clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bengals' Jeff Luc switching from linebacker to fullback

Will playing fullback give Luc a better shot at landing a spot on the 53-man roster?

Tyler Eifert's injury is starting to shake things up. The tight end's absence has given some players an opportunity to prove themselves, while it has caused the Bengals to take certain actions with others. One move the Bengals have made in response to Eifert's injury is converting former linebacker Jeff Luc to fullback.

Linebacker has quickly become one of the most crowded position groups on the Bengals. With Vontaze Burfict, Rey Maualuga, Vincent Rey, Karlos Dansby, P.J. Dawson and Nick Vigil all but locks for the 53-man roster and Marquis Flowers taking starter snaps in OTAs, it's entirely possible the Bengals' entire position group is already set for the season.

Because of the Bengals' depth at linebacker and lack of depth at fullback, Jeff Luc will now be taking fullback snaps. News has recently broke that Ryan Hewitt underwent a minor non-football procedure, and though the fullback will likely be fine, it's possible the Bengals want to push him in a competition or simply need a guy to fill in at fullback while Hewitt recovers. Sure, Jake Fisher is capable of playing fullback, but the Bengals drafted him in the second round to play along the offensive line.

"I would say it was a mutual thing," Luc said of the decision to move him, per ESPN. "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.

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

Luc has admitted that the transition to fullback is much easier than people would think.

"The fullback position is not as tough as the 'Mike' [linebacker]," Luc said. "The 'Mike,' you 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 picking it up here and there. It's not as hard as people think it is."

For what it's worth, the Bengals tried making a similar switch with former tight end Orson Charles. Charles, a fourth-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, was asked to take fullback snaps, possibly because the Bengals believed they were set at tight end and wanted to get Charles, a talented playmaker, on the field. The Charles experiment didn't work, as the 25-year-old tight end is currently a free agent. Hopefully things will work out with Luc; it takes a selfless player to make a position switch in hopes of helping his team improve.