Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Joltin' Joe's Latest Hit: Put It On Me

  1. #1

    Joltin' Joe's Latest Hit: Put It On Me

    Joltin' Joe's Latest Hit: Put It On Me

    Geoff HobsonSENIOR WRITER

    Ryan Meyer
    Joe Mixon didn't have much running room against Richard Sherman's 49ers last Sunday.

    You’ve got to remember, after two games last season Joe Mixon already had a 27-yard run, a 21-yard run, a 13-yard run and an 11-yard run on his way to the Bengals’ first AFC rushing championship. You’ve also got to remember that he carried it 17 times in one game and 21 times in the other for 179 yards, which would put him fifth in the league.

    So maybe you can see why before Wednesday’s practice he unleashed one of the more memorable public self-floggings in recent memory in Bengaldom Town Square. They head to Buffalo for Sunday’s game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Local 12) branded with the NFL’s worst running game and Mixon is yet to have a run that counts longer than nine yards.

    His 27 yards have come on 17 carries.

    Combined. Total. Aggregate.

    “I’ve been playing terrible. Me personally, that’s not what I do. I’m always on tip-top, A-game performance,” Mixon said. “Like I said, these past two weeks, it hasn’t been that. But like I said, I’ll get back to doing the things that I do best, and that’s running that rock. I’m going to get it popping real soon.”

    No one in their right mind would pin the flailing of the running game all on Mixon. Just watch him make three cuts to get back to the line of scrimmage, which he did more than once last Sunday against the 49ers.

    But this is why you have to love Mixon. He plays with passion and wears that same heart on his sleeve. His head coach gets it.

    “I like guys that are accountable, whether it’s on them or not. It’s a great thing to see guys pointing a finger at themselves, (as) opposed to pointing it at their teammates,” Zac Taylor said. “There is no need to point the finger at one guy, but Joe has been a great locker room presence for us. He’s accountable for the things that he can control, and that’s what we’re going to need to be successful.”

    Taylor walked into Paul Brown Stadium last February with a fail-safe playbook hot off the Super Bowl press to get the Green-Dalton offense back into the playoffs. A run-first scheme. Everything off the run, like the NFC champ Rams, starting with one of the league’s most exciting young backs.

    Joltin’ Joe Mixon.

    But Andy Dalton has thrown it 93 times and the backs have run it 30 times for 1.8 yards per carry. The answer, it would seem, is a devastated offensive line that on Sunday is staring at starting its fourth different No. 1 left tackle and fourth different No. 1 left guard since the May practices. Even the linemen talked Wednesday about the need to give Mixon room. Plus, the pace of the game for Taylor, their play-caller, has lurched and careened with penalties and mistakes rather than flowed with rhythmic runs.

    “We all want to step it up. Zac been harping on it this whole week. He's been harping that we've got to get the run going, but at the same time, we've got to keep the pass going,” Mixon said. “But, the pass is supposed to open it up for us, and they've been doing their part. Like I said, it's been me. It's not them. They are in front of their men most of the time. At the end of the day, I've got to be the one to make that next jump in level and get to be elite. That's who I am, that's what I do is be elite. That's the stuff I've got to do, and I take full responsibility in all of that stuff because I'm supposed to be the one getting us down the field. I'm going to get it right, and I'm going to get it right real quick, where it's going to be corrected.”

    Mixon is one of the Oklahoma greats and he’s done what no Bengals back ever did (and that includes Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson, James Brooks, Cedric Benson) and that’s win an AFC rushing title. But he’s a Bay Area guy at heart. That’s where he grew up. Oakley, Calif., about an hour from Oakland and San Francisco. So you know there has to be a Golden State Warriors reference coming when talks about getting into the flow of the game.

    “It's always hard getting that first one, but once you get that first one, it's just like in an NBA game,” Mixon said. “Say for Steph Curry, for instance, you've got some games where he struggles shooting 3s and it's like once he hits one and it's a big one and the crowd gets the momentum, he feels like he can shoot anywhere, and that's usually what he does. And, I feel like for me, we could call any run at any moment and it could be first-and-15 or first-and-20 or first-and-10 or whatever the case may be, backed up, I feel like if I could break one good run, get in a groove where I feel I could run any run or do whatever the case may be.”

    But, he thinks he’s trying to do too much. He’s trying to get those 179 yards back all at once. So hence another Bay Area reference. Franklin Gore. Or “The Inconvenient Truth,” according to’s nicknames. Or, to Mixon, he’s just plain “Frank.”

    Mixon grew up watching Gore’s Hall-of-Fame career begin with the 49ers and then got to know him later, when he says Gore checked him out at a Freedom High game. On Sunday they meet in Buffalo with Gore rumbling into his 15th season on a crash course with the Hall of Fame, his steady, don’t-force-it 4.3 yards per carry average battering him into fourth place on the all-time yardage list, a mere 124-yard game from 15,000.

    Now Mixon is thinking about how he’d like to incorporate that kind of style to just get it going.

    “He’s the definition of he takes what’s given to him,” Mixon said. “He runs low. He runs powerful. I don’t know about now, but when I was a little boy, he used to definitely have that go, you know what I’m saying? Right now, I’m sure he’s just trying to climb and get as much as rushing yards as he can while he can still do it at a high level, which is what he’s been doing. Frank, I got nothing but the most respect for him.”

