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Giovani Bernard has complementary role with Bengals

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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The Cincinnati Bengals' offense got a lot more explosive after the 2013 NFL Draft.

Second-round pick Giovani Bernard is one of those pieces who will play a key role in the offense as a rookie.

The former North Carolina running back told "NFL AM" on Wednesday morning that he's excited to share the backfield with veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis. When pressed about his role, he said he is there to be a shifty complement to the incumbent.

"I think it's more so a complementary kind of thing," Bernard said. "I think we are both going to help each other out. I definitely had a chance to talk to him, and he's the leader of that pack, he's the leader of the guys. I'm going to be following his footsteps, so I'm going to do whatever I can to help him. He's going to help me."

Apparently, the rookie knows how to be politically correct.

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It wouldn't be a surprise to see the shifty Bernard as the featured back before long. Running back is one of the few positions where rookies can contribute right away -- as long as they quickly learn how to pass protect.

Bernard's 5-foot-8 frame has led him to be compared to Ray Rice and Doug Martin. Those comparisons sit well with the rookie.

"Those guys have the same stature as I do, they're definitely shifty, they are definitely open-field type guys, but they can still run inside zones, outside zones or whatever, and catch the ball out of the backfield on a string," Bernard said. "For me, it's just going out there just being me, at the end of the day that is all I can do."

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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