There is a misconception in the media and amongst fans about the H-Back position, a belief that the position is either nothing more than a full back or just a really large running back used to run the ball. Neither of these beliefs are accurate and if Jay Gruden gets his way, Bengals fans are going to need to understand the role of an H Back because it’s going to become a major part of the offense moving forward.
Based on how players line up, it’s easy to see why the fullback misconception exists. H-Backs do line up similarly to a full back, however by lining up closer to the line of scrimmage an H-Back is actually in a better position to pick up an elite blitzer than a fullback.
Former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Photo credit to bronxbanterblog.com
In fact, when Joe Gibbs developed the modern 2-TE set in the 1980’s, he utilized the H-Back position to neutralize Lawrence Taylor. It was a clever solve to keeping Taylor at bay, and by putting the H-Back in motion before the snap he could create an unbalanced line which provided an advantage in the running game for the Redskins.