    Mixon knows he’s been trying to force some runs. He knows he’s got to patiently “Gore,” the defense. Or, as he says, “Taking what’s there and not what I want.”


    Week 3 Gallery: Wednesday Practice

    A picture perfect day in Cincinnati for a practice. View some of the top images from Wednesday's practice at Paul Brown Stadium.

    1 / 16

    DE Sam Hubbard

    2 / 16

    Coaches Bob Bicknell (left) and Zac Taylor (right)

    16 / 16

    WR Alex Erickson

    “It’s been frustrating because what I’ve been displaying out there. Right now, I’ve been looking for the big run and that’s what I shouldn’t be doing,” Mixon said. “I have to go back and re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t. I got to pound them and do everything that I’m supposed to do. I just got to do whatever I can to be successful. I have to stay true to my reads.”

    Mixon took some heat after Sunday’s game when he bristled at the boos and the 3 p.m. exit to the gates and challenged the fans to a tryout to see if they could be better. Frustration. Competitiveness. Cooler heads have prevailed and Joltin’ Joe is reaching back into the community, talking about starting some football adult camps. And, look, this is the same passion that drove him last year to keep the team and offense together without Green and Dalton.

    That little guy in the Bay is 23 years old now. Things are a little more complicated and so he’ll self-flog to take the heat and ignite himself. Mixon never got Gore’s autograph. But he hopes to get something better.

    “I might try to get his jersey this week,” Mixon said.

    He’d gladly give him the shirt off his back if he has a Gore-like game.

  2. #2
    Joe Mixon owns Bengals' rushing woes, but it's more complicated than that

    6:00 AM ET

    • Ben BabyESPN Staff Writer

    CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon wheeled around from his chair, stood up at his locker and attempted to take the majority of the blame for the least productive rushing attack in the NFL.

    "I take it personally on me," said Mixon, who has 27 rushing yards through two games. "These two performances I've been displaying have been terrible. You (can) call me the peon right now."

    To celebrate 100 years of pro football, Peyton Manning travels the country to see the people and places that made the NFL the NFL.

    Unfortunately for Mixon and the Bengals, it’s not that simple. How the blame should be divided is up for debate around Cincinnati’s locker room, but what is abundantly clear is the issue needs to be remedied quickly, starting with Sunday’s game at Buffalo (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

    "We’ve sat in there as a unit and as a team and hammered out all the reasons for our lack of success so far," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. "It’s very clear that it’s the entire unit. (We need) 11 guys functioning together in conjunction with the coaches putting us in the right positions."

    In the Bengals’ 21-20 loss at Seattle in the season opener, the AFC’s leading rusher in 2018 didn’t have many chances to run the ball.

    Taylor said the Seahawks opted to load the box with multiple defenders and dared the Bengals to throw the ball. According to NFL Next Gen, 14.3 percent of Cincinnati’s offensive snaps were against a defensive scheme with six or fewer players near the line of scrimmage. But Seattle never put eight men in the box.

    However, based on how Cincinnati read the defense, quarterback Andy Dalton attempted 51 passes for 418 yards and two touchdowns in the one-point loss.

    To compound the Bengals’ rushing woes, Mixon suffered an ankle injury in the second half and did not return. While it could have been much worse, the injury limited Mixon in practice before last Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

    The Bengals were routed in a 41-17 defeat and Mixon had 17 yards on 11 carries. Because Cincinnati was chasing a sizable deficit for most of the game, rushing opportunities were limited. When Mixon did get the ball, he said the ankle wasn’t an issue.

    "I have to run with my feet and my eyes, so that has nothing to do with how I performed," Mixon said.

    The main problem is Mixon tends to be looking at clogged running lanes. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Mixon has been stuffed (no gain or a loss) on 41.2 percent of his carries, the highest rate in the league. On the Bengals’ 33 rushing attempts this season, they have had a blocking advantage on 72.7 percent of the carries. But that edge has led to 59 rushing yards, the lowest total in the NFL.

    The way Taylor described it, the Bengals were often a block away from springing Cincinnati’s rushers for a big run. Mixon’s only rush of 10 or more yards was called back because of holding.

    The poor blocking was one of the concerns in the preseason as the offensive line entered the year as one of the biggest question marks. That’s compounded this week as starting left tackle Cordy Glenn is out indefinitely because of a concussion and left guard Michael Jordan is out for at least a week because of a left knee injury.

    Second-year lineman Billy Price, who is expected to start this week in Jordan’s spot, said the line has to do a better job for Mixon.

    "If you get Joe on the second level, third level, it's going to be a good day for us," Price said. "We just have to continue to work and continue to grind and make sure that we keep Joe not dodging tackles in the backfield."

    Mixon is as eager as his fantasy managers to put up triple-digit rushing totals each week. He believes he’s an elite running back. And if he performs that way this season, he will make a strong case for a richer, renegotiated contract (his rookie deal is set to expire at the end of 2020).

    After a lackluster two weeks, Mixon is determined to improve.

    "There ain't no reason right now that I shouldn't be at least averaging 120 to 125 yards a game," Mixon said. "At the end of the day, that's all on me."

  3. #3
    someone want to post Goodberry's article from yesterday? He broke down 10 running plays from Sunday.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts