The H-back, Orson Charles, Marcel Reece and will it work in Bengals offense?

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July 28, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running backs coach Hue Jackson (middle) talks with tight end Orson Charles (80) and running back Rex Burkhead (33) during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

 

In 2012 as a rookie, Charles saw mostly spot duty early in the season, but as the year wore on, so did his snaps and the number of ways Jay Gruden was using him. Charles played H-back, lined up in the slot, and finished the year getting snaps at fulblback when Chris Pressley went down with a knee injury.

This offseaso, he got significant snaps at fullback in OTAs with Pressley still recovering. The coaches also began working him at TE and H-back, and he managed to impress the coaching staff, who believe he’ll be a significant player this year:

“He’s doing well; he’s fighting through some things mentally,” Jay Gruden said. “Once he learns the basics of fullback, then maybe we can do some more with him outside also. He’s playing a little bit of everything right now.

He’s a great athlete. He just has to find a home. With the addition of Tyler and Alex and with Jermaine already here, we think he’s strong enough and quick enough in space where he can do some things in the backfield and also be a tight end.”

 

Enter Hue Jackson, who will be an integral part in Charles making that transition, and Hue thinks he has what it takes:

“He’s a back. We know he can play tight end,” Hue Jackson said. “He’s got some work to do and he knows that. He’s eager. But we’ve got a lot of time left. He’s a big, physical guy. He’s a big man, he’s got strong hands and he can run fast. He runs 4.6.

He has to learn all the nuances of the position. He doesn’t have the background, but I think he has the skill set that if he keeps working at it he’ll have a chance to compete.”

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