After Bengals RB Giovanni Bernard was selected, special assistant to the head coach/running backs coach Hue Jackson summed up his value like this: “We’re looking for a guy who would fit what we do, who can catch it and run with it. But you also have to be able to pass protect and be multifaceted, and the young man has that skill set."
Look further into what Jackson said, and find a clue as to what the Bengals now value. Gone are the days of coveting a back whose value lies almost solely as a rusher—Cedric Benson, Rudi Johnson, Corey Dillon—and in is an era where backs must excel in the passing game as well, whether it be receiving or protecting the quarterback.
And that’s not to say a back like Bernard isn’t capable of carrying the rushing load, if called upon.
“Having evaluated him and watched every game he played this year and had a chance to work him out, and having spent a lot of time with him,” Jackson said of Bernard, “he has that skill set where I think he could play and be an every down player.”
We don't believe this will happen in 2013, at least not at the start of the season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a solid runner and he's going to get his 200-250 carries. Bernard will definitely eat into BJGE's workload, however.