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Bengals owner Mike Brown on Joe Mixon: 'We're going to bet on him'

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CINCINNATI -- Bengals owner Mike Brown said Tuesday that he believes running back Joe Mixon has put his college troubles behind him.

Brown has not made many public comments regarding the selection of Mixon in the 2017 draft. His only statement was a public letter in the Cincinnati Enquirer in May, in which he admitted the Bengals "took a risk" with the pick. Mixon fell to the second round because of an incident his freshman year of college, where he punched a woman in the face and broke several bones in her jaw. He was initially charged with misdemeanor assault but reached a plea deal.

Brown said Tuesday that he has watched the video of the incident, and believes what Mixon did won't happen again.

"He's a young guy. He turned 21 [on Monday]. The incident that he was involved in was three years ago," Brown said. "He made a terrible mistake. He struck a young woman. He hurt her badly. It was a reflexive action in my mind, when I see the tape of it. I just think he acted without thought. But it was a terrible result."

He added: "He's here because he's a good football player and because I think he's a good enough guy to be here. We're going to bet on him and I think it was a one-time thing. It's up to him to prove that's what it was. He's going to be watched carefully forever more because of it. I think he will hold up. I really do. But only time will tell."

Brown said Mixon has paid his price by serving a one-year suspension at Oklahoma. Mixon recently came to an undisclosed civil settlement with the victim.

"She has forgiven him publicly. He has apologized publicly. And I think it’s time to give a young guy like this a chance to do the best with his life that he can do," Brown said. "I don’t see what’s served by denying someone an opportunity.”

Mixon figures to play a major role in the running back rotation as a rookie. Offensive coordinator Ken Zampese said the division of snaps between Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard and Mixon will work itself out in training camp.

"He is a really good piece to add where we got him," Zampese said. "l really like, more important than his skill set, is his personality. The kind of kid he is. His demeanor. There’s so much potential for him and how he fits into the community we have here in the locker room...

"All those physical things will happen once we get him in sync with everybody and all the relationships built and then we’ll get all the package of that guy. He had a really fine spring building bridges with the guys in the locker room, learning the offense, getting used to the coaches, how things happen in practice. He’s ready to go."