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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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Latest News

Recent News

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. Jun 25 - 9:34 PM
Source: bengals.com

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Player News

Date:

Giovani Bernard is expected to be used in the passing game often.

Run-heavy Hue Jackson is now the Bengals offensive coordinator and Bernard is his clear-cut starter, but that doesn't mean the 5'9/208 NFL sophomore is going to become a 300-carry pounder. He's expected to dominate the screen game, help replace Andrew Hawkins in the slot and even catch passes further downfield. We're expecting weekly workloads around 13-15 carries and 3-5 catches for Bernard, who projects as a low-end RB1 in PPR formats.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 9 - 8:42 AM

Giovani Bernard handled the first-team handoffs as the Bengals opened Organized Team Activities on Tuesday.

It's notable because Bernard didn't start a single 2013 game, coming "off the bench" in 16 of 16. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the nominal starter. At Tuesday's OTA, Law Firm was the third-string runner behind Gio and rookie Jeremy Hill. There appears to be a changing of the guard in Cincy's backfield, as Bernard and Hill will be the top-two backs in a (much?) more dynamic rushing attack.
May 27 - 12:35 PM

The Bengals plan to use Giovani Bernard at slot receiver more in 2014.

It's one way to compensate for Andrew Hawkins' departure. "We want to do more with him because he can do that," RBs coach Kyle Caskey said. "It's not just put him in the slot. We want him everywhere on the field. He's a lot like Reggie Bush where you have to be aware at all times." Bernard lined up at receiver 42 times as a rookie. Caskey indicated the Bengals want him there much more this season. Bernard is a threat for 70 catches in an offense where he's going to become more of a true lead back. He offers RB1 potential in PPR leagues.
May 23 - 9:00 AM

Gio Bernard said the "mentality" of the Bengals' offense "has changed."

Former OC Jay Gruden allowed Andy Dalton to attempt 586 passes last season, eighth-most in the league. New OC Hue Jackson is a longtime proponent of the ground game and he's vowed to use the run to set up the pass. Ideally, Dalton will become a suped-up game manager while Jackson rides Bernard, Jeremy Hill and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. "We're just going to smash your face in -- basically," Gio said. It's among the most obvious and impactful schematic changes we'll see this season.
Source: ESPN.com
May 22 - 11:33 AM

Coach Marvin Lewis said at the NFL meetings that he envisions "second-year growth" from Giovani Bernard similar to Ray Rice's in Baltimore.

Lewis is a former Ravens assistant, and has faced Rice twice a year as Bengals head coach. Rice's carries ballooned from 107 as a rookie to 254 in his second year, and he caught 78 passes as a sophomore, finishing as the No. 4 overall fantasy running back. Bernard has similarities to Rice in his prime both in terms of size and skill set. Gio is a fantasy blowup candidate for 2014.
Mar 25 - 12:42 PM

Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson believes Giovani Bernard will "no doubt border on 300 touches" in 2014.

A workload that large would propel Bernard into the RB1 conversation after he ranked 16th among fantasy backs on 226 touches as a rookie. New OC Hue Jackson's track record in the running game is highly promising. There is still a chance Cincinnati adds a running back via free agency or the draft, but Gio is shaping up as a high-upside RB2. He is versatile with dynamic playmaking ability, and it now looks like he'll have the opportunity to capitalize.
Source: bengals.com
Mar 4 - 8:19 PM

Giovani Bernard expects new Bengals OC Hue Jackson to install the "craziest playbook ever."

"We just got to go into it with an open mind," Bernard said. "I'm excited for it." Jackson was one of the league's most creative play-callers during his time in Oakland, particularly with the running game. Bernard is a candidate to take a major step forward under his new offensive coordinator. He'll be on the RB1 radar if the Bengals hold off on adding in big names in free agency. Jackson has already been linked to Darren McFadden.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 6 - 3:25 PM

The Cincy Enquirer's Joe Reedy expects Giovani Bernard to handle a larger workload under new OC Hue Jackson.

The question about Bernard has nothing to do with his running ability, which is special. It's whether a team is willing to commit to a 5-foot-8, 202-pound space back as a feature runner. It's worked for undersized backs like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew before, but teams are often hesitant to do it. Bernard finished his rookie season having averaged a modest 14.1 touches per game.
Jan 10 - 12:09 PM

New Bengals OC Hue Jackson said, "In order to win, we have to run the ball."

