The Bengals expect Joe Mixon to be their “bell cow” in the backfield in his second season and Mixon’s preparation for that role included cutting some of the weight he carried as a rookie.
Mixon played at 230 pounds last year, but is down to 218 pounds with training camp getting underway next week.
“I was working in that heat,” Mixon said, via the team’s website. “I feel like that’s where I play my best. I was trying to get low last year but I wasn’t able to make it. I feel real good. My body feels real good. I feel like I’m in really good shape.”
Mixon ran 178 times for 626 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games during his rookie season. He closed the year with 18 carries for 96 yards in a victory over the Ravens and that’s likely the kind of performance the Bengals hope to see on a regular basis this season.
Regardless of what it says when Mixon steps on the scale, improved offensive line play will be crucial to making that happen. First-round center Billy Price and left tackle Cordy Glenn were brought in to help make that happen and the coming weeks should start to provide some answers about how that attempt will play out.