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With key blockers out, Bengals linebacker switches to fullback

Le 8 June 2016, 05:12 dans Humeurs 0

So far, the big story out of the Cincinnati Bengals' organized team activities involves tight end Tyler Eifert and the injury that could force him to miss a couple of games at the start of the season.


The hope is that his rehab from a surgery that was conducted Wednesday will be fully wrapped up by training camp, and wholesale NFL jerseys that he can return to action before the Bengals open the season at the New York Jets on Sept. 11.


But in case he isn't ready, where do the Bengals turn? We answered the Tyler Kroft pass-catching portion of that question earlier Wednesday morning. Second-year tight end Kroft's role would increase, as would opportunities for Bengals playmakers A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. But what about on the blocking side of the tight end position? It appears the Bengals have that answered, too.


Perhaps it's ultimately unrelated, but it is hard to avoid drawing parallels with the timing of Eifert's surgery, the early OTA absence of H-back Ryan Hewitt and the appearance of time linebacker Jeff Luc at fullback during Tuesday's open OTA session.


A first-year player wholesale NFL jerseys who spent part of last season on New Orleans' practice squad, Luc was signed by the Bengals as a free agent early in the offseason. He's one of many players simply hoping to make the roster. At the Bengals' rookie camp two weeks ago, he played the position he has occupied since his junior year of high school: linebacker.


But that changed Tuesday.


"I would say it was a mutual cheap NFL jerseys thing," Luc said of the decision to move him. "It's up to the coach to make the decision and it's up to me to go out and do the best I can. It was brought up to me and I said, 'Sure, whatever I can do to help the team.' I just want to win."


Wednesday afternoon, the Bengals also signed rookie free-agent fullback Andrew Bonnet (North Dakota State), giving them added backfield blocking depth.


One of Florida's top high school recruits at linebacker in 2010, Luc originally signed to play at Florida State. Among the first of then-new FSU coach Jimbo Fisher's recruits, he was considered the player who helped get Fisher's Seminoles off and running on the recruiting trail. Florida State won the national championship three years later. That same year, Luc completed a transfer to the University of Cincinnati, where cheap jerseys he played linebacker for two seasons.


During Luc's recruitment, several schools, including Cincinnati, once viewed him as a tight end. As a high school sophomore, he turned heads there as both a blocker and receiver.


So maybe it shouldn't have been too alarming to see him on offense at Bengals practice. Besides, Hewitt's absence for an undisclosed injury, for now, also leaves an extra hole at the blocking positions. As the Bengals go through this part of their offseason practice schedule, why not test out a young player's versatility?


Luc isn't sure if the move will be permanent, but he is glad to have the opportunity to keep proving himself.


"I have an advantage [at fullback], because as a linebacker, I know what I don't like what a fullback would do to me," Luc said. "Now seeing it from a fullback perspective, I can really take advantage of that."


Luc's transition, so far, hasn't been too difficult.



"The fullback position is not as tough as the 'Mike' [linebacker]," Luc said. "The 'Mike,' you cheap NFL jerseys are the quarterback of the defense. With that being said, I've got one role. I've got to go block here from different formations, so I'm wholesale jerseys picking it up here and there. It's not as hard as people think it is."

Brian Hartline's release opens door for rookies, Terrelle Pryor

Le 8 June 2016, 05:02 dans Humeurs 0

Can a team go into a season with four rookies and a converted quarterback playing wide Wholesale Carolina Panthers Jerseys receiver?


Hue Jackson may believe so. Because the release of Brian Hartline seems to indicate Jackson firmly believes in the team's rookies. Add in that the coach has been impressed with Terrelle Pryor and the team may have Pryor along with rookies Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton among the wideout group.


At this point, that's speculation and guesswork, and much can change -- including Josh Gordon possibly being reinstated. But at this point the team seems committed to the rookies.


If you'd have asked which of the returning receivers the new Cleveland Browns regime would let go of first, the last pick would have been Hartline.


Instead, he's the first.


