2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Rookie Bernard growing into big role for Bengals

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-09 16:00

CINCINNATI (AP) - Giovani Bernard was heading back to the huddle after a long run when he got a compliment from one of the Colts linebackers.

''After the play, he was like, `You're a shifty dude,''' Bernard said.

Shifty. Elusive. And quickly growing into an integral part of the Cincinnati offense.

Bernard had his best game on Sunday, running for a career-high 99 yards and catching four passes for 49 yards during a 42-28 win over the Colts. He leads the AFC in yards from scrimmage by a rookie with 1,023, giving the Bengals (9-4) the dual threat out of the backfield they've lacked for years.

With BenJarvus Green-Ellis filling the role of power runner, the Bengals have a combination that reminds them of the last time they made a deep playoff run.

They made it to the Super Bowl in 1988 with a running tandem of James Brooks and Ickey Woods. Woods did the straight-ahead running and danced his ''Ickey Shuffle'' after a score. Brooks was the dual-threat back who was second on the team in rushing and fourth in receiving.

''It's just going to continue,'' Bernard said. ''We've just really hit our stride.''

The Bengals have been looking for a dual-threat back for years. They took Chris Perry in the first round in 2004, but he was hurt a lot. They took halfback Kenny Irons in the second round in 2007; that didn't work out either. Change-of-pace running back Bernard Scott came in the sixth round in 2009, but also was hurt.

Bernard, a second-round pick out of North Carolina, has finally filled the niche.

''I think back to 2008 when Ray Rice was a rookie,'' coach Marvin Lewis said, referring to the Ravens' star running back. ''Some of his runs - low to the ground with his hands down - that's who we kind of likened Gio to as we evaluated him out of college.''

The Bengals have taken a while to figure out how to blend the two together. They've found the right mix in the last few weeks.

Bernard has at least 95 yards rushing and receiving in four of the last five games. On Sunday, he came up 1 yard shy of becoming the first Bengals running back to run for 100 yards this season.

''For me, the biggest thing that I try to do is just all-purpose yards,'' Bernard said. ''It's not the running, it's not the (receiving), it's just a combination of the two.''

Even though the Bengals haven't had a 100-yard rusher, they've had big games with the two of them running the ball. They piled up 155 yards against the Colts, the fifth time this season they've rushed for more than 150 in a game.

Green-Ellis had 48 yards on 17 carries against the Colts and a pair of touchdown runs, including one they were still talking about Monday. The Bengals went for it on fourth down from the Indianapolis 1-yard line late in the first half.

Nose tackle Josh Chapman swiped at Green-Ellis' feet and appeared to trip him in the backfield. Green-Ellis stumbled forward and landed at the 1, then stretched the ball into the end zone. He was initially ruled down at the 1, but the Bengals were awarded a touchdown upon review.

Referee Jeff Triplette said the review focused only on whether Green-Ellis was touched as he fell at the 1-yard line, not whether he was tripped in the backfield.

Triplette's crew had trouble getting the down and distance correct at the end of the Giants' 24-17 win over Washington last week.

''I guess it's just not a good week for those guys,'' Green-Ellis said Monday. ''I'm just happy that we get one in our favor. Man, we've had so many calls go against us in the opposite direction. So I'm happy to get one and that we got away with that one like that.''

Notes: CB Terence Newman had a brace on his left leg Monday. He hurt his knee late in Sunday's game. It's unclear how many games he'll miss. ... The Bengals' sloppy tackling allowed Colts receivers to pile up 206 yards after catches on Sunday, the most they'd allowed since 2009, according to STATS.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Duron HarmonApr 15 10:57a

New England Patriots SS Duron Harmon is the leading candidate to take over as the Patriots' top strong safety now that Steve Gregory has been released.

Eli ManningApr 15 10:23a

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's 'ludicrous' to think that Giants QB Eli Manning is in decline. 'There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 09:33a

The New York Jets are visiting with free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans) Tuesday, April 15.

Will MontgomeryApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It's not known whether C Will Montgomery or C Manuel Ramirez will start at center.

