Mixon was part of a three-headed running back combination last year that won’t be in place again this season. No one expects Jeremy Hill to return as a free agent and Bengals player personnel director Duke Tobin made it clear that the team is slotting Mixon into the top spot on the depth chart.
“Joe really came on for us in the later part of the year, second half of the season. He’s going to be our bell cow running back,” Tobin said, via ESPN.com. “We are going to combine him with [Giovani Bernard] and we really feel good about that position group.”
Mixon ran 178 times for 626 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. The Bengals will likely be looking for more bang for the buck per carry with Mixon taking on the starring role in his second season.