The fullback position has fallen out of favor in the NFL in recent years, as no teams use a fullback in the base offense and some don’t even have a fullback on the roster at all. But Raiders coach Jon Gruden thinks he found a gem of a fullback this year.
That’s undrafted rookie Alec Ingold, who arrived out of Wisconsin in May as a long shot to make the roster, but has been active for all five games. Gruden says he loves what he’s seeing from Ingold, who had a big game as a lead blocker in Sunday’s win over the Bears and has picked up a first down on both of his carries this season.
“You watch the first touchdown, he’s knocking a guy down, off his feet,” Gruden said. “On the goal line play at the end of the game, he leaves his feet, launches and makes a great play. We’ve asked him to run the ball in short yardage, fourth-and-1 in Indy, third-and-1 the other night, he’s gotten the first down. He’s playing on special teams. I love that guy. I don’t want him to hear me say that, but I really deep down like that guy a lot. He’s what the position is all about.”
Ingold has played 22 percent of the Raiders’ offensive snaps and 48 percent of their special teams snaps, so although he’s far from an every-down player, he’s making a significant contribution. He’s one of several new additions who are turning the Raiders into the kind of team Gruden wants, and a better team than anyone was expecting.