forward and smashed into opposing linemen. Alualu's effort allowed running back Chris Ivory to rush into the endzone for the first Jacksonville score of the game.

Success running the ball has been few and far between for the Jaguars. Perhaps, Alualu's big play will create more opportunity for him on offense.

"I hope so," Alaualu said.

"It's a little fun going out there, especially when you can help get into the end zone. That definitely felt good and hopefully there is more opportunity for that. We just have to wait and see what the game plan is, but I am excited to play a bigger role [on offense]."

Former Jaguars fullback Greg Jones is now part of the team's scouting staff. Jones made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and could be a good shoulder for him to lean on when it comes to the fullback position.

"I haven't asked him - I should ask and pick his brain a little bit - because that's what he did and he helped out a lot," Alualu said. 

Along with his five plays at fullback in Week 6's 17-16 win over the Bears, Alualu was in on 20 plays on defense. After being at the bottom of the depth chart early on, the veteran is beginning to see more playing time in all areas.

"I don't know - I just kind of do my job the best way I know how," Alualu said.

"But this league is 'what have you done for me lately' so you've got to go in and prove to the coaches, to other teams that you can still play. I'm just happy to have the opportunity to play because it was frustrating the first two weeks, I just tried to keep a good attitude about it and approach it the right way."

Alualu wasn't drafted by the current regime, which is probably why his role is constantly changing. He was a first round pick of Jack Del Rio and Gene Smith in 2010. He is looking forward to seeing his former coach when the Jaguars host the Oakland Raiders at Everbank Field this weekend.

"I was drafted [by] Jack and I like him," Alualu said. "He was a good coach, so it'll be a good time to face him now and hopefully we'll be on the better end."

Alualu hasn't spent too much time tracking Del Rio since he left Jacksonville. However, he has noticed his success from afar.

"You just see him on TV, see him on NFL Network," Alualu said.

"You see how well he's doing and I'm happy for him. It'll be a great challenge for us this week to play against a good team, I think they're a Top-five offense, so we're up for the challenge and this is a win we'd love to have."

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


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