Giovani Bernard is set to become the main running back for Hugh Jackson’s more running-focused scheme. As a rookie, Bernard showed explosiveness on multiple occasions throughout the season, and his agility and instinct allowed him to turn average gains into far more athletic runs downfield.
However, per NFL.com, there were a total of 33 running backs last season that had more runs of 20+ yards, compared to Gio. When ESPN.com caught up with the budding backfield star about that statistic, Bernard was clear in his intentions for 2014.
“I want to be able to break the 50s, 60s and 70s. And who knows? Maybe the 80s and 90s. Things like that take hard work and dedication. That’s really where your skills come into play is on those explosive runs.”
Bernard’s longest run of the season was a 35-yard dash against Miami, in which Bernard’s quick feet and risky decisions paid off big time. The spins, turns, and complete reverse of field produced one of the Bengals’ most exciting highlight reels of the year.
“This year, I’ll take a few more chances. A lot of people talk about the Miami run. That was a chance that I took. But that was a run where, I don’t do that often.”
We can reasonably expect him to split starting carries with former LSU RB, Jeremy Hill. Bengals fans can also relish the young man’s early, high expections for himself as he prepares for 2014. However, as Jackson has led us to believe, Bernard certainly should be with a lack of opportunities to prove himself.