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Giovani Bernard getting accustomed to versatile role with Bengals

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Joe Mixon believes the Bengals will be a contender this year, and Chris Simms highlights why Cincinnati could surprise people.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor opted to install the team’s offense to the entire group of offensive players rather than doing it in position groups and that was probably a good approach for Giovani Bernard.

Bernard is still listed as a running back, but he spent the spring doing more than just taking handoffs from Andy Dalton while lining up in the backfield. Bernard also split out wide as a receiver when he wasn’t a single back or to Dalton’s side in the shotgun and he said he’s enjoyed the introduction to the offense.

The veteran back said he just wants “to go out there when my number is called and make the play” and added that he thinks the entire team shares his interest in mastering the scheme.

“Just getting accustomed to the new playbook and accustomed to the change,” Bernard said, via the team’s website. “Everybody is really trying to understand how Coach Taylor wants this team to be ran. I think everybody is really buying in. Obviously right now it’s just trying to pick up the X’s and O’s as time gets rolling we’ll understand it a bit more and be ready for Week One.”

The theme of the offseason in Cincinnati has been one of renewed enthusiasm in the wake of the change from Marvin Lewis to Taylor. Turning that into production come September will be the next step for Bernard and the rest of the Bengals.