Marvin Lewis says Joe Mixon “way better than I expected”

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Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Joe Mixon received more carries in Sunday’s season opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens than either Giovanni Bernard or Jeremy Hill.

While Mixon wasn’t particularly impressive in his regular season debut – he gained just nine yards on eight carries and caught three passes for 15 yards – it’s clear the second-round pick has made a positive impression on Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

“He’s way better than I expected,” Lewis said on a conference call with Houston reporters. “He’s very, very talented. As a football player, he’s excellent and as a young man, I’m really impressed with him and just the way he carries himself and does things. That’s good. He’s going to have a fine pro career and he’s had one game under his belt now.”

The Bengals elected to take the chance on Mixon despite an incident in college at Oklahoma where he punched a woman in the face. While Mixon and the woman have publicly resolved their differences and Mixon has apologized for the incident, the residue of the altercation remained. Cincinnati was the team that ultimately felt comfortable enough to select him and give him his chance in the NFL.

Since getting to the Bengals, Mixon has made a positive impression on Lewis throughout the offseason and now it’s the first week of games.

“He’s a very positive 21-year-old,” Lewis said. “That’s what’s been great about him. He’s into his teammates, he’s here a lot, around here a lot. He’s got a great personality, a very upbeat personality all the time. It’s impressive. He’s like a 21-year-old child and he carries himself as a good, upbeat, positive young man, and that’s what you want to see from him all the time. He’s a great worker, he handles the work. He doesn’t shy away from anything, he’s involved in every aspect here, special teams and on offense, providing looks for the defense and all the things that a young player has to do in the NFL. I’ve been pleased with all that.”

With Mixon already getting more carries than Bernard and Hill, it may only be a matter of time before he takes the reins as Cincinnati’s lead running back.

7 responses to “Marvin Lewis says Joe Mixon “way better than I expected”

  1. Yup – Joe Mixon, Pacman Jones and Vontaze Burfict. NFL refs have to add new language when they call Bengals games – “There were three fouls on the play – all on the defense – Number 55 is ejected for targeting, Number 24 assault – that penalty will be enforced 15 yards, and after the play, sideline foul Number 28 – throwing a punch at a female fan, this player is also ejected. First down Pittsburgh.”

  2. Then start him and give him the ball. Enough with the Hill experiment. Mixon didnt touch the ball in the 2nd or 3rd qtr. I cannot wait until Marvin is gone for so many reasons.

  3. How sad is it that Marvin has to tell people how good he thinks his players are? Mixon is better than I thought he would be but you would never know because I’ve allowed our stagnant offensive line coach to stay on staff and our cheap owner let our top two lineman walk. Vontaze is a great linebacker but you will never know cause Goodell suspends him every time he breaths. AJ Grenn should be a hall of farmer but his numbers will probably lag due to poor oline play and a middling qb. Jeez

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