News and views on all things American Football from a fans perspective

Bengals Press Conference Part Two

The Bengals wrapped up their final press conference on Friday, before running walkthroughs at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. After practice, the team will be given some down time to explore the city.

Giovani Bernard 

Bengals running back Giovani Bernard saw no problems getting motivation, despite the long flight, saying that “when 300-pound men are running at you it’ll be there”. With the Bengals now only one win behind first placed Pittsburgh they have an ideal opportunity to start a winning streak. Bernard said that “In the NFL it’s just a matter of who gets that hot streak going. Hopefully we can start the streak,”. He said that the biggest thing was getting out there having fun, whether its passing the ball or running and “A long as we come out with the win it’s easy!”

Jeremy Hill

I asked Bengals running back Jeremy Hill whether he had any expectations about the UK fans. He said “From what I hear the fans aren’t as loud as in the US and you never know what amount are going to be Redskins fans, what amount are going to be Bengals fans and what amount are fans just there to enjoy the game.” I think that there’s a fair chance that the UK (and indeed European) fans will surprise him with their noise levels and knowledge of the game. When the first game was played at Wembley 9 years ago it was clear most spectators had come for the spectacle and the day out. Fast forward to the game this year and most fans understand the game and have their favourite teams and players. If the Bengals get the big plays going early, a distinct possibility with Andy Dalton hooking up with AJ Green and Tyler Eifret, then they will get fans on their side.

Hill will be happy following the team’s game plan, whether that is “20 times or 5 times”. With 168 yards on the ground and another 24 receiving last week it’s possible that Hill is emerging as the go-to running back in Cincinnati. Another big day against the Redskins could well see him becoming the number one back. Whatever happens Hill is excited about “getting the chemistry and the camaraderie down,” echoing the sentiments of many teams after their Wembley road trips, most recently the Chiefs who turned their win into the start of a successful playoff run.

Expectations for The Game

My expectations for this game are already altered slightly, with Redskins running back Matt Jones ruled out. This is a big loss for the Redskins and favours a Bengals team that allowed Kevin Hogan to rush for 100 yards last week. The Redskins could also be without key off-season acquisition, cornerback, Josh Norman, and star tight end, Jordan Reed, both questionable as they try to pass the concussion protocol. The absence of Norman would be disappointing as his match up against Bengals AJ Green is potentially one of the most exciting contests of week 8.

Finally, my hope for the game is to see left tackle Andrew ‘Whit’ Whitworth line up as a fullback and take the ball in for a touchdown. He said “I’ve had one in my career and I’d love to do it again but you never know when those things will come up!”. I’d love for the big man to score one in front of the Wembley crowd.

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