September 24, 2011; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Tyler Eifert (80) runs after a pass reception against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Irish won 15-12. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
There’s already a lot of expectations for rookie tight end Tyler Eifert to come in an d have an immediate impact on an offense that ranked 19th in Football Outsider’s passing offense efficiency rankings last year.
Sean O’Donnell thinks expectations need to be tempered a little when it comes to Eifert, and while he sees the Notre Dame rookie as the future at TE, don’t expect him to rack up stats this year:
"Although he will not be starting, Eifert will see plenty of time when he spells Gresham or in two-tight end sets. However, there are so many different weapons on the Bengals offense this season that it may be difficult for Eifert to get many touches even when he does see some playing time.Yes, Eifert will be the tight end of the future for the Bengals. However, his expectations as a rookie should be tempered due to the aforementioned factors.2013 Projection: 38 receptions, 417 yards, two touchdowns."
It’s easy to see rookie running back Giovani Bernard having a big impact in his rookie year after he scored 31 touchdowns in the past two seasons at North Carolina while posting a school-record 5.9 yards per rush in racking up 2,481 rushing yards and 852 as a receiver. Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis had this to say in a statement yesterday after the team signed him to his rookie contract:
"Giovani is a dynamic guy, both running the football and catching it. And he was one of North Carolina’s hardest-working guys on the team, so he fits the mold of guys we like – not only good, but extremely hard-working."