Hartline fell victim to the numbers game at receiver, something that was unthinkable the past two seasons when receivers in the offseason were treated like they had the plague. But when a new coach is involved in the drafting of four receivers, it's a safe bet that at least three and probably all four will make the team.


That puts the jobs of holdovers such as Hartline, Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins Wholesale Chicago Bears Jerseys in question. Add in Carolina Panthers Jerseys Pryor, and the Browns had a logjam at a position where teams usually keep six.


Pryor may be the one to benefit most from this decision. He has impressed the coach in offseason work, and his Wholesale Buffalo Bills Jerseys versatility may be something Jackson likes -- and wants. Pryor still has to prove in games, though, that he has fully made the transition from quarterback to receiver.


Hartline is a pro's pro. Buffalo Bills Jerseys He was invested in playing for his home team (he grew up in Canton) and was extremely active in community activities.


He started slow in 2015, his first year in Cleveland, but finished strong -- with 30 catches for 341 yards in his final four games. ?Given Hartline's production, hands and dependability, it seemed like there would be a spot for him.


But new coaches want their own guys.


This was an on-field personnel decision, not a cap move.


ESPN Stats & Information reports the Browns have $41 million in cap room, so had the team wanted to keep Hartline and his $3.75 million cap cost, it easily could have done so.


Instead the team Chicago Bears Jerseys moved on.



And the "rebooting" of the Browns continues.

Joe Thomas never sought trade from Cleveland Browns this offseason

Le 8 June 2016, 05:02 dans Humeurs 0

Joe Thomas chuckled when the notion of him asking for a trade this offseason was mentioned.


"Sometimes," the Cleveland Browns' perennial Pro Bowl left tackle said, "there's a little bit of a misconception about how much control players have over their own careers."


Translation: The Browns didn't have to trade Thomas, even Arizona Cardinals Jerseys if he had asked for it.


The point to keep in mind, though, is that Thomas did not ask to leave the Browns. His disillusionment toward the end of his 2015 season dissipated when he saw the Browns had hired Hue Jackson to be the coach.


"Since I got here it's been my goal to turn the Browns into a winner and I think Hue is just the guy to do that," Thomas said Wednesday after the team's practices.


Thomas has said similar things before. He's the eternal and unshakable optimist, standing behind every quarterback he's blocked for and every coach he's worked for. He even said after the 2015 finale that he thought Mike Pettine was one of the better coaches he had in Cleveland.


But that doesn't mean his Wholesale Arizona Cardinals Jerseys words should be disregarded.


"I think by the time that I got a chance to meet Hue and talk with Sashi [Brown] and kind of see the direction they want things headed and see the assistant coaches that were being hired, those were Atlanta Falcons Jerseys the things that said to me that I can really get excited about this," Thomas said.


He added he was jealous of his peers in Cincinnati when Jackson was their offensive coordinator.


"It was a very offensive line-friendly offense," Thomas said. "A lot of quick throws. A lot of easy fade balls. A lot of different formations to spread the defense out. Confuse them, really get them into vanilla looks. A lot of up-tempo stuff. Smash-mouth football; he really wants to run the ball between the tackles.


"The thing that appeals on offense is we're going to make the defense guard every blade of grass on the whole field. Because we're going to be throwing it from sideline to sideline and we're going to be running it inside. We're going to be moving tackles, guards, different formations all over the field. I think that gives the offense a big advantage, and it makes life a lot easier on an offensive line."


Thomas admitted he did not enjoy seeing center Alex Mack and tackle Mitchell Schwartz leave as free agents, but shrugged it off as part of life in the NFL. He also said he recognized the team's overhaul that included the Wholesale Baltimore Ravens Jerseys release of several veterans and a youth movement might have led the team to trade him on its own.



"It wouldn't have surprised me if I had been traded," Thomas said, "but Baltimore Ravens Jerseys I'm happy that I didn't. So Wholesale Atlanta Falcons Jerseys it's kind of a happy ending."

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