Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 5/28/12
As the Bengals work through the preliminary stages of their on-field preparations for 2012 and the name tag stage of getting to know their new teammates, the one who might require a couple name tags is very much in the spotlight. Its a new spot for BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but its one he sees as exciting and one that hes embracing. After two seasons as the usual lead runner in a pass-first, run-by-committee offense in New England, Green-Ellis comes to Cincinnati and figures as the opening-day starter for a young and developing Bengals offense. Exactly how much of the load he carries remains to be seen, but the Bengals saw a proven, between the tackles runner with a nose for the goal line when they signed Green-Ellis to a three-year deal with a base value of 9 million in March. I felt like it was a good fit, Green-Ellis said of signing with the Bengals. Were a young team with guys who want to win and feel like were ready to win. This was a playoff team last year and we want to push that further. I wanted to go somewhere I can contribute, and I think this is the place. The Bengals had Green-Ellis with the first unit last week when spring on-field practice sessions began, and there figures to be an interesting battle from now throughout training camp between Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott for the bulk of the touches. Green-Ellis entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and sees this as a fresh start and a chance to further establish himself. The Bengals let Cedric Benson (273 carries last season) walk via free-agency and thought enough of Green-Ellis that they didnt draft a running back until selecting Ohio States Dan Herron in the sixth round. Green-Ellis should feel fresh, too. Though hes a veteran of four NFL seasons, 410 of his 510 career carries have come in the last two seasons. I just feel like this is a game that every year is going to beat you up, he said. Every year there are new situations, new challenges. I dont know if Im feeling fresh or feeling tired, I just know Im excited. We put in this work in the offseason to get ready and I do feel like Ill have the fresh legs this team needs me to have. Hopefully I fit in here. I think I come in as a contributor, an experienced guy and someone who can help. I think guys can take to me and I think have some attributes that can help this team get where it wants to go. Were all learning together right now. Green-Ellis ran for a career-best 1,008 yards 4.4 per carry and 13 touchdowns in 2010, and 667 yards 3.7 per carry and 11 touchdowns in 2011. What also attracted him to the Bengals and vice-versa is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield (he had 21 receptions over the last two seasons) and the fact that hes never fumbled in an NFL game. My father told me that God put eyes in front of our head so we can look forward and not backwards, he said last week. No matter whats happened or what my path has been, my past experiences are all behind me. All I can do with what Ive done is just learn from it. The past is behind me. This is a new start. Im anxious."
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