Reading Tea Leaves: Hills’ First Team Snaps
Jan 5, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis arrives at the stadium prior to the AFC wild card playoff football game against the San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Let us slow the speculation train down, shall we? These are OTAs; a time for camaraderie and development as well as assessment. The Bengals have nothing to gain by running their starting back for the past two seasons with the first team. After all, the Law Firm is a known commodity. Conversely, working veterans like Green-Ellis and Cedric Peerman with the likes of sophomore Rex Burkhead, UDFA James Wilder Jr, and fullback Nikita Whitlock disperses institutional knowledge and give the team the greatest net development. Most obviously though, it gives Hill a chance to demonstrate his potential and develop. It is as simple as a win-win approach to OTAs.
Mr. Harvey could be spot on nonetheless. However, to suggest the decision is final before training camp has even started is still a bit presumptuous. Hill and Bernard of course are supposed to be the future backfield in Cincinnati, but if that conclusion was already forgone, why keep BJGE’s $2.5M on the cap? A distinguished back-up?
Perhaps, but unlikely. Hill’s college statistics and preparation in the offensive suggests highly that his is being molded to be Green-Ellis’s successor; that much is clear. Thinking it will happen by Week 1 based on observations from OTAs may not be the odds you want to on though.