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Giovani Bernard | Running Back

Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Age / DOB:  (22) / 11/22/1991
Ht / Wt:  5'9' / 208
College: North Carolina
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Giovani Bernard rushed 27 times for 90 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals' Week 2 win over the Falcons, adding five catches for an additional 79 yards.
Owners will gladly take the 169 yards from scrimmage, but it's worth noting that Bernard averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on a day where Jeremy Hill took the rock 15 times for 74 yards (4.93 YPC) and a score of his own. Bernard is averaging only 3.36 yards through his first 41 carries. Either way, it was a monster fantasy day, with Bernard buttering his bread with two shovel passes. Both broken plays, Bernard turned the two scoops into 70 combined yards. Racking up huge workloads as an all-purpose back, Bernard is locked in as an RB1 despite Hill's presence. He has a juicy Week 3 matchup in a Titans team that couldn't stop the run on Sunday. Sep 14 - 4:43 PM

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Date:

OC Hue Jackson confirmed trust was a major factor in Gio Bernard out-touching Jeremy Hill 20-4 in Week 1.

"In that first game AFC North on the road in Baltimore, not that I don't have confidence in Jeremy yet, I just know what I'm getting from Gio every time I hand it to him," Jackson said. "I didn't want to put the other young man in a tough situation where something could have happened and all of a sudden you look back and say, 'What did you do that for?'" Jackson went on to say that Hill will play more going forward, but it's clear Bernard is the bell cow here. He'll be a RB1 against a weak Falcons defense in Week 2.
Source: bengals.com
Sep 9 - 8:23 AM

Giovani Bernard was limited to 48 yards on 14 carries, but caught six balls for 62 yards in the Bengals' Week 1 win over Baltimore.

Although Gio struggled on the ground, his usage was promising as Jeremy Hill only handled four carries, gaining 19 yards. New OC Hue Jackson employed Bernard creatively, not asking him to run between the tackles and rather drawing up shotgun draws and getting him into space in the passing game. We suspect Jackson will eventually need more from his power running attack, but for now Bernard is locked in as an every-week RB1/2. He's got a soft Falcons defense on deck.
Sep 7 - 4:18 PM

When asked about how touches would be split between Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill, coach Marvin Lewis said, "A smart guy would say Gio gets a little bit more."

As expected, the Bengals are forming a "thunder and lightning" attack. We're expecting 12-14 carries per game for Gio as the starter, and 9-11 for Hill as the power complement. Bernard will also get the majority of work in the passing game, giving him a shot at 16-18 touches or more. It's enough volume for both to be viable plays in Hue Jackson's typically effective run game.
Sep 4 - 8:42 AM

The Bengals' website suggests the team "must have thunder and lightning dancing through their heads" following rookie Jeremy Hill's performance in Thursday night's preseason finale.

Given a whopping 26 touches, Hill totaled 160 yards while earning the respect of teammates. Terence Newman and Jason Campbell both praised Hill for the effort, which included a funny-bone injury from which Hill returned to put the game away. Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson noted that Hill's workload "typified what new (OC) Hue Jackson wants," as he demonstrated "power," "speed," "vision," and "creativity," particularly on a weaving 41-yard screen pass where Hill "deked" a safety. Hill also "picked up a couple of blitzes," although he missed one, resulting in a sack of Campbell. Hill's ADP has climbed into the late-ninth-round, where he remains a value pick. Hill and Gio Bernard are expected to share carries this season in the "Thunder and Lightning" committee.
Source: bengals.com
Aug 29 - 12:33 PM

Giovani Bernard rushed 10 times for 17 yards and caught two passes for one yard in Sunday's preseason game against the Cardinals.

The Bengals' first-team offense stayed in for 38 snaps and Bernard was on the field for 27 of them. Jeremy Hill mixed in beginning on the fifth series and got 10 first-team reps. Bernard has now played on 52-of-63 first-team snaps (82.5 percent) this preseason, but has been wildly ineffective with 20 carries for 49 yards (2.45 YPC) and four catches for 16 yards. If he doesn't raise his efficiency, Hill is going to gradually push for a bigger piece of the pie. It leaves Bernard with a bit of risk as a second-round fantasy pick even though the Bengals are using him as a bellcow right now.
Aug 24 - 10:17 PM

Giovani Bernard has played on every single first-team snap during the preseason so far.

Andy Dalton has handled 25 first-team reps through two games and Bernard has been right there with him for each one. That's meant passing downs, red-zone, short-yardage, and goal-line work (Bernard scored on a 1-yard run Saturday night). However, he's produced just 32 yards on his 10 carries, showing the same limited efficiency he did last season (4.08 YPC). We'll be interested to see if Hue Jackson mixes in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and/or Jeremy Hill (questionable, shoulder) in the revealing third preseason game. For now, projections of 300 touches and some goal-line work for Bernard seem very realistic.
Aug 17 - 11:15 PM

Giovani Bernard rushed seven times for 22 yards and one touchdown in the Bengals' second preseason game against the Jets on Saturday, adding one catch for six yards.

