Emery Park Moved from HB to Left Out
This has been somewhat of a common theme for Park in his young football career. Not sure exactly where to play him, he tends to bounce around the depth chart and never really gets a chance to establish himself as elite at either position.
“It’s kind of a blessing and a curse,” Emery says, “No one really knows how to gameplan for me when I play half my snaps out of the back field and the other half moving around out wide and in the slot. But by the same token, no one is going to give any positional awards to a player based on with 92 carries and 75 catches. Yeah, it’s not all about personal awards or accolades but some recognition is nice. It is what it is. I’m coming out next year with a chip on my shoulder.”
Park posted 1,315 yards and nine touchdowns on 167 total touches on offense He also averaged 18.5 yards per return on 34 punt kick returns. He showed flashes of brilliance throughout the year including a 118 receiving yard performance to close out the year against the Miami Neptune but he has seriously lacked consistency.
He showed more explosiveness as a receiver putting up 18 catches for 20+ yards, four of which came in that 118 yard performance against Miami but his heart lies in the backfield.
“I always wanted to be a running back. Most of my biggest influences were running backs, guys like Gale Grey, Marcus Johnson, Charlie Hudson, or Tugg Bote, I watched them when my career was getting going and they inspired me to be the best running back I can be. Maybe one day my name will be worth mentioning among guys like that but I’m definitely a far ways off. I’m not even the best offensive weapon on my team let alone the league.”
It must be frustrating for Park to come into the league expecting to be a running back but it should not really come as a surprise. At Michigan he was back up running back before making a name for himself as a receiver after his freshman season. History seems to be repeating itself now at the EFL level. Their starting running back, Millwall, is on contract with Memphis through next season.
“I by no means am suggesting they make roster moves in order for me to start at running back. Maybe I’ll come into my own at receiver and my opinions will change. Maybe I’m just having a rough day. All I know is that I’m ready for this next season to get going and for me to put the work in. We showed that we can hang with any team out there, we just need to put it all together week in and week out. Maybe with free agency starting up, we can go out and get a fullback to improve our run game.”
The Mambas were one of two expansion teams to enter the EFL this past offseason and both of them finished with a 4-10 record but had a 2-7 conference record compared to New Orleans’ 0-6 conference record.