No one ever questioned Joe Mixon’s talent. It’s the video of him in 2014 punching a female University of Oklahoma student that has raised questions about the Bengals using a second-round choice on the former OU running back.
The Bengals have defended the selection since, including an open letter written by owner Mike Brown as way of explanation.
Coach Marvin Lewis reiterated that the Bengals did their due diligence before deciding to select Mixon.
“A lot of time, a lot of research,” Lewis said Thursday on Sirius XM, via NFL.com. “Time spent with Joe. Time researching people around Joe. Joe’s past in East Bay [California]. All those kinds of things that way. His past on campus at Oklahoma since the incident. So, there couldn’t be any other red flags to say, ‘Well, well, maybe…’ No, no, no. It had to be clean, and Joe knows that. He knows going forward, it has to stay clean all the time. He’s lived on the tip of the sword for three years now, and he’s got to continue to probably for the rest of his life.”
If Mixon stays out of trouble, he should become a big part of the Bengals offense. Cincinnati has had 1,000-yard rushers only twice the past five years, with Jeremy Hill rushing for 1,124 yards in 2014 and BenJarvis Green-Ellis going for 1,094 in 2012.
“He’s off the charts talent-wise,” Lewis said. “Big, fast, catch, run, see, smart — and he’s a 20-year-old kid. He’s as smart as a whip. You know, I mean, those things are fun. And I keep reminding everybody, he’s a 20-year-old kid. Keep understanding that. Let Joe continue to grow and develop as we go.”