When the season started and the philosophy of running-back-by-committee was floated around from offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, it peaked the interest of a deflated rushing offense. BenJarvus Green-Ellis will get the tough yards while Bernard Scott will be the player that drives chunk yardage totals northward. Scott's body didn't allow time for the plan's implementation, due to an early training camp hand injury and a season-ending ankle injury.
Therefore Green-Ellis, with the strength of a short-yardage focus rather than early down successes, not your ideal feature back, began taking a significant bulk of the team's carries. Through nine games this year, Green-Ellis has contributed with a 3.4 yard/rush average, despite carrying 68.9 percent of the team's rushing attempts.
That could be changing soon. After posting six carries against the New York Giants, backup running back and special teams stud Cedric Peerman could be on the upswing seeing his offensive participation increase. At least according to Jay Gruden.
"I think he will get more and more as the season goes on. It just depends on how the game goes and reps for Green-Ellis and if we’re maintaining drives," Gruden said. "Then we can obviously use better substitution patterns with our backs. If you’re three and out, then it’s hard to get any kind of rhythm and use substitution. I think it’s important to get Cedric some more touches. He’s earned that right and gives us a little change of pace. He’s done a good job."
Peerman is definitely quicker than Green-Ellis, possibly giving the Bengals a change of pace that could (and we emphasize could) be more productive for early down success. At the same time it allows Green-Ellis to become the high short-yardage converter he was signed as.