Bengals new running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis is also known as "The Law Firm". While the nickname certainly fits his lengthy name, it also happens to fit his personality. Green-Ellis is known as consistent and competent, accountable, reliable, as well as serious and soft-spoken. These are characteristics that we all want in our football players, but many of these traits are also desirable in actual Law Firms. Longtime running backs coach Jim Anderson likes what he has seen out of Green-Ellis so far:
"He's an attention to detail guy. When he does it well, he doesn't say much. When he doesn't do as well, he wants to know why and how he can improve."
"You don't know about guys until they put the pads on. But from his history, that's what you need. Consistency and he's a consistent guy. People are always looking for dynamic, but sometimes all you need is somebody that is consistent. You can tell it means a lot to him."
Green-Ellis, a former New England Patriot, will find that Tom Brady will no longer be around to take the pressure off the running game. The new Bengal does not seem to mind, as he will be receiving more carries with the Bengals:
"We're doing things in the run game I haven’t done since college," Green-Ellis says. "There's lot more running plays, so that a good thing."
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden echoed the sentiments of Anderson and Whitworth, and also talked about the use of Green-Ellis in New England:
"We'll see when we get the pads on. I know he's a consistent guy. He works hard and he's an accountable guy. They didn't use him as much as he probably could have been used because they have the top quarterback in the history of the league throwing the ball. He's been everything we thought he'd be: A solid, steady guy. Good player."
The major knock on Green-Ellis is his career 4.0 yards per carry average. Some seem to worry that he cannot bust out a long run, but the Bengals do not seem to be as worried. Bernard Scott is likely to be used in a running back by committee along with Green-Ellis, and Scott will be expected to provide the explosive plays. Green-Ellis has never fumbled in his career and will likely be depended upon to upgrade the red zone offense for the Bengals. While he may not be flashy, he does what it takes to win. Anderson seems to love this quality from "The Law Firm":
"He fits us well," Anderson says. "He knows the little things win games. That's why he doesn't mind doing windows."
Green Ellis, playing in the Patriot offense, has not been used to having a fullback block for him. Not only was there no fullback, but the tight ends played receiver in many formations. In Cincinnati, Green-Ellis will have Chris Pressley blocking in front of him, and Green-Ellis likes the sound of that:
"I like to have that guy in front of me," Green-Ellis says of the fullback. "A lead blocker, things like that. From a run-game standpoint, it allows us to do different things. You have that guy who sees things through the same set of eyes. Whenever I make a cut, he's making a cut. That one guy that may be coming off his block, he's able to chip him back on. It kind of gives you some leeway."
The Bengals will not expect Green-Ellis to lead the league in rushing this season, nor will they expect him to lead the league in touchdowns. They do expect him to provide a level of consistency that Cincinnati has not experienced at the running back position since at least 2009 with Cedric Benson and his near Pro Bowl season that year. He is off to a great start, and handling his business the right way, Whitworth says:
"When he's in the building, he's very serious. Getting to meetings on time, doing what has to be done. People like that are usually pretty successful."
Green-Ellis agrees with Whitworth:
"We're a bunch of young guys that are hungry," he says. "We come in and work hard. The guys here are attentive, they take care of their bodies like professionals and we're just getting ready for the next day, the next game. Now we're getting ready for tomorrow's practice."
With this type of attitude and worth ethic, it will not be long before "The Law Firm" joins Whitworth as one of the leaders of the team. From the sounds of things, he might have already done so.