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Jay Gruden plans a running back-by-committee offense in Cincinnati


Bengals running back Cedric Benson has made no secret that he’s looking forward to leaving Cincinnati in free agency, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden says the Bengals will be just fine without Benson.

Gruden told he’s planning a running back-by-committee offense.

It’s not a bad way to go. Keep guys fresh. They play longer, they’re involved,” Gruden said. “If something happens to one, you know you’ve got a guy that can come in there and be productive. Where you’re not relying heavily on one guy and if something happens to him, you’re like, ‘Oh God, this guy doesn’t have many reps.’ I think it’s important to have guys touch the ball, I believe, as a committee.”

With Benson leaving, the Bengals’ committee is likely to include Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman, and the Bengals have said they’d like to draft a running back. But the committee won’t include Benson, who led the team with 273 carries for 1,067 yards and six touchdowns last season.

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34 Responses to “Jay Gruden plans a running back-by-committee offense in Cincinnati”
  1. joetoronto says: Feb 28, 2012 7:05 AM

    When you have 3 RB’s, you really don’t have any.

  2. jenniferxxx says: Feb 28, 2012 7:07 AM

    Almost every team in the NFL already does that. But being a Gruden he probably feels it’s new and innovative.

  3. purplengold says: Feb 28, 2012 7:10 AM

    Its hard to find one back who can run, catch, and block on passing downs. Even with AP, the Vikings missed Chester Taylor.

  4. berniemadoffsides says: Feb 28, 2012 7:11 AM

    I’ll go out on a limb and say Benson’s a Patriot.

  5. sportsmeccabi says: Feb 28, 2012 7:14 AM

    It’s a good idea in theory if you have two good running backs. But if you only have one, the cowbell approach is the way to go.
    But what if you’re like Cinncinnati and have zero good running backs?

  6. pskotte says: Feb 28, 2012 7:29 AM

    Addition by subtraction. See ya Ced.

  7. nardointhenati says: Feb 28, 2012 7:32 AM

    Good news is this means that all the RB’s have a year of experience in the system. Out of the 3 of them Peerman is probably the best “all around” back . Scott is seriously TINY but I can imagine its a nightmare for LB’s to track him thru the wash. Leonard has always managed to make the tough catch or jump a DB so as a member of the Bengal Nation Im pleased to see Coach Gruden saying he’s gonna use all the bullets he has.

  8. 6ball says: Feb 28, 2012 7:55 AM


    Running backs are a weird lot. Outside of the top tier who perform consistently, there seems to be a glut of backs who can either give you 137 yards or 37 yards. Plus you never know when you’re going to get which. Better to have more options with backs possessing different skills.


  9. The Buffer Zone says: Feb 28, 2012 8:02 AM

    Cedric Benson just didn’t seem to break any runs open this past season. Every time there was contact, he’d go down.

    He’ll bounce around as a number 2 until his career ends. The funny thing is that if he plays like he did last year, he’ll actually be a good spell back…he just doesn’t have that “lead a team” talent.

    Cedric Benson & Peyton Hillis are going to make 2 teams who need a back up pretty happy.

  10. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Feb 28, 2012 8:07 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Feb 28, 2012 7:05 AM
    When you have 3 RB’s, you really don’t have any.
    The majority of NFL teams utilize multiple RBs. New England and New Orleans have done pretty well considering that, according to you, they don’t really have any RBs.

  11. raiderstotheship says: Feb 28, 2012 8:12 AM

    And the bengals select…. trent richardson rb, alabama…

  12. johnnyb1976 says: Feb 28, 2012 8:33 AM

    It’s obvious that some of the people leaving comments on this site and this story are smarter when they keep their mouth shut ( joetoronto & jenniferxxx ) and that they don’t watch any football outside of watching someone play madden. Do the rest of us a favor be smart and keep your mouth shut

  13. bungalsfan101 says: Feb 28, 2012 8:35 AM

    i think you need atleast 2 more running backs

  14. wryly1 says: Feb 28, 2012 8:36 AM

    It’s the right thing to do. You can count on one had the number of NFL teams that have one back who can carry the load with versatility and consistent production.

