Last year, Detroit Lions coaches asked linebacker Jason Cabinda to make a huge transition. A defender through and through, Cabinda was approached about playing on the other side of the ball, specifically to use that physical defensive mindset to be the team’s fullback. The mid-offseason transition wasn’t easy, but Cabinda was up for it.
This year, the fullback was ready to fully assume the positional change, studying film of fullback stars like 49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk, but as soon as he took the field in training camp, the Lions saw more potential out of the player. He can block, he can catch, he can run, and that makes him a valuable, versatile resource to this offense.
We chatted with Cabinda on Tuesday, and he revealed that he is indeed going through yet another positional change. While he’s been playing predominantly fullback still, after a couple weeks into the season, he changed position rooms, sitting in on meeting with tight ends coach Ben Johnson to fully explore the limits of his skillset.
“I’m, from that standpoint, a tight end,” Cabinda said. “It just shows they feel like there’s a lot of place I can grow, there’s more that I can do. So they’re just trying to continue to make me grow and continue to help me to develop as a player.”
If that sounds like a lot to take on for a young player who just moved over to the offensive side of the ball it is. But Cabinda said he’s up for the challenge.
“Going into every game, I’m prepared to play fullback, I’m prepared to play H (back), I’m prepared to play tight end,” Cabinda said. “But then I’m a smart guy. I handle my business, I study and ask questions and make sure I’m up to date with everything. It’s really just focus. That’s really all it is, staying disciplined.”
You can listen to our entire conversation below. We talked about special teams, what it’s like to go through a tie game, and the art of converting a fourth-and-1.
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