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Bengals’ Joe Mixon is confident he’s one of the best running backs in the NFL

After leading the AFC in rushing yards with 1,158 and finishing fourth in the NFL, despite missed two games, Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon often finds himself devoid in best back conversations.

The player himself tends to agree with that, as when asked by NFL Network’s Jame Palmer if he’s in the upper echelon of backs, he said:

“No doubt — the proof is in the pudding.”

Mixon can firmly ascend to top back conversations with the Bengals’ new coaching staff in place. Zac Taylor, previously of the Los Angeles Rams, is expected to bring over an offense that suits him, similar to how Todd Gurley it utilized.

The team will run a mainly outside-zone running scheme, which fits the elusive, bursty, speed back Mixon to a tee. They should also incorporate him as a pass-catcher, as Palmer notes:

The third-year back ranked 18th in targets among running backs with 54 last season. Expect that number to grow in 2019. From what I’ve gathered during my time with the Bengals during camp, this coaching staff believes the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder can be one of the better receiving backs in the league.

The Bengals’ offense may be more dependent on Mixon than previously thought, too. With A.J. Green sidelined Taylor is missing the X-factor of his offense and can replace it with the ground game as he recovers.

Mixon has shown an ability to be a bell-cow back in the past, as last season he got 280 touches and turned it into 5.2 yards a try, he also scored nine total touchdowns and compiled 1,464 total yards from scrimmage.