The Bengals running game in 2012 was made up of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and a little more BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The Law Firm carried the ball 278 times in the regular season and the rest of the Bengals running backs carried it 81 times, a lack of balance they’ve talked about remedying since losing to the Texans in the playoffs. Running backs coach Jim Anderson is at the Senior Bowl and said that he’s trying to find a complement for Green-Ellis, but explained that he isn’t just looking for a “speed back” because of the chance that No. 2 will have to take over the starting job at some point in the season.
“If you have a guy that can’t do some of the things that he can do, and you really need a guy that can carry it a lot in this division, then you can’t do what you do on offense,” Anderson said, via the team’s website. “You’d like the (other back) to emulate him in some way. Maybe the guy is like the other guy, but brings a few different things to the table. But sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”
The Bengals probably wouldn’t mind if they found a back who wound up being more than a complement. Green-Ellis had a career-best 1,098 yards and did his best work during the second-half spurt that carried the Bengals into the playoffs, but he’s not the most dynamic back in the world. He’s affordable enough at $2.3 million in each of the next two years that he could become the complement to a younger back if the Bengals find the right one.