FOXBORO MA - AUGUST 12: BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown during the first quarter of a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on August 12 2010 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
During his weekly Sunday Blitz for the National Football Post, Dan Pompei reflects on the Cincinnati Bengals backfield and how it's evolving from a Bob Bratkowski single feature-back offense into a committee backfield with strong west coast attributes.
The Bengals’ backfield makeover isn’t about dissatisfaction with Cedric Benson as much as it is about molding the offense to suit Jay Gruden’s offense. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who signed with the team last week, is a similar style player to Benson (except for the fact that Benson has fumbled once every 49 carries over the last two years and Green-Ellis never has fumbled in his career). But the team intends on using more of a running back by committee approach than it did in the past. The Bengals are looking at backs with speed, receiving skills, and the ability to pass protect. It’s possible Bernard Scott (and) Brian Leonard will have enhanced roles next season, and it’s also possible the team will add more to the backfield.
A running back in the west coast offense isn't just about running the football; the role expands, becoming far more effective in the passing game. Blocking and receiving become more emphasized and if the team continues building around that idea, then Pompei might be right, in regards to continuing their roster expansion at the position.