Zac Taylor names starter at running back for Browns game
Samaje Perine has filled in as Joe Mixon dealt with the lingering effects of a concussion.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor made no bones in his Wednesday press conference about who the team’s no.1 running back is.
Taylor’s answer comes after consecutive weeks where fellow Bengals running back Samaje Perine excelled in Mixon’s absence as Mixon dealt with the lingering effects of a concussion.
“He’s been unbelievable for us,” Burrow said of Perine on Wednesday. “Even when there’s nothing, he gets three. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s everything.”
Fans have come to love Perine’s stiff-arms [warning: graphic] and physical downhill running style while bemoaning Mixon’s perceived penchant for dancing at the line of scrimmage.
But appearances can be deceiving. Following a slow start, Mixon has been first in the NFL in rushing efficiency after week 6 of the season, including a five touchdown performance against the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 6.
Offensive Coordinator Brian Callahan said as much Wednesday, citing “recency bias” with regard to fan-made clamor for Perine to start.
Who starts might matter even less than fans think. Mixon and Perine have both excelled behind a rapidly improving offensive line, including impressive play from rookie Cordell Volson. More running lanes will likely lead to more production for both backs.
And this is the modern NFL, after all. Gone are the days of the featured bell-cow; every team now needs at least two viable options at the position.
Mixon is out of concussion protocol and was a full participant at practice on Wednesday.
“Everything is positive,” Taylor said of Mixon’s progress.
The Bengals take on the Cleveland Browns Sunday at Paycor Stadium, just over a month after the Halloween beatdown in Cleveland.
Building on the theme of the week, offensive lineman Ted Karras said of the Browns, “They’ve gotta come to Paycor. Fans are gonna be rockin’.”
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