Bengals Running Back Joe Mixon Has Lofty Goals for the 2021 Season

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Bengals running back Joe Mixon is coming off of the worst season of his NFL career. 

He suffered a foot injury against the Colts in Week 6 and missed the rest of the year. He averaged 3.6 yards-per-carry in 2020, appearing in just six games.

Mixon believes 2021 is going to be much different. No one was more excited than him about the Bengals hiring Frank Pollack to be their offensive line coach and run game coordinator last month. 

Mixon averaged a career-best 4.9 yards-per-carry in 2018, which was Pollack's lone season in Cincinnati. 

"Joe Mixon had one of his best years in 2018. I always brag to people he had 1,000 yards with three games left to go in the season," Billy Price told Dan Hoard on the Bengals Booth Podcast. "You see the numbers that Derrick Henry puts up—Joe Mixon is a guy who can do that same thing. It's just you've got to have the complimenting pieces and the work to be done up front."

Pollack, 53, helped draft Price in the first-round (21st overall) in 2018. He made 10 starts as a rookie, but has only started nine games since Pollack's departure. 

Price believes he can turn his career around in 2021. He also shared a recent text exchange he had with Mixon about the upcoming season. 

"Everybody in the offensive line room is on the same page. Everybody's excited about it," Price said. "For our guys to get healthy, get in the right direction and just attack this. Put some respect back on our name as it was in 2018 because that was the standard and every year you raise that standing. Joe Mixon, I told him, 'hey, let's get you another 1,000-piece, easy.' And he goes, '1,000 piece? Let's go 2,000.'"

Only eight running backs have ran for 2,000 yards in NFL history. Henry ran for 2,027 yards in 2020. 

O.J. Simpson (1973), Eric Dickerson (1984), Barry Sanders (1997), Terrell Davis (1998), Jamal Lewis (2003), Chris Johnson (2009) and Adrian Peterson (2012) are the others. 

It's hard to envision a scenario where Mixon comes close to the 2,000-yard rushing mark, but it's good to set lofty goals. 

The 24-year-old is certainly talented enough to have a huge impact on the ground and in the passing game. Finishing with 2,000 yards from scrimmage is a lofty, but more realistic goal for the former Oklahoma Sooner. 

Listen to Hoard's entire conversation with Price below. 

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