CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Orson Charles #80 of the Cincinnati Bengals works out during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
During his chat with fans through the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis admitted that rookie tight end Orson Charles ability as a receiver has surprised him during offseason workouts.
Orson has great physical tools. He has been a better receiver than I expected thus far so I'm excited to watch him continue to grow during training camp and the preseason.
The encouraging thing about Charles ability as a receiver isn't so much any prospect of replacing Jermaine Gresham -- not that anyone in their right mind was thinking that. Rather it gives quarterback Andy Dalton another weapon in the passing game, specifically duel-tight end formations that may present serious matchup problems for the opposing defense.
Additionally Charles gives the team a great backup option if Gresham suffers an extended injury. At the pace that Charles is on, he appears like a lock to make the roster, challenged against guys like Colin Cochart and Donald Lee. And if we were to guess right now, Lee might be the odd man out during final cuts.