Sidney RiceApr 14 11:52p

The Carolina Panthers might show an interest in free-agent WR Sidney Rice (Seahawks), but only at the right price.

Manuel RamirezApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It remains unclear whether OT Orlando Franklin, OG Ben Garland or C Manuel Ramirez will be the team's left guard.

Terrell ManningApr 14 05:32p

The San Diego Chargers have released LB Terrell Manning.

Nate IrvingApr 14 05:12p

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker at this time, but the team is expected to select a middle linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Leon HallApr 14 04:12p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (Achilles') has been cleared for all football drills as part of his rehab.

Jamarca SanfordApr 14 04:12p

Minnesota Vikings SS Kurt Coleman will likely be a contributor on special teams this year and enter the year competing with SSs Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo for a backup safety spot.

Dustin KellerApr 14 03:42p

The New England Patriots could show interest in free-agent TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins) at some point this offseason.

Jermichael FinleyApr 14 03:32p

Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins have told the agent of free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (neck) that they could be interested in signing Finley if he is cleared [ More ]

Von MillerApr 14 03:32p

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good and hopes to play better than he did before he suffered his injury. 'I'm a [ More ]

Kurt ColemanApr 14 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with free-agent SS Kurt Coleman (Eagles). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sidney RiceApr 14 02:52p

Free-agent WR Sidney Rice (knee) has been cleared to participate in football activities by Dr. James Andrews, according to a source. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, New Orleans [ More ]

Chris CulliverApr 14 02:22p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. Culliver was arrested March 28 for allegedly hitting a [ More ]

C.J. SpillerApr 14 01:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to land Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller before they traded for RB Darren Sproles this offseason, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. [ More ]

Rashean MathisApr 14 12:52p

The Detroit Lions will re-sign CB Rashean Mathis to an undisclosed one-year deal, according to a league source. Mathis started 13 games last year and recorded 47 tackles.

Chris PressleyApr 14 10:02a

The Cleveland Browns have signed free-agent FB Chris Pressley (Bengals) to an undisclosed deal.

Alex SmithApr 14 02:02a

Draft stock for Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater appears to be falling based on recent workouts, so the Kansas City Chiefs may take a flier on Bridgewater if he is [ More ]

Donald ThomasApr 14 01:52a

The Indianapolis Colts offensive line is still in flux, with several players battling for key spots. OG Donald Thomas (knee), returning from a torn ACL, is expected to man [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 11:42p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was released from a Los Angeles jail Sunday, April 13, after posting $20,000 bail, shortly after being charged with [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 09:22p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday, April 13, at Los Angeles International Airport after he made a threat that he possessed a [ More ]

Damian WilliamsApr 13 08:48p

Miami Dolphins WR Damian Williams said the team talked to him about the possibility of being a return man for them. Williams likely would be behind RB Marcus Thigpen [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 06:52p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was reportedly detained by police at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend. A man, believed to be Smith, was belligerent in the [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 13 06:32p

The New York Giants are concerned QB Eli Manning is entering the decline stage of his career. The team opted not to extend his deal, which runs through 2015, [ More ]

Jermichael FinleyApr 13 06:32p

The Miami Dolphins have talked to free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (Packers).

Charles GodfreyApr 12 11:32p

The Carolina Panthers want to see how FS Charles Godfrey (Achilles') does in his recovery from an Achilles' tendon injury before deciding on his future with the team. Godfrey [ More ]

Alex MackApr 12 08:22p

Cleveland Browns C Alex Mack said there is no bad blood between him and the team after the team placed the transition tag on him, and he signed an [ More ]

Chad JohnsonApr 12 08:12p

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said the team has been talking with free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) about a contract and will work him out Tuesday, April 15.

Deonte ThompsonApr 12 11:52a

The drug charges against Baltimore Ravens WR Deonte Thompson have been dropped because of insufficient evidence. Thompson was arrested in February for suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Bobby MassieApr 12 12:02a

Arizona Cardinals OTs Bobby Massie, Nate Potter and Bradley Sowell are expected to compete for the starting right tackle job during training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group