Bengals’ coaches keep talking up Giovani Bernard


Few rookies seem to have their coaches as excited as Bengals running back Giovani Bernard.

Bernard, whom the Bengals selected in the second round of this year’s NFL draft, has been the subject of talk from the Bengals’ coaching staff that he’s good enough catching passes that he could line up at wide receiver, and that he’ll be part of the Bengals taking “major, major, major steps forward.”

Now Bengals running backs coach Hue Jackson is saying that Bernard doesn’t have to be just be a change-of-pace back behind starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis. In Jackson’s view, Bernard can carry the load if the Bengals call on him to do it.

“Having evaluated him and watched every game he played this year and had a chance to work him out, and having spent a lot of time with him,” Jackson said of Bernard, “he has that skill set where I think he could play and be an every down player.”

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also suggested that Bernard isn’t just a home-run threat who can break a few long runs, but a back who could carry the ball 25 times a game and help the Bengals win by grinding it out.

“It’s not always the yardage total that’s most important,” Lewis said. “When your back is carrying 25 times, it means that even though the yardage will vary, you’re controlling the ball, controlling the clock, and keeping your defense off the field. As it shows for us, that is very likely going to be a winning combination.”

Keeping Bernard heavily involved in the offense may be a winning strategy in Cincinnati.

58 responses to “Bengals’ coaches keep talking up Giovani Bernard

  1. I think the bengals are in for a big season. Green,Eifert,Bernard,Dalton and Gresham will be something to watch. And if Dalton can’t at least win the wild card or divisional round it will be disappointing.

  2. Never heard them, or anybody voice that confidence in Green-Ellis. Sounds like he won’t be called a backup for long. I hardly consider Green-Ellis an every-down back.

  3. I think the bengals got an awesome player, as long as he stays healthy. He was a beast in college. I was hoping the Colts could have worked a trade to move up and get him, but they had too many needs to fill on the line and defense.

  4. Every UNC fan on the planet (and likely every other ACC fan too) is saying told ya so right now. Gio is a monster.

  5. Bernard played behind one of the top olines in the country. They had three excellent lineman in johnathan cooper, Brennan Williams, and Hurst. He ran through wide open holes. He’s not particularly fast or big. He’s no more than Knowshon Moreno. I like the Bengals, but Bernard is just an average RB in a weak RB class.

  6. I just wrote an article about the guy from Britain the Niners signed. Harbaugh said, “Yeah, he’s gonna be great. Looks good in practice we made the right choice. He hasn’t played a game yet but yeah we really like him.”

  7. thesteelers says:
    Jul 5, 2013 12:15 PM
    It’s the Bengals.
    Yes, the Bengals that took you out of the playoffs. Who aren’t fighting the salary cap every year. Who are younger and better than you.

  8. Pretty cool. there aren’t many Italian runnin’ backs in the league right now.

  9. Maybe he will be great.

    But why would coaches alert the world to who is playing well and who defenses should plan for?

  10. yep, UNC fan here who watched this guy shred defenses for the last two years, and don’t see him slowing down anytime soon. explosive, good hands, great vision, and a tough runner.

  11. If he stays healthy I have no doubt he’s going to be a superstar type offensive player for Cincinnati. Chris Johnson at his peak type numbers.

  12. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Jul 5, 2013 1:23 PM

    thesteelers says:
    Jul 5, 2013 12:15 PM
    It’s the Bengals.
    Yes, the Bengals that took you out of the playoffs. Who aren’t fighting the salary cap every year. Who are younger and better than you.


    Can I get a Who Dey?

  13. I’ll start by saying I’m a Ravens fan. I watched his highlight video from college and was impressed. Reminds me of a young Willis McGahee. If he turns out to be that good, it’ll be a quality pick for the Bengals and a good starting running back for 5-8 years.

  14. Sure hue. Put gio at wideout. Lol. Anyone who trades a first and a second for Palmer should not be allowed to comment on players talent.

  15. lionsdraftguy says:

    Definitely would rather have Bernard than Lattimore.
    Lionsguy has a stick up his rectum about the 49ers. Must be about that game they stole with the Delanie Walker last minute TD pass. Or maybe it has something to do with the Niners winning and the Lions stinking. Who knows?

    Maybe Reggie Bush will help, but if you’ve been watching mainly Lions’ games over the past few years you have no idea what a good RB looks like. So your choice of Bernard over Lattimore doesn’t carry a lot of weight.

