Without a doubt, fullback Alec Ingold is a tool coach Jon Gruden has kept a hold of on the back of his hand.
The former two-time Academic All-Big Ten standout from Wisconsin made his mark last season when he landed a gig as the Raiders lone fullback after not being picked up in the NFL Draft.
Ingold managed to prove to Gruden and Co. that their faith in him was the correct decision, even with the fullback position dying out in the modern NFL.
He started in all games last season as the lead blocker.
With that said, Ingold knew last season was only the beginning and he had much more to do outside of game day to prepare his body and mind.
And perhaps filling in at other positions if his coaches need him to.
“It’s about knowing my job and understanding that my body is a huge part of what we’re trying to do here,” Ingold told reporters. “Down the road, if there’s running backs, if it’s tight ends, whoever it is – injured, needs help – I need to be able to step up for the team and be ready for those opportunities when they come.”
Ingold knows the type of position the fullback has become in the modern NFL. Sure, he could work on becoming the best lead blocker in the league or he could define the modern role of a fullback.
Ingold could be the one who brings the prevalence of fullbacks back to the NFL. He could be the one who establishes that in order to be an effective fullback, a player who pretty much needs to be a versatile athlete. He can run and fight for yards if needed. He can be a tight end if needed. He could be the audible option for specifically designed plays.
No matter what Ingold is assigned to do on the field this season, he’s prepared his mind and body to step up for the Raiders when his teammates need him to.
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