One of the training camp/season pieces I'm working on that talks about five things the Bengals hopefully will improve upon in 2010 is the increased contribution on offense with Bernard Scott. The dude has talent and explosiveness. Jim Anderson recently talked about getting him the ball and Bob Bratkowski says:
“No question he’s the kind of guy you want to put the ball in his hands,” Bratkowski says. “You can use him in the slot; you can do some different things with him.”
While his potential is sky high with the type of explosiveness that he could make anything happen at any point in time, one general fear with Scott, especially if he's forced into a feature back role, is durability. During his rookie year, Scott slid into the lineup as a feature back in three games. He replaced Benson against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who left the game early due to an injury, then started against the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns recording 39 carries for 206 yards rushing -- that's an impressive 5.3 yard/rush average. Then on his 18th and final carry against the Browns, Scott left the game after suffering a toe injury, forced to miss the following three contests.
Along with a possible suspension and the always possible injury arising with Benson, the biggest concern with Scott will be his durability. While he says he'll be ready for training camp next week, Scott is already working towards recovering from a "badly sprained ankle" that he suffered in June. Geoff Hobson writes:
Scott knows that there are concerns about his 5-10-195-pound durability, especially after cramps forced him from that 119-yard effort in Oakland and the turf toe that robbed him of another 100-yard day the next week against Cleveland when he left with 89 yards and didn’t play for the next three games. Even when he’s healthy he’s not seen as a full-time banger, but like James Brooks, Scott has that 230-pound bell-cow mentality in a 195-pound body.
“I want them to know I can be durable and reliable. The cramps, I put that on me,” he says. “I was used to getting a lot of reps and a lot of snaps in practice and I feel I learned from that. If I don’t get the reps, then after practice I’ve got to come in and do extra in the weight room. I think I learned from that.”