Anderson, Part III: The 'A-Back'

Along with a new offense comes some new positions to learn. Get ready for the "A-Back."

What is an A-Back? Some teams refer to this position as a slot back, as opposed to a slot receiver. What type of position is this in the new offense? Offensive coordinator Blake Anderson helps fill in the blanks.

"A-back for us is kind of a hybrid position, I guess would be the way to term it," Anderson said.

"He's part wideout, part running back; he's typically a guy that feels comfortable both in and out of the backfield; a guy that has run between the tackles but has also lined up outside, run routes, blocked on the perimeter and caught the ball in space."

The slot back, or A-Back, is different than a typical slot receiver that almost exclusively runs pass routes. He can also become the third option in what appears to be a standard triple-option play, or become a runner in a variety of plays. Because of the role of the player in this position, he has to be someone who runs very well in space.

"A lot of times he's going to be your kickoff return, punt return, kind of guy," Anderson said.

"It's a unique position so we look for specific skills and we've got to feel like the guy has the capability of doing all those different things," he continued.

For the fans in the stands, how will they identify this player? It's not always going to be easy just based on alignment in the formation.

"To the naked eye, when you look at it from the stands, he's going to look like a running back at times, he's going to look like a wideout at times, but the guys that will be able to do both is what makes that position difficult to recruit," Anderson said.

"You've got to have a guy that can do all those things and can do them comfortably, and learn a lot, and have a capacity to learn a lot," Anderson concluded.

Check back tomorrow for Part IV from Inside Carolina's one-on-one interview with Blake Anderson …


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