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With Score, Lousaka Polite Turns FB Into Competition


He's only been in town for a week and he's already got a touchdown.

Last Saturday, Lousaka Polite joined the Falcons to help with depth and competition in camp after the season-ending injury to rookie fullback Bradie Ewing. Before he knew it, Polite was playing with Falcons starters and thrown into a position competition.

Polite helped out his cause in Atlanta's loss to the Bengals on Thursday by catching two passes for 9 yards and a touchdown. In the second quarter, Polite caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan. Polite says the touchdown catch is nice, especially since the Falcons are looking to employ pass catchers all over the field, but a fullback still has a primary responsibility.

"One thing I've learned is it's never as good as you think and it's never as bad as you think," Polite said. "Once you watch the tape and the details. I know off hand there were a few blocks I wasn't proud of. Being a fullback, blocking comes first. The touchdown was nice but I've just got to keep doing good things."

Last year's late-season starter Mike Cox, also brought to Atlanta to replace an injured fullback, has been getting the majority of the first-team reps during training camp and the preseason. After Thursday, Polite is in the middle of a battle to be the team's starting fullback. If Cox was the leader entering Thursday's game, Polite walked out of the Georgia Dome a little closer to him.

After bouncing around the NFL since 2004, including stints as a starter, Polite is in Atlanta trying to win a job. He says he doesn't think much about winning the job over Cox, instead focusing on playing well and letting things fall where they may.

"I've been around long enough to know that you can't make the final decision, all you can do is put it on tape and do your best and appreciate every rep you get," Polite said. "When you sit out for a while like I have, when you get another chance, you want to cherish it. I don't really think about the decision making, I think about playing football."

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