Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson won't say it outright; though when asked in a generic theoretical sense, he wants a fullback. However, when asked more directly, he'll clam up -- like he did during the NFL Combine last month.
Q: Do you need a fullback?
HJ: Yeah.You do need a fullback on the football team.
Q: Can Orson (Charles) do it?
HJ: We’re going to find out.
Q: Do you need a traditional fullback, like a John Conner?
HJ: What I would love to have is that I’m going to take whatever the organization’s going to give me.
Why ask about Charles? He's the only player on the team that could transition into the more traditional fullback role... theoretically speaking. Chris Pressley, their most recent traditional player, was released in early December after suffering a significant knee injury in 2012.
Will Cincinnati address fullback in free agency? One would think with Jackson, the man pounding the drum for a hardcore running game, they will be. NOTE: One should remember the idea of running the football isn't necessarily about running it more... rather advancing a more efficient running game.
Free agency will be loaded with experienced full backs.
According to Michael Gehlken with the San Diego Union-Tribune, the San Diego Chargers have released Le'Ron McClain, saving $2.5 million in cap space.
Chargers have released fullback Le'Ron McClain, per source. Move clears $2.5 million in cap space.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) March 4, 2014
Free agent full backs heading into free agency (ranked according to their Pro Football Focus score in 2013):
- John Kuhn (9.6)
- Greg Jones (4.7)
- Le'Ron McClain (2.6)
- David Johnson (finished '13 on IR) (0.9)
- Michael Robinson (0.6)
- Jed Collins (RFA) (-0.3)
- Henry Hynoski (Giants not tendering as a RFA) (-0.6)
- Erik Lorig (-1.9)
- Spencer Larson (-2.3)
- Vonta Leach (-7.1)