The Cincinnati Bengals made running back Giovani Bernard the first at his position off the board in the 2013 NFL draft thanks to the impressive versatility he displayed during his time at North Carolina.
That versatility is already being put on display in OTAs and the Bengals coaching staff plans on using it as much as possible to mix things up on what was a stagnant offense a year ago.
According to Geoff Hobson over at Bengals.com, the coaching staff has plans to use Bernard at wide receiver next year:
“He’s so natural catching the ball. He can catch it like a receiver,” Jackson said. “I knew he could catch it really well, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he could go out there and line up outside and catch balls like some other guys can because he has that skill set.”
“He’s everything I thought he would be,” Jackson said. “He has extreme quickness, suddenness. He has top-end speed. He has change of direction.”
Bernard certainly has the skill set to line up outside and it sounds like the Bengals have plans to make the most of it. The versatility means the Bengals can break the mold of just running between the tackles with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and perhaps have more than one back on the field at the same time.
All this means is Bernard is sure to have a huge rookie campaign if he can stay healthy. The coaching staff just has to find a way to get him in space, which is what they seem to be focusing on at this point.
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