The Bengals ran the ball the eighth-most times in 2013, but that largely had to do with the fact that they won 11 games. They finished bottom-five in YPC average with a 3.6 mark. The promotion of Jackson from running backs coach to OC bodes well for Giovani Bernard's outlook. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a candidate to be released, and it's clear Bernard is the superior player. Bernard is going to be on the RB1 radar come 2014 fantasy football drafts.
Jan 10 - 10:44 AM

Giovani Bernard rushed 12 times for 45 yards and caught seven passes for 73 yards in the Bengals' Wild Card round loss to San Diego.

Gio set up Cincy's first score with gains of 7, 2, 3, 11, 9, and 7 on a mid-second-quarter drive, before Andy Dalton hit Jermaine Gresham for a four-yard touchdown. A fumble later in the half cost the Bengals points, however, when Bernard was stripped from behind by ILB Donald Butler deep in scoring position. Bernard took over as Cincy's primary back in the second half, out-touching BenJarvus Green-Ellis 19 to 8. As a rookie in 2013, Bernard totaled 1,209 yards from scrimmage with eight touchdowns. With special running tools, Bernard is someone to get excited about as an early-round pick in 2014 re-drafts. He's already a borderline RB1 in Dynasty.
Jan 5 - 4:21 PM

Giovani Bernard rushed for 22 yards on 13 carries and caught five passes for 51 yards in Week 17 against the Ravens.

The Ravens had no issues swallowing Bernard up in the run game, but they struggled to contain the rookie in space. He was targeted seven times in the passing game and turned one dump-off pass into a 27-yard gain up the left side. Bernard out-touched BenJarvus Green-Ellis 18 to 11 on Sunday, and the Bengals would be wise to keep it that way for the postseason run.
Sun, Dec 29, 2013 06:38:00 PM

Giovani Bernard was limited to 20 yards on 13 carries, but gained 47 yards on two catches as the Bengals whipped the Vikings in Week 16.

Bernard's big play of the game came on a 41-yard weaving reception, racking up most of his yardage after the catch. He handled 15 touches to BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 13 on an ideal day for OC Jay Gruden, who has sought balance in Cincy's backfield all season long. Bernard now has at least 15 touches in six consecutive games. The Bengals face the Ravens in Week 17.
Sun, Dec 22, 2013 04:05:00 PM

Giovani Bernard rushed 13 times for 33 yards and one touchdown in Sunday night's Week 15 loss to the Steelers.

Bernard led the Bengals in carries, but was limited to just two catches for 14 yards in the passing game. He saw the majority of the snaps in the second half with the Bengals' playing from behind and got goal-line carries over BenJarvus Green-Ellis this week, converting from one yard out in the second quarter. Bernard has averaged 15 touches in three straight games and should continue to see an expanded role in the running game with Green-Ellis wearing down. He'll be an RB2/flex play for Week 16 against the Vikings.
Mon, Dec 16, 2013 12:24:00 AM

Giovani Bernard rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries in Week 14 versus Indianapolis.

Bernard caught all four of his targets for an additional 49 yards. He was in the game on one goal-line opportunity, but the Bengals faked it to him and Andy Dalton found a wide-open Jermaine Gresham for a touchdown. Bernard hasn't found the end zone in three weeks, but his 148 total yards were a single-game high for the rookie this season. Bernard and the Bengals get the Steelers next week. Gio racked up two touchdowns on nine touches against Pittsburgh in Week 2. He'll be a borderline RB2/flex play in Week 15.
Sun, Dec 8, 2013 05:50:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Andy Dalton
2Jason Campbell
3A.J. McCarron
4Matt Scott
RB1Giovani Bernard
2Jeremy Hill
3BenJarvus Green-Ellis
4Cedric Peerman
5Rex Burkhead
GLB1Jeremy Hill
2BenJarvus Green-Ellis
3RB1Giovani Bernard
2Jeremy Hill
FB1Orson Charles
2Ryan Hewitt
3Nikita Whitlock
WR11A.J. Green
2Mohamed Sanu
3Ryan Whalen
4James Wright
5Jasper Collins
WR21Marvin Jones
2Dane Sanzenbacher
3Brandon Tate
4Cobi Hamilton
5Alex Neutz
WR31Mohamed Sanu
TE1Jermaine Gresham
2Tyler Eifert
3Kevin Brock
4Alex Smith
K1Mike Nugent
2Quinn Sharp