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Lewis: Charles in 'dogfight' for H-back

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Lewis: Charles in 'dogfight' for H-back
August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
6:47
PM ET
By Coley Harvey | ESPN.com

 

CINCINNATI -- From the tone of his responses to questions about the players competing at his hybrid H-back/fullback/tight end position, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis sounds sold on rookie Ryan Hewitt.

He sounds less excited about third-year veteran Orson Charles.

"He's in a dogfight with these other guys who have come on, and that's what you want for your football team," Lewis said, referring to the position's competition.
 

That was virtually the extent of his thoughts on Charles during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. Prior to those comments, Lewis spoke at length about the versatility Hewitt brings to the blocking-based position. Lewis also hinted at how Hewitt could be the team's future at the position.

"It's just not been too big for him," Lewis said. "As he grows and [if] he's fortunate enough to stay around here, I think by next year we'll have a real, real, real big, physical man. He's going to be a big person."

The Bengals are like a lot of teams that have started utilizing tight ends like fullbacks, calling on them to provide additional blocking options in running situations, and having them step up from the backfield to block in occasional pass-protection schemes. It seems that the days of the traditional NFL fullback are going by the wayside.

Just think back to last preseason when the Bengals had the option of keeping true fullback John Conner or holding on to Charles, who was being converted into the H-back after having spent his career to that point as a tight end. The Bengals felt Charles gave them more versatility as a special-teams fit, and they liked his upside as a younger player.

He barely got used offensively last season, though. Charles appeared in 13 games, mostly playing special teams. He saw just 62 snaps on offense, with more than half of those coming in Week 17 when he was filling in for tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, who were out with injuries, and backup Alex Smith, who dislocated a wrist during the game. Charles' only catch of the season came in that regular-season finale.

The hope is that Hewitt will be involved more. He caught two passes in last Thursday's preseason opener, and he was on the field for 28 offensive plays, according to the NFL's Game and Statistics Information System. Charles wasn't out there for a single one.

When you take into account how highly the Bengals seem to regard the H-back's role, it appears strange that Charles wouldn't get used at all. It also appears like a clear sign that Charles' days in Cincinnati may be numbered.

"It's a position that I really hold valuable to our offensive football team because I think you have to have a guy that can do that," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said about the H-back.

He acknowledged that the position didn't work as well as he would have hoped last season.

"Nothing against Orson, but at the end of the day, it's competition and the best people win. That's just the way it goes," Jackson said. "Orson still has some chances here and we're going to see if he can continue to improve. But at the end of the day, as you know, there's only so many spots on the football team. So you've got to make sure when your number's called that you make the most of it."

That's an endorsement for Charles -- for now -- but not exactly a ringing one.

As it did last season, Cincinnati likely will keep only one hybrid H-back/fullback/tight end-type of player. Don't be surprised if the undrafted rookie free agent Hewitt is it.

 

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/cincinnati-bengals/post/_/id/10002/bengals-marvin-lewis-orson-charles-ryan-hewitt-dogfight-h-back

 

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Marvin Lewis on Ryan Hewitt; Orson Charles; Andy Dalton's snaps vs Jets

By Jason Marcum @JasonB_Marcum on Aug 13 2014, 12:40p

20140807_ajw_sr9_445.JPG.0_standard_709.
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
 

Lewis said he plans on new backup quarterback, Tyler Wilson getting snaps toward the end of the game, despite having only been with the team for a week come Saturday.

Marvin Lewis spoke to the media on Wednesday prior to Day 15 of training camp. One of the biggest camp battles to this point has been between Ryan Hewitt and Orson Charles for the h-back spot.

Lewis, along with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, want to have a fullback that's an effective blocker, but is also a capable pass-catcher, so much so that he can line up at tight end in certain formations. That's what an h-back is, and that's exactly the role Hewitt has played well in camp; Charles still is having trouble getting the blocking thing down. Lewis went as far as to say Charles, a fourth-rounder from the 2012 draft, is "in a dogfight" for his roster spot.

 

As for this week's preseason game vs. the New york Jets, who feature one of the better pass-rushing units in the league, Lewis said he plans on Andy Dalton getting just 15-25 snaps. With most of the offensive line now healthy and expected to play, Lewis isn't as worried about leaving Dalton out there with an offensive line of mostly backups.

Lewis also said he plans on new backup quarterback Tyler Wilson getting snaps toward the end of the game, despite having only been with the team for a week come Saturday.

 

http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/8/13/5998895/marvin-lewis-on-ryan-hewitt-orson-charles-and-andy-dalton-pt-vs-jets

 

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Good. If someone shows more promise than Charles feel free to make that move. Charles brings jack shit to the table

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It is good to see the competition, hilarious to see the piling on. Conner was not a fit last year, evidenced by the fact that they didn't look for a traditional full back this year, instead looking for a HB type.

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Nothing against Charles personally....but my thinking has always been "you are moving up or you are moving out".

 

If what Marvin is saying is true and not just some motivational tactic and the rookie is a third year vet's equal then move Charles out

and let Hewitt have the job.

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Nothing against Charles personally....but my thinking has always been "you are moving up or you are moving out".
 
If what Marvin is saying is true and not just some motivational tactic and the rookie is a third year vet's equal then move Charles out
and let Hewitt have the job.


