The Cincinnati Bengals have been getting some nice accolades from the Pro Football Writers of America as they had out their end-of-the-year awards. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was named to the All-AFC team yesterday, and today, rookie running back Giovani Bernard was named to the All-Rookie team:
2013 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
QB – Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB – Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
WR – Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers; DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
TE – Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
C – Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
G – Kyle Long, Chicago Bears; Larry Warford, Detroit Lions
T – D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers; Justin Pugh, New York Giants
DL – Ziggy Ansah, Detroit Lions; Star Lotulelei, Carolina Panthers; Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets; Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers
LB – Kiko Alonso, Buffalo Bills; Sio Moore, Oakland Raiders; Alec Ogletree, St. Louis Rams
CB – Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona Cardinals; Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons
S – Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers; Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans Saints
Bernard had a fantastic rookie campaign in which he became the featured back down the stretch and will be going forward under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Over the first nine games of the season, Bernard was averaging a little more than 12 touches per game as the veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis was getting the bulk of the carries.
But as time wore on, Bernard learned the offensive system more and learned blitz protection better to the point that he was left in the game more in spots where pass protection was necessary, and over the final eight games, Bernard averaged nearly 17 touches per game and ended up rushing 170 times for 695 yards while catching 52 passes for 514 yards and eight total touchdowns.