Most notably, Bernard was given the goal-line and red-zone work. He capitalized on the opportunity by pounding in a one-yard touchdown on the ground against Gang Green's stout defense. While we expect rookie Jeremy Hill to see the bulk of the short-yardage and goal-line carries, Bernard was pretty effective in the red zone as a rookie. Bernard should push for 300 touches in 2014.
Aug 16 - 8:35 PM

The Cincinnati Enquirer believes Giovani Bernard will get a "good share" of the goal-line carries as part of 300 total touches.

It's been widely assumed that power back Jeremy Hill will get goal-line work, but Bernard actually stole some from BenJarvus Green-Ellis last year. Bernard's five rushing touchdowns as a rookie came from 7, 3, 3, 1, and 35 yards out, proving the Bengals' staff isn't averse to using the 208-pounder in that role.
Aug 13 - 10:25 AM

Giovani Bernard started Thursday night's preseason opener, touching the ball four times on an eight-play opening drive.

Bernard rushed three times for 10 yards and caught his lone target for a 9-yard gain. After that drive, the Bengals pulled Andy Dalton, Bernard and most of the starters. Although rookie power back Jeremy Hill didn't get any touches until the second unit came on, we wouldn't read too much into this usage. In a real game, the Bengals will be using both backs in an effort to keep Bernard fresh. We still think he'll push for 300 total touches.
Aug 7 - 8:50 PM

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner, Giovani Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill "are slotted as the starters" in the Bengals' backfield.

Dehner believes BenJarvus Green-Ellis is "definitely on the bubble," as he lacks the special teams value of Cedric Peerman and Rex Burkhead, both of whom are also much cheaper than Law Firm. Still, we found it most notable that Dehner referred to Bernard and Hill as "starters," rather than pegging Gio as the clear-cut No. 1. All signs point to the Bengals running a two-man backfield in 2014.
Aug 7 - 11:55 AM

OC Hue Jackson said Giovani Bernard has had an "outstanding camp" so far.

Bernard's first training camp as the unquestioned starter is going well. "He's so explosive, he can catch the ball, he's a tough son of a gun. He protects. He blocks," Jackson said. With Jackson installing a run-based offense, we could easily see 400 total carries for Bernard and power complement Jeremy Hill. Gio is also going to be a huge factor as a receiver.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 31 - 11:24 AM

Bengals RBs coach Kyle Caskey hinted at 260-300 touches for Gio Bernard this season.

Bernard had 226 touches last season. This year, he's the clear-cut No. 1 back and Hue Jackson is installing a run-based scheme. "You don't necessarily have to hand it off and say, 'Hey, Gio got 260 touches last year out of the backfield.' Maybe he gets 260 to 300 touches but he gets them some other way," Caskey said. "Maybe he gets 200 out of the backfield but he catches 100 passes or however it is. We'll find a way to get the ball to him."
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 28 - 12:44 PM

The Cincinnati Enquirer expects the Bengals to feature Giovani Bernard "early and often."

The Bengals are shifting to a ball-control scheme under new run-first OC Hue Jackson, with Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill as the centerpieces. Beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. projects at least 230 carries and 70 receptions for Gio, numbers that are realistic considering he had 170 carries and 56 catches as a rookie. "Buckle up," says Dehner. We don't doubt that Bernard is poised for a breakout, but this leap in usage has already been built into his second-round ADP.
Jul 16 - 8:32 AM

Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson believes new OC Hue Jackson is targeting a "more ball-possession team that runs it more."

Hobson previously suggested Andy Dalton's pass attempts could dip into the Russell Wilson range. The box-score beneficiaries should be Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. The Bengals spoke early this offseason of utilizing Bernard a la Ray Rice, whose carries leaped from 107 as a rookie to 254 as a sophomore, and spiked from 33 to 78 receptions. Bernard will likely be replaced at the goal line by Hill, but the table is otherwise set for a nice 2014 breakout.
Source: bengals.com
Jun 25 - 9:34 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Andy Dalton
2Jason Campbell
3A.J. McCarron
RB1Giovani Bernard
2Jeremy Hill
3Cedric Peerman
4Rex Burkhead
GLB1Giovani Bernard
2Jeremy Hill
3RB1Giovani Bernard
2Jeremy Hill
FB1Ryan Hewitt
WR11A.J. Green
2Mohamed Sanu
3James Wright
WR21Marvin Jones
2Dane Sanzenbacher
3Brandon Tate
WR31Mohamed Sanu
TE1Jermaine Gresham
2Tyler Eifert
3Kevin Brock
K1Mike Nugent