Bengals' Giovani Bernard slated for more slot duty


The Cincinnati Bengals' Giovani Bernard set a franchise record for receptions by a running back in 2013. His coaches would like to see him catch the ball even more in 2014.

"We want to do more with him because he can do that," running backs coach Kyle Caskey said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It's not just put him in the slot. We want him everywhere on the field. Make people guess where's he at. You have to make a decision to either play the run or play the pass. What do you do when he's on the field? He's a lot like Reggie Bush where you have to be aware at all times."

Bernard caught 56 passes for 514 yards, the majority of those out of the backfield. He lined up in the slot or on the edge 42 times resulting in nine targets with five receptions for 56 yards (45 after the catch), according to Pro Football Focus.

The 5-foot-9 Bernard believes that lining up in the slot more will enable him to have better success in the passing attack.

"It's almost easier from the slot," Bernard said. "Think about it; if you're in the backfield you have to run five yards or six and a half or seven to get to the line of scrimmage and then you've got to push up five more yards, you've got to get through all of the crowd and you've got to check all of the protections. So it's almost a lot easier when you're on the slot where all you have to do is just run five yards to get to your spot."

Whether it's in a more up-tempo, run-focused offense or split in the slot, the Bengals' offensive focus has zeroed in on getting Bernard the ball. As fans of his work, that is just fine with us.

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