Tuesday was a busy day for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. The biggest news, of course, was that Lewis signed a contract extension to stay with the club through 2014. It was a move that was very hush-hush until the announcement was actually made, so it came as a surprise to many.
After Lewis and the team announced the extension, Lewis himself addressed the media and answered some questions on a variety of topics. After talking about the relief he felt from signing his extension, Lewis started talking about his observations from camp through the first five days. One of the topics of conversation was new running back, BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
It’s still early, but what are your thoughts on
ML: "Yeah, it is way early, but everything Ben has done thus far since being with us has been really a positive thing. We are excited about it. His ability to cut and run is going to add a dynamic to our offense. Thus far we are very pleased. With his leadership and his ability to just do his thing, I think he will drive our other backs to be better players."
Lewis lays out a few things that Green-Ellis brings that past players at the position haven't. He's a one-cut runner that finds the open hole and makes plays. What's more, Green-Ellis doesn't have the chip on his shoulder than constantly resided on Cedric Benson's shoulders during his tenure in Cincinnati. "The Law Firm" is relishing his role as the main horse in a committee backfield.
Lately, it seems that fans and national pundits feel that Green-Ellis really isn't that much of an upgrade over Benson, if at all. Even though this may be a bit of coach speak, it still has to be a nice feeling that Green-Ellis appears to be just the player that Lewis and company felt that they were going to get when they signed him out of free agency. As Lewis said, it is still early and we need to see more out of Green-Ellis to get a good read on him, but the fact remains that he was a productive player on a club that was a perennial winner. That alone provides a benefit to the offense and Lewis is seeing more beyond that. It sounds as if he's off to a good start though.