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Giovani Bernard won’t see a big spike in workload


Bengals running back Giovani Bernard has proven to be a potent offensive presence in his rookie season, with last week’s weaving touchdown run against the Dolphins serving as the latest illustration of that potency.

When you put Bernard’s explosiveness alongside the more plodding running style employed by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, it seems a bit incongruous that Green-Ellis has remained ahead in touches as the year has unfolded. That’s what’s happened, though, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said that there’s no change in the works to the way that playing time is doled out in the backfield.

“So to say we’re going to give the ball to Gio 25 times each week is kind of unrealistic. He needs spelling. He needs a bigger back in there like BenJarvus to take 10, 12, 15 carries and a game … it keeps him fresh, too,” Gruden said, via the team’s website. “Some of these guys, it’s important for them to be fresh, fast. That’s the way he is. He needs to have full stamina and be fresh coming out of the backfield running fast because that’s what he is. If he’s tired after his 17th, 18th carry and all of a sudden he becomes a 4.8 guy and tired, he becomes an ordinary guy.”

When Bernard is in the game, there’s an unpredictability to the Bengals offense that doesn’t exist when Green-Ellis, who has two catches all year, is in the backfield with Andy Dalton. While that doesn’t mean he should be getting the ball 25 times a game, it does suggest the Bengals would be better off giving him the bigger slice of the platoon pie in the second half of the season.

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16 Responses to “Giovani Bernard won’t see a big spike in workload”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 8, 2013 7:16 AM

    Uncaged that tiger in the playoffs.

  2. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 8, 2013 7:31 AM

    Get Andy Dalton a quality #2 wide receiver.

    2012 Marvin Jones (ROOKIE):

    1.6 receptions per game avg.
    18 yards per game avg.
    .09 touchdown per game avg.

    2013 Marvin Jones:

    3 receptions per game avg.
    48 yards per game avg.
    .6 touchdowns per game avg.

    2013 Marvin Jones (minus his big game against the Jets):

    2.5 receptions per game avg.
    38 yards per game avg.
    .3 touchdowns per game avg.

  3. joetoronto says: Nov 8, 2013 7:44 AM

    Maybe they can have Bernard throw sideline passes.

    Dalton sure can’t do it.

  4. truthfactory says: Nov 8, 2013 7:45 AM

    This was the same reason Todd Haley played Thomas Jones ahead of Jamal Charles when it was clear Charles was the better back. These guys waaaay over think these things. PLAY YOUR BEST PLAYERS!!!

    Why dont you run Bernard hard, and use Green Ellis to spell him when he’s tired versus the other way around?? #Idiot

  5. cincy85 says: Nov 8, 2013 7:54 AM

    I love gio but making that guy an every down back could be a bad idea. Gruden makes a good point about keeping him fresh, plus you don’t wanna get the guy hurt. But the dude is awesome no doubt

  6. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 8, 2013 8:04 AM

    “… If he’s tired after his 17th carry …”, Gruden

    Okay, since when is a 21 year old RB with virtually no NFL mileage on him – suddenly get to be a tired 4.8 back? What an inane conclusion based upon some very week analysis.

  7. jrazz22 says: Nov 8, 2013 8:05 AM

    Don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to get the ball in his hands more. He’s a football player. Stop over coaching and give him more touches. He gives the team a crazy weapon that Green Ellis is no where near capable of.

  8. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Nov 8, 2013 8:08 AM

    Feed him and good things happen

  9. qdog112 says: Nov 8, 2013 8:40 AM

    Gruden, while not as arrogant as his brother, is less qualified to be an OC. There is no continuity to his play calling and though loaded with weapons, they are utilized very poorly.

    There is no team in the league with more weapons and they should score 30 before hitting the field. The way he uses Gio is the prime example and his disjointed play select, another.

  10. bengalsucker says: Nov 8, 2013 8:42 AM

    Watching the law firm run is like watching paint dry. It’s painstakingly awful. He’s good for short yardage and a nice chunk here and there. He has no explosiveness like Bernard. He can’t make people miss like Bernard. Yet they continue to stick him out there as the premier back. Doesn’t make sense. I get that you want Bernard fresh. But in no way should the law firm be getting more touches than Bernard.

  11. natijim235 says: Nov 8, 2013 8:44 AM

    this Gio faster then a Ferrai

  12. vottorific says: Nov 8, 2013 8:47 AM

    Yeah, and Gio cant pick up and block blitzes like the law firm.

  13. oriolesvsravens says: Nov 8, 2013 8:54 AM

    It’s smart to use him in certain situations where big plays are needed and on passing dows with his change of pace compared to the Law Firm. Like with GB Starks and Lacy, NO with Thomas and Sproles the different styles between yhe two backs gives the offense a lot of flexibility.

  14. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 8, 2013 9:35 AM

    “… If he’s tired after his 17th carry …”, Gruden

    Okay, since when is a 21 year old RB with virtually no NFL mileage on him – suddenly get to be a tired 4.8 back? What an inane conclusion based upon some very week analysis.

  15. nflcinbengals says: Nov 8, 2013 10:46 AM

    Coaching will continue to hold the team back!

  16. foosball1984 says: Nov 8, 2013 5:02 PM

    he doesn’t need to be an every down back, but he does need to see more of the ball whether it’s carries or passes his way.

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