Picture bright for Green-Ellis with BengalsBy Ashley Powell
Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis is earning respect from opposing defenses after galloping for 437 yards and two touchdowns in his last four games. Many questioned the offseason acquisition after he got off to a slow start, but he’s been making former starter Cedric Benson more of an afterthought each week.
“I talk to Fred (Taylor) throughout the week and he says go out there and draw your own picture,” Green-Ellis said. “I’m the guy driving the car now and need to make things happen on the field. I pride myself in being a student of the game and contributing to the team. That’s all I really do is come to work, play ball and go home.”
Taylor was a former teammate of Green-Ellis in New England. Green-Ellis has rushed for 974 yards and five touchdowns this season, needing 26 yards to eclipse 1,000.
The Dallas Cowboys entered last Sunday’s contest against Cincinnati with a run-stifling game plan.
“We knew they wanted to establish the run because their running back has been on a roll,” Cowboys linebacker Ernie Sims said. “We knew if we could stop him and get them in manageable position on third downs we could let our pass rushers go. That’s what it came down to at the end of the game.”
Dallas pulled out a 20-19 win with a last-play field goal. The Cowboys held the running back to 89 yards on 12 carries.
“We were able to do some things successfully, but obviously not good enough to win the game,” Green-Ellis said. “That’s the depressing thing about it. We have to continue to stay focused on each and every play. Our thing is, take one play at a time and show the focus that we need throughout four quarters. Everyone is hurt over the loss but we have to have a quick turnaround with a game on Thursday. We have to put the loss behind us.”
The Bengals face Philadelphia and its 17th-ranked run defense Thursday night. Green-Ellis could be poised for a productive night providing the offense can keep the Eagles, ranked 14th overall on defense, off balance.
What Cincinnati’s offense does best is exploit mismatches. Operating in their sub-personnel alignment, the Bengals create matchup problems for defenses that deploy base personnel.
“That gives us a chance to make plays in the passing game with them keeping their big guys on the field against some of our skill guys,” Green-Ellis said. “That’s the thing we have to try and take advantage of.”
Note: The Philadelphia Eagles announced yesterday they have promoted FB/TE Emil Igwenagu (pronounced eh-MEAL ig-wen-AH-goo) from the practice squad to the active roster. To make room on the 53-man roster, the team placed DT Mike Patterson on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list. The team also signed DT Ronnie Cameron to the practice squad.