Stripe Hype Roundtable: The future of the Bengals' Backfield

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December 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (42) runs for a short gain during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


Has BenJarvus Green-Ellis done enough to be the starting runningback next season based on his resent performance, and if not, what does he have to do to keep his job as the featured back? And give me one runningback you’d like to see the Bengals get in either free agency or the NFL draft next season.



Green-Ellis will almost certainly keep the starting running back job going into next season barring anything catastrophic, but Coach Gruden is not a ‘one back’ guy. Peerman has really started to rise as a complement out of the back field in addition to being a huge leadership presence on special teams last season.  Nonetheless, with Scott likely to get walking papers this off-season and Leonard possibly as well, the Bengals need to concern themselves with depth and grooming.  Giovanni Bernard may not declare for the NFL Draft this year due to his status as a sophomore at UNC, but if he does, Bernard should be one of the top two players in the Bengals cross hairs come Draft Day.  An athletic freak, speedster and receiving threat, Bernard may not be ready day-one, but under BJGE’s mentorship “Giovanni” may turn out to be an old Italian word meaning ‘demon scoring machine’.
Sean McMahon
The Lawfirm has gotten recent success in the running game, and that may be because Jeff Faine is no longer playing. But whatever the case, the Green-Ellis is doing remarkably well. With that said, I do beleieve that the Bengals will keep him as the starter, but also look into the draft for a RB for the future, or even as a 1-2 punch with Green-Ellis. Scott has been hurt and has under-performed, and Leonard has not made an impact on this team lately. The Bengals could look into drafting Giovani Bernard for the future. Or they could look into drafting Kenjon Barner, someone who could add a great deal of speed on this team, but also be a great return specialist.


Tyler Long
I feel like he’s gotten a heck of a lot better and he brings a lot to the table; with that being said, I think he can be an elite 3rd down back if we don’t keep Brian Leonard. If we do however, keep Leonard, we need a guy that can hit a home run for us. The Law Firm has hit some triples, and he’s hit a few that bounced into the stands, but he’s also been robbed. He’s been hawked down at the goal line twice and caught from behind a few times. I’m not saying I’m upset because he could have just never found the hole, or got hit once and fell over, but that’s not BJGE, he hits the hole hard and he pounds the ball. He gives us good goal line carries and is a presence on third down, but that’s what we signed up for when we got him. As for who I want next year to replace Bernard Scott, I have to go with Jonathan Franklin out of UCLA. He has good speed, he’s a great receiver and he can take a hit and keep going, which is rare for his somewhat small stature. I think he can give the home run hitter we need and still keep defenses honest as a receiver/pass-blocker, we could use our 2nd round pick on him or take a chance in the 3rd but I can’t see him lasting that long.

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