Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals coaches said they want a running back to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Team exec Troy Blackburn says Green-Ellis is still their man, though.
The Bengals coaches have made it clear that they're looking for a running back to complement BanJarvus Green-Ellis for the 2013 season and beyond. Many Bengals fans had hoped that they would sign a complementary back in free agency, especially when it came Reggie Bush. However, team vice president Troy Blackburn said durring the league's annual meetings that the team is committed to Green-Ellis.
"There was some discussion that we should feature Reggie Bush. Reggie is a fine player and we have a high regard for him and everybody in the organization respects him. The truth is that BenJarvus Green-Ellis has had more 1,000 yard rushing seasons than Reggie Bush," said Troy Blackburn, the club's Vice President. "We went out and signed a marquee free agent (Green-Ellis last year) he came in and had a 1,000-yard season, did everything you wanted him to do. I think we hit on that one. I think hitting on that one we're better served investing in our own guys."
Green-Ellis had his best season in 2012 with the Bengals, carrying the ball for 1,094 yards and six touchdowns. He excelled as a short-yardage back and in the red zone, which is exactly what the Bengals wanted him to do. For the amount of money the team would have had to spend on Bush, they would be signing Green-Ellis' replacement, not a change-of-pace back.
If the Bengals can draft a running back that can complement Green-Ellis by catching the ball out of the backfield, have the speed to get to the edge and be a home run threat for the team, the Bengals running game could make major strides in 2013. Green-Ellis can gain the tough yards between the tackles and another back can add an explosiveness factor.
Every good offense needs an effective running game and Andy Dalton is the kind of quarterback that will excel with a good ground game backing him up. Marvin Lewis has already stated that the team will draft a running back this year. Some backs that could be on their radar include Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, Giovani Bernard or Jonathan Franklin.
Green-Ellis is signed through the 2014 season and will count for a cap hit of $3.25 million in 2013 and $3 million the following year.