  16. I’m a diehard Bengals fan and am always excited when I hear positive story’s like this one about the Bengals and it seems they are garnering lots of attention lately.


    I’ve seen this movie before. They are sooooo going 6-10 this year.

  17. 5’9″ 205 lbs. 4.53 40. Lets hold down all the Chris Johnson in his prime comparison. I have my doubts on him. How many small guys with average speed are tearing up the nfl right now?

  18. I am a huge Lions fan, probably the biggest there is. And trust me, I know their flaws. But I dont only watch the Lions. I eat, sleep, and breathe football, 24/7 all year. I know what a good RB is, thats why Id rather have Gio over Lattimore.

    You can make all the Lions cracks you want, but when it comes to knowledge of the game, dont mess with me.

  19. The Bengals chances of improving on last year still don’t improve much, in my opinion. The run game should improve, obviously with a young athletic RB to give opportunities. And drafting Eifert will help the passing game a LITTLE bit. Their glaring weakness is a competent #2 WR, and until they fill the void, defenses are going to continue doubling A.J. Green, or in the Steelers’ case, just throwing Ike Taylor on him and stacking the box. Every one in the AFCN has a stout defense, so it’s now a matter of boosting offensive output. The team should be averaging 25-30 pts per game with that offense (on paper).

    And yes, they are the Bengals, as nicely as I can put that. There’s some reason why they havent won a playoff game since ’91. They’ve been out of the ‘basement’ since 2003 when Marvin Lewis became the head coach, and competitive at that, but cannot compete in the postseason.

    In my opinion, what they need is a change at the head coach position. Lewis’ legacy would be a great one though, taking a perennial loser (a la the modern day Jags) and making them relevant again, but sometimes you need coaches to do what he did, and then you need a coach who can take them to the next level after that.

    So to sum up: a new HC and a viable WR2 should get Cincy to be a true contender.

  20. Jul 5, 2013 12:50 PM
    Every UNC fan on the planet (and likely every other ACC fan too) is saying told ya so right now. Gio is a monster.

    Every UNC fan? Both of them?

    I’m speaking strictly of football, mind you.

  21. relggigeht says:
    Jul 5, 2013 3:06 PM

    Cincinnati Bengals – 0

    Exactly. I’ll further that by stating that the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in over twenty years.

  22. Dear Steelers Fan,

    When you point to the past to show your team’s greatness, it only serves to underscore how little you have to point to in the present.

  23. Just remember this is off-season coach-speak. I seem to remember many glowing comments about Charger rookie RB Ryan Mathews two years ago by Norv Turner. Now Turner’s been fired and Mathews is an afterthought as a stud running back. And remember, Marvin Lewis has drafted running backs like Chris Perry and Kenny Irons with high picks in the past…I’m not drinking the kool-aid on Bernard just yet.

  24. Steeler fans you lost to the Titans, Raiders, and Browns in a 8-8 2012 season. That is how you enter the 2013 season as a 500 team that has an often injured quarterback, and an aging defense.

  25. Gio went to Saint Thomas Aquinas. He’ll be good for years to come. We already gave cincy the best interior lineman in the league in Geno. We only pop out winners down here. Believe the hype.

  26. I don’t believe anything coaches say about their players until they do it in a live game. When was the last time s coach said “Man, that guy we drafted in the 2nd round looks awful”? Everyone feels great about their players now.

  27. Steeler fans always living in the past. I guess when your team is going in the wrong direction, as a fan you have to come to another teams page and talk trash. Stay classy steeler fans.

  28. If Sanu stays healthy you’ll see that viable #2 oh and who was the #2 in NE last year? That’s what I thought having Eifert and Gresham on the field at the same time will more than help out that “weak” #2 and Green. Go count your trophies again or write your baseless opinions
    on another AFCN thread. Mark my words Sanu is Houshmanzadeh 2.0. WHO DEY

  29. If he’s got his head on right, like a Doug Martin does, he’ll be a fine pick for the Bengals. They look a hellava lot like one another on the football field… Ray Rice.

  30. Super Bowl Bound. Move over Denver. Peyton Manning will lose in the playoffs again. And Eli won’t even be there. It’s nice to see the Bengals model their team after a Champion. You have to. If you want to stay competitive in your division and in the playoffs. The Bengals are going to be hard to beat. Did you see those sweet passes Joe Flacco made in the playoffs and SB? He’s awesome.

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