2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rookie Bernard gives Bengals RBs a different look

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-29 14:41

CINCINNATI (AP) - Giovani Bernard lined up in the backfield, caught a short pass and made a quick plant-and-cut move to avoid a linebacker and head into the open field.

The Bengals have a much different look with their rookie running back.

Cincinnati has tried for years to get more of a pass-catching threat in their backfield. Bernard, a second-round pick from North Carolina, has provided it during training camp.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still the featured back after running for a career-high 1,094 yards last season. But Bernard could wind up with a lot of plays, providing a different running style and another target for quarterback Andy Dalton's passes.

``Giovani Bernard has what we're looking for,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ``He'll be a great complement to BenJarvus. BenJarvus is a prideful man. He'll be hard to displace.''

One of the Bengals' priorities in training camp is to figure out how the two fit together in one spot.

The Bengals have featured a power running back the last five years in Cedric Benson and Green-Ellis, who signed last season. They were hoping that Bernard Scott could share the job and provide more of an outside running threat, but he hurt his hand and ankle and tore his ACL last year. He's not fully recovered from the knee surgery.

Green-Ellis caught 22 passes last season but averaged only 4.7 yards per catch. Bernard had 47 catches for an average of 10.4 yards last season at North Carolina.

``Obviously what sets him apart and why we really were drawn to him was his quickness out of the backfield as far as catching the ball,'' offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said.

Gruden's job is to figure out how to share the position. Asked if he knows his role yet, Bernard said, ``I really don't know. I'm just kind of going out there and learning everything.''

Green-Ellis has a slow start last season, especially with the offensive line in flux because of injuries. He failed to run for 100 yards in each of the first nine games, then topped 100 four times in a five-game stretch.

``It was back and forth,'' Green-Ellis said. ``It was up-down, like the stock market. That's what we were the first half of the season, and then we kind of became like the Dow Jones of old at the end of it.''

He was especially good on short yardage carries. He notched a first down on 14 of his 15 carries when it was third-and-1, the best conversion ratio in the league.

Given Green-Ellis' success, Bernard knows that he's going to be the backup heading into the season.

``He's a big bruiser,'' Bernard said. ``He's still a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield and he can get outside as well. Adding my speed and my shiftiness or whatever helps him out a little bit, so he doesn't have to take as much pounding on his body.

``But at the end of the day, he is the leader in our running back group. I know he is the leader and I have to follow his footsteps.''

---

NOTES: Right tackle Andre Smith was cleared to practice on Monday after missing the first four days of camp with a strained calf. Smith missed all of the offseason workouts and a mandatory minicamp because of a personal matter. ... Long snapper Bryce Davis and receiver Brandon Tate also were cleared to practice fully for the first time. ... The Bengals have a day off on Tuesday.

---

Online: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group