Marvin Lewis was the one to pull in the reins on using
But now Lewis is hoping for Bernard to take a deep breath, reflect on his rookie year, and then "mature and grow" into a prominent role in the
"I witnessed in Ray Rice since his rookie year in Baltimore and then from ['08 to '09] and the difference in him. We're hoping that Gio can take those same steps," Lewis said.
Not only did a story on the
Bernard already had two more touches than Green-Ellis in 2013 but this is a hint that the team will make the transition toward the second-year superstar.
"After a spectacular NFL Rookie of the Year finalist season, Bernard is only going to get more work and no doubt is going to border on 300 touches," site editor Geoff Hobson wrote.
Bernard had 170 carries and 56 catches last year.
Jackson praised Bernard for his toughness as a rookie.
"Here's a young man who played last year -- and I'm not trying to brag on him -- but he played hurt," Jackson said. "The guy didn't shy away from me. There were times when I said, 'Is this guy going to play?' And he didn't blink. He played as hard and as well as any young player I've been around with as much as we asked him to do."
Bernard accounted for 1,209 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns last year.
"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.
|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|
Nike A.J. Green Bengals Game Jersey - Black
$99.95 Shop Now!