  15. istuppingyourwhiteewe says: Feb 28, 2012 8:50 AM

    Is this Gruden’s was of saying “get me Trent Richardson”

  16. phlockar says: Feb 28, 2012 8:52 AM

    joetoronto says:Feb 28, 2012 7:05 AM

    When you have 3 RB’s, you really don’t have any.


    This literally makes no sense.

  17. realpro14 says: Feb 28, 2012 8:56 AM

    Benson in Arizona…

  18. abninf says: Feb 28, 2012 9:04 AM

    The whole league has been slowly going this route. There will never bee another Peyton, Brown, Dorsett, Campbell, ect, HOF franchise type RB again. Sad to see. I’d like to see what Emmitt Smith would have said if Jimmy Johnson told him to sit on the bench and get fresh.

  19. samoanjungle says: Feb 28, 2012 9:09 AM

    Sign Payton Hillis and draft LaMichael James and we we will be alright.
    Pound it with Hillis then when the LBs and DBs are all tired and beaten up from Hillis, let them try to chase down James.

  20. cardmagnet says: Feb 28, 2012 9:17 AM

    Draft Lamar Miller, and you have a one man committee : power, speed, big play ability.

  21. joetoronto says: Feb 28, 2012 9:24 AM

    It makes no sense when you’re oblivious.

    Backups are great and needed, but one of them should be the man.

    3 backups equal zero studs.

  22. cincyorangenblack says: Feb 28, 2012 9:25 AM

    Best coaching staff we’ve had in 20+ years….

  23. edgarh21 says: Feb 28, 2012 9:30 AM

    If running backs are so “easy to find” why the need to go Running Back by committee cause you don’t have one.

    Draft a #1 RB. Or are they not really that easy to find.

  24. mac3333 says: Feb 28, 2012 9:40 AM

    Trent Richardson to Cincy would be the perfect marriage of Value and Need.

    AJ Green + Trent Richardson would be a nasty combination that would give D coordinators fits for years.

  25. joe3001 says: Feb 28, 2012 10:00 AM

    Well that’s the plan today … unless Trent Richardson falls to them in the 1st round … then plans have a way of changing.

  26. rajbais says: Feb 28, 2012 10:51 AM

    And I’m looking forward for Benson to get nothing in free agency!!!

    Thanks for doing NOTHING in Chicago, jerk!!!!!!

  27. theroc5156 says: Feb 28, 2012 10:55 AM

    I just wish we had someone to block for our running back by committee.

  28. quizguy66 says: Feb 28, 2012 11:19 AM

    Benson was tied for 7th in the entire NFL in rushing attempts and still that’s not enough? The Bengals basically saved his career when nobody wanted anything to do with him and for the last 2 years he’s done nothing but grouse about his perceived lack of carries. Those carries have been less effective as time has passed as well.

    Does he really think somebody out there is going to give him 300-350 carries?!?


  29. farvefromover says: Feb 28, 2012 11:20 AM

    I really don’t believe it is so much “Benson is leaving” as much as it is “Cincinnati doesn’t want him back”. They will draft young and not worry every week about whether or not he might punch someone in the face at a bar.

  30. jcioffi1485 says: Feb 28, 2012 12:07 PM

    Will miss ya Ced. Yeah, I’ll miss all of those 2 yd runs.

  31. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Feb 28, 2012 1:32 PM

    Sign Peyton Hillis? Why?

  32. job419 says: Feb 28, 2012 2:19 PM

    theroc5156 said it best: “I just wish we had someone to block for our running back by committee.”

    The running game is going to suck until we have an O-line that can actually run block. Bring in Nicks and grab an OG in the first day of the draft.

  33. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Feb 28, 2012 3:18 PM

    Benson was on his best behaviour when he got here in 2008. By 2010, we got to see what Bears fans were talking about. All Benson has done the last 2 years is sulk about his carries and contract. He would whine about “only” getting 20 carries after the TEAM won the game! He publicly called out coaches several times too. Average back with a diva attitude. Glad Gruden doesn’t like Benson, or want him back.

  34. jethrie says: Feb 28, 2012 7:56 PM

    Pretty obvious smokescreen from Gruden. Don’t try so hard, Jay. If Richardson’s there at 21, he’s a Bengal. If not, then I’d bet the kid out of Miami, Lamar Miller, will be in stripes come round 2 or 3.

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