CINCINNATI -- This week, Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis spent part of a day visiting with a pair of eighth-grade social studies classes at a school a 45-minute drive east of Paul Brown Stadium.
It was a rather fitting task for a player who spent four seasons living and working in the city that served as the birthplace of the American Revolution; the same city that taught him a thing or two about leading charges for personal and team growth and change. So fittingly, in this same week Green-Ellis faces his old team that plays in the city that birthed some of the country's first leaders, he used "leadership" as the basis of his conversations with the students at St. Andrew School.
"A leader is someone you can depend on, always looking for the better whole of the class," said Green-Ellis, the player whose long, official-sounding name has given him the nickname "The Law Firm." "He or she puts the class first and isn't just running for [class] president to get their picture in the class yearbook."
Those comments come from Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson, who attended Green-Ellis' school visit. It is Hobson's story where we turn to kick off Friday's Morning Stripes:
Here's where you can find the rest of Hobson's Bengals.com story on Green-Ellis and leadership. As the veteran running back, now in his second season in Cincinnati said, "you can have toxic leaders, too." In his time with the Bengals, he's been anything but that, even as the Law Firm's fan base has dwindled because of the success rookie Giovani Bernard has had. Green-Ellis hasn't been as explosive as Bernard, nor has he had the big plays the rookie has showcased from time-to-time this season, but he believes that in time, he and Bernard both will have have them. When they do, watch out for the Bengals' running game, he says.
Green-Ellis spoke less on leadership and more on his time with the New England Patriots on Thursday when he held court with reporters at his locker before the day's practice. Here's how the Cincinnati Enquirer captured the essence of his nine-minute chat. Paul Dehner Jr. writes about how Green-Ellis continues to have personal relationships with several people still in New England, but all that goes out the window with his "business" meeting this weekend.
Staying with the Enquirer, Joe Reedy takes the newspaper's readers through a first-quarter analysis of the season. Now that the Bengals are four games into their 16-game schedule, here are the areas they've excelled and those they still need a little work in, according to the longtime NFL reporter.
Finally, we take a step back to the Bengals.com folks, where radio voice of the Bengals, Dan Hoard, has a blog on a former Bengals star who isn't ashamed to back the team's current embattled quarterback. Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Willie Anderson took to Twitter after Sunday's game to defend Andy Dalton, following one of the worst starts of Dalton's career. Anderson also spoke this week with Hoard and radio analyst and fellow former Bengal, Dave Lapham. Anderson had a unique take on the quarterback drama, and compared it to another not-so-long-forgotten saga.
More good stuff from Green-Ellis's school visit (via Hobson): "If you don't trust in your leaders, you fall by the wayside. You're just as important as the leaders. The followers are just as important as the leaders, because that's who's going to help them out. You can't just follow them 85 percent. If you trust them, trust in their decisions that they're making, it has to be 100 percent."