On the heels of a report from the Bengals' website saying
Bernard ran 170 times as a rookie and caught 56 passes.
The Bengals don't want to give Bernard more than that because "they want to protect him as well as use him in the passing game," the report said. Bernard had 15 carries once as a rookie, 14 twice and 13 three times.
The website predicts the Bengals will run the ball about 50 more times under new coordinator Hue Jackson.
Of the remaining 230 to 250 carries available, the website expects rookie Jeremy Hill to get the bulk, with the rest going to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Rex Burkhead or whoever emerges as the No. 3 back.
"We want to do more with him because he can do that," running backs coach Kyle Caskey said. "It's not just put him in the slot. We want him everywhere on the field. Make people guess where's he at. You have to make a decision to either play the run or play the pass. What do you do when he's on the field? He's a lot like Reggie Bush where you have to be aware at all times."
Bernard thinks it makes sense.
"Think about it; if you're in the backfield you have to run five yards or six and a half or seven to get to the line of scrimmage and then you've got to push up five more yards, you've got to get through all of the crowd and you've got to check all of the protections," he said. "So it's almost a lot easier when you're on the slot where all you have to do is just run five yards to get to your spot."
Bernard had 56 catches last year but many of them came on plays where he lined up in the backfield. Per ProFootballFocus.com, Bernard lined up as a receiver just 42 times and sparingly catches from those spots. He totaled just over 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
"It's a lot more tempo, tempo, tempo," Bernard said, adding, "We're just going to smash your face in -- basically."
This offensive coordinator wants to use the run to set up the pass. Some three months before the start of the season, this offense has an identity.
"The mentality of the offense has changed," Bernard said.
With the No. 55 pick in the NFL Draft, the
The Bengals already have
Hill, who is a big back at 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, had 1,940 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns on 317 carries along with 254 receiving yards on 26 catches for the Tigers.
If the Bengals release Green-Ellis, Hill would form a formidable duo with Bernard in Cincinnati's backfield.
|P1||8/7/14||@ KC||8:00 pm|
|P3||8/24/14||@ ARI||8:00 pm|
|1||9/7/14||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 4|
|5||10/5/14||@ NE||8:30 pm|
|7||10/19/14||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|11||11/16/14||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|12||11/23/14||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|13||11/30/14||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|15||12/14/14||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|17||12/28/14||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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