The Cincinnati Bengals received a beating at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in their Week 1 home loss last Sunday, but if there ever was a positive takeaway for Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis from that game, it’s how rookie running back Joe Mixon performed on the field.
According to Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk, Lewis told reporters of how impressed he was with Cincinnati's second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“He’s way better than I expected,” Lewis said on a conference call with Houston reporters. “He’s very, very talented. As a football player, he’s excellent and as a young man, I’m really impressed with him and just the way he carries himself and does things. That’s good. He’s going to have a fine pro career and he’s had one game under his belt now.”
It's a bit odd to hear Lewis speak so positively of Mixon even though the former Sooner was barely productive in the Baltimore game, converting eight touches for just nine rushing yards and hauling down three catches for a mere 15 receiving yards. However, it’s worth noting that Mixon had more touches in the backfield than Giovanni Bernard (7) and Jeremy Hill (6).
From a bigger perspective, this just seems to be Lewis injecting some confidence into a rookie that was baptized by the stupefying defense of the Ravens in his pro debut.
We’ll see how Mixon would do this Thursday against the visiting Houston Texans in Week 2.