"What I need to do is unleash these guys," Jackson said. "We're going to try and create an environment for these guys to be great. That's what [head coach] Marvin [Lewis] is all about. We know we need to run the football. We want to run the football. That's where it starts. That's what he preaches."
ESPN surmises that under Jackson the Bengals will average close to 30 carries per game from their primary backs,
Jackson has a good track record of utilizing running backs, so both should be effective in 2014.
With running backs coach Hue Jackson taking over as offensive coordinator, the
"For me and Benny, I think we've done a good job thus far. I think we can continue to keep doing a good job," Bernard told the website. "We've just got to go into it with an open mind, and he's (Jackson) going to create this craziest playbook ever, but it's going to be fun. I'm excited for it."
Bernard didn't elaborate on the playbook. Last season Cincinnati ranked 18th in rushing yards (109.7 per game) and tied for 27th in yards per carry (3.6). But only seven teams had more than the Bengals' 481 rushing attempts.
Bernard carried the ball 12 times for 45 yards. He was a much bigger threat in the passing game. Bernard caught seven passes for 73 yards. He was targeted 10 times.
Green-Ellis went over 50 rushing yards for just the second time in five games, but did finish with four rushing touchdowns in that span. He did not have a 100-yard rushing game this season, but finished with seven touchdowns -- a one-score improvement over 2012.
Green-Ellis has played 15 or more games four straight years. He finishes the regular season with 756 rushing yards.
Bernard has gotten a steady amount of carries over the past four games, seeing no fewer than 12 and no more than 14. But his output has been varied, ranging from 20 rushing yards to 99. He's scored one touchdown in the last four games, while catching nine total passes.
Green-Ellis, meanwhile, has been all over the pace with carries (ranging from four to 20 in that four-game span), but has scored four touchdowns. And in that span, Green-Ellis was severely limited in a game against the Steelers (the four-carry game) with an illness.
In Week 10, when the Bengals faced the Ravens (this Sunday's opponent), Green-Ellis ran nine times for 36 yards, while Bernard ran 14 times for 58 yards and caught a season-best eight passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens had been solid against running backs this season, but have taken a step back lately, allowing six touchdowns over the last four games to backs, and 40 or more receiving yards to running backs in two of those games.
Bernard and Green-Ellis will likely continue their recent trends -- Green-Ellis serving as the workhorse and red zone back; Bernard getting about 13 carries and catching a handful of passes. That puts both of them on the cusp of RB2, with Bernard getting a bit of a bump in PPR formats thanks to his pass-catching ability.
|2008||New England Patriots||9||3||74||275||3.7||15||5||0||23|
|2009||New England Patriots||12||0||26||114||4.4||29||0||1||6|
|2010||New England Patriots||16||11||229||1008||4.4||33||13||4||62|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||6||181||667||3.7||18||11||0||41|
|2008||New England Patriots||9||3||3||37||12.3||20||0||1||0||3|
|2009||New England Patriots||12||0||2||11||5.5||6||0||0||0||0|
|2010||New England Patriots||16||11||12||85||7.1||16||0||0||0||5|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||6||9||159||17.7||53||0||3||1||7|
|2008||New England Patriots||9||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2009||New England Patriots||12||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2010||New England Patriots||16||1||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2008||New England Patriots||9||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2009||New England Patriots||12||1||0.0||1||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2010||New England Patriots||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||3||1.0||2||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2008||New England Patriots||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2009||New England Patriots||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2010||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|