In 2009 when the Cincinnati Bengals were on HBO's "Hard Knocks" documentary, there was a notorious scene where team owner Mike Brown suggested that one of the players, defensive end Chris Harrington, should get a look as a tight end. The room mumbled and grumbled while struggling to find an answer for Brown's suggestion and the fans laughed it off as "typical Mike Brown".
A few years later, the Bengals are trying a similar experiment with former Auburn University running back, Onterio McCalebb. They have officially converted him to cornerback, as their running back roster is quite full, and he'll likely have his best shot at making the final roster as a special teams return man.
McCalebb has been receiving pointers from defensive backs coach Mark Carrier in the first day of practices and McCalebb is definitely receptive to the coaching. Per Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson:
"I learned some stuff I never knew from Coach Carrier," McCalebb said.
As expected the toughest thing for a running back-turned-cornerback in his first 90 minutes was trying to play backward smoothly as McCalebb struggled with technique.
"The backpedal. When you open up and turn, you keep your shoulders down," he said. "There's another practice today and I'll just work on the mistakes I made and learn the calls. I haven't played it in some years, but I'm going to compete out there."
Hopefully he catches on and the team can find a way to use his athleticism and track star speed.