Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard sat down with DIRECTV for an exclusive interview on the heels of the NFL Draft. He talked to us about his draft experience, being on HBO’s Hard Knocks, and life in the NFL.
How did you enjoy your rookie season in Cincy?
It was awesome. A true blessing. Great community, a great environment, great people and was definitely excited when I got picked up by them.
What expectations do you have for this season from yourself and the Bengals?
I kind of just go with everything. I am just hoping for a better year than last, and making a deeper run into the playoffs. I’m sure everyone here in Cincy wants that, and I hope we can make it happen for them.
Tell us about your draft day? Where were you? Who were you with?
It was pretty exciting. I got a text message from Hue Jackson (now Bengals offensive coordinator, then running backs coach) telling me a little about what was going to happen, so I was expecting it. Then I got the call form Marvin Lewis (Bengals Head Coach). I was definitely excited. I had my whole family there and it was great to have them experience it and be a part of the whole thing. It was a blessing and I’m definitely happy.
What advice do you have for the guys getting drafted this season?
If I had any advice, it would be just to relax. Everything will work out. People may slip, or fall in the draft, but don’t worry about that. Most important thing is when you come to camp; you have the time to expose yourself. That’s your time to shine.
How did you enjoy being on Hard Knocks last season? For a lot of people, that was their first glimpse of you.
It was pretty cool. Not many rookies have that opportunity. I took it as a blessing, and used it to my advantage and try to create a buzz about me. And also to show who I am off the field as well. I enjoyed it.
How do you enjoy playing for Coach Lewis?
Playing for Coach is an awesome thing. I love the fact I can communicate anything with him. He has an open door policy and you can go in and talk to him about anything. It definitely helps a rookie that you can talk about anything.
Thoughts on Hue Jackson being named Offensive Coordinator?
It’s a good thing. Offense will take a new look and make some noise around the NFL. Very excited for it.
How do you think your old offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, will do in Washington?
Jay is a player’s coach. He knows what he is doing. He has a lot of playmakers there, especially RGIII. As long as the players buy into his system, the rest will take care of itself.
How do you like NFC North?
Every game is tough, and no easy competition. Every divisional game is great and I love it.
What has been the most memorable game for you?
My first game in Atlanta, it was a preseason game. But there is nothing like the first time you put on that jersey. My brother was able to make it and it was a blessing to have him there. It wasn’t my best game, but my first and it was special.
Being a Tar Heel, do you follow the NCAA Tournament?
What TV series are you binge watching now? What are your favorite shows?
I have a bunch of favorite shows. I’m loving Game of Thrones right now. I’m big on the HBO shows. I love Entourage. Netflix helps me catch up.
If you were not a professional athlete, what job would you have?
I’d be in school still and getting my degree. But definitely a management type of role in sports, behind the scenes.
Who is your biggest fan?
Definitely my mom. She unfortunately passed away, but I know she is looking down on me watching. I know she is always screaming my name when I get close to the goal line.
3 things you can’t leave the house without?
Keys, playbook, wallet.
If you could meet anyone dead or alive?
Floyd Mayweather, I would like to congratulate him on his latest victory. He’s making history right now. 46-0 is amazing!