Bernard impressive at Bengals rookie camp
Posted May 13, 2013
Former North Carolina running back Giovanni Bernard impressed coaches at Bengals rookie camp this weekend.
Head Coach Marvin Lewis is comparing him to established running backs like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones Drew, which is high praise for a player after his first weekend of work as a pro.
Gio was the second round draft pick for the Bengals this year after deciding to leave North Carolina a year early.
"This kid has played in both the downhill I-formation running style offense as opposed to the now spread out the field offense. So he's done both, he's had the opportunity to do it all like that," said Lewis.
Bernard ran for 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012, earning first-team All-ACC honors as a running back and specialist. His 198.1 all-purpose yards per game ranked fourth nationally in 2012 and set a UNC single-season record.
In a season full of highlight plays, Bernard's finest moment in 2012 came against NC State in late October. His punt return touchdown with 13 seconds left secured a 43-35 Tar Heels victory and ended a five-year losing streak against the Wolfpack.
He says he's enjoying the NFL so far and no surprise he says it's a step up from the college game.
"Fast paced, very fast paced," said Bernard. "You know I just came out of a spread offense and I thought that was a little bit more faster. But I enjoyed it, running around, having fun. Kind of meeting the guys and understanding the playbook each and every single second."
Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden thinks Bernard will be an asset to quarterback Andy Dalton with his ability to gain yards after the catch.