I agree with that.

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I think they should put an end to this experiment and let Charles compete for the final TE spot where I feel he is better than Alex smith..

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I don't get how everyone is so down on Charles. When he came out and played just the TE role I thought he looked really promising. Dude has great hands. Then we tried converting him and everything went to crap. I honestly believe that he can be an above average TE. If cut or PS he will get picked up instantly. I would imagine we could even trade him for a 6 or 7th atleast.

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I think they should put an end to this experiment and let Charles compete for the final TE spot where I feel he is better than Alex smith..


Charles is better at receiving, but Smith is the better blocker. Given we usually have the 3rd TE as a blocker, Smith would be better than Charles.

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I don't get how everyone is so down on Charles. When he came out and played just the TE role I thought he looked really promising. Dude has great hands. Then we tried converting him and everything went to crap. I honestly believe that he can be an above average TE. If cut or PS he will get picked up instantly. I would imagine we could even trade him for a 6 or 7th atleast.

 

 

He's played in over 8 games, so he is either cut or makes the team....no PS elligibility

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Charles is better at receiving, but Smith is the better blocker. Given we usually have the 3rd TE as a blocker, Smith would be better than Charles.

Exactly. Charles will not beat Smith for the #3 TE. Because of Smith's blocking

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I don't get how everyone is so down on Charles. When he came out and played just the TE role I thought he looked really promising. Dude has great hands. Then we tried converting him and everything went to crap. I honestly believe that he can be an above average TE. If cut or PS he will get picked up instantly. I would imagine we could even trade him for a 6 or 7th atleast.

 

It would be great if you were right about getting a pick... but I doubt Charles even gets picked up by anyone if/when he is cut.  

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I don't get how everyone is so down on Charles. When he came out and played just the TE role I thought he looked really promising. Dude has great hands. Then we tried converting him and everything went to crap. I honestly believe that he can be an above average TE. If cut or PS he will get picked up instantly. I would imagine we could even trade him for a 6 or 7th atleast.

 

Agreed. Doesn't make sense...

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It would be great if you were right about getting a pick... but I doubt Charles even gets picked up by anyone if/when he is cut.  

 

 

sure he will.  Charles is a solid receiving TE and a solid blocking TE.  He's just behind two studs at TE, and doesn't have the FB mentality you need.  

 

Takes a special kind of mentality to be a FB and be willing to lower your head and deliver the boom play after play.  Not everyone has it.

 

 

He's also been a core special teamer, which is the main reason he beat out Connor last year.

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I don't get how everyone is so down on Charles. When he came out and played just the TE role I thought he looked really promising. Dude has great hands. Then we tried converting him and everything went to crap. I honestly believe that he can be an above average TE. If cut or PS he will get picked up instantly. I would imagine we could even trade him for a 6 or 7th atleast.

 

If that's all he can be then move on.  Not room for roster spot on this team for just "above average" with Gresham and Eifert already on it.

 

I expect they move on from Charles this year, been a black hole of a roster spot for a couple years now.

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If that's all he can be then move on.  Not room for roster spot on this team for just "above average" with Gresham and Eifert already on it.

 

I expect they move on from Charles this year, been a black hole of a roster spot for a couple years now.

 

 

what's wrong with a 3rd stringer being "just above average"?

  • Upvote 2

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what's wrong with a 3rd stringer being "just above average"?

 

Problem is he's not even the 3rd string TE, the 3rd string TE is better than him.  Waste to carry him when he's already behind three TEs and those same guys (Eifert) are playing the H back position when it's called upon that Charls is designated as.  What's the point of his roster spot?

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Problem is he's not even the 3rd string TE, the 3rd string TE is better than him.  Waste to carry him when he's already behind three TEs and those same guys (Eifert) are playing the H back position when it's called upon that Charls is designated as.  What's the point of his roster spot?

 

 

if he ends up the 4th, sure, but I think it remains to be seen if he's the 4th.

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sure he will.  Charles is a solid receiving TE and a solid blocking TE.  He's just behind two studs at TE, and doesn't have the FB mentality you need.  

 

Takes a special kind of mentality to be a FB and be willing to lower your head and deliver the boom play after play.  Not everyone has it.

 

 

He's also been a core special teamer, which is the main reason he beat out Connor last year.

 

I agree, coming out of college Charles was considered to be a good TE prospect but I think he has been dealt a bad hand by being asked to switch positions. If you put Charles at TE and ask him to find holes in the middle of a defense and run seam routes he will definitely be able to do that. At this point I think him getting cut would be the best thing for his career as he can go to another team that better utilize his skill set. 

 

I could see him fitting in well in NE, replacing Aaron Hernandez. 

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I agree, coming out of college Charles was considered to be a good TE prospect but I think he has been dealt a bad hand by being asked to switch positions. If you put Charles at TE and ask him to find holes in the middle of a defense and run seam routes he will definitely be able to do that. At this point I think him getting cut would be the best thing for his career as he can go to another team that better utilize his skill set. 

 

I could see him fitting in well in NE, replacing Aaron Hernandez. 

 

 

its about finding his fit and maximizing it.  Orson Charles is very much a near Aaron Hernandez clone.  Too big for corners, too fast for linebackers.

 

He's sitting behind 2 other guys like that though (not the hernandez part).

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