The NFL has changed when it comes to rushing offenses. Unless teams have elite backs, like Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson or Arian Foster, they often run with two running backs -- one bruising back and one change of pace back who can catch out of the backfield.
The Jets do it with Shonn Green and LeDainian Tomlinson. The Carolina Panthers have it with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The Patriots have it with Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Saints have it a tripple-headed attack with Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram. And that's not all, there are more teams that have this kind of rushing attack.
This style of running has some major advantages. For one, it keeps your running backs healthy longer because a team isn't leaning on one guy all the time. It also keeps a defense on its toes. When a power-back takes the field, the defense needs to be aware of the run between the tackles, but when another back is in that is quicker, they not only have to be aware of a run to the outside but a pass.
One of the major complaints coming into this season was the underutilization of running back Bernard Scott. While Scott is unable to run between the tackles like Cedric Benson, he can get to edges and catch the ball out of the backfield better.
When he carried the ball in 2009 and 2010, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry, which was impressive especially considering Benson averaged 3.7 yards per carry during those same years. However, Benson has averaged 21.5 carries per game since he's signed with the Bengals in 2008 which is far and above greater than Scott's average of 4.5 carries per game.
Why doesn't he get the ball more?
I have no clue. But I do know that Scott better make the best of the time he has on the field.
In Sunday's win over the Browns, Scott only carried the ball four times and only for a total of three yards. For some reason the coaches aren't convinced that Scott can get the job done. Four carries per game for a running back of Scott's ability isn't enough unless there's something that we don't know.
We have reported before that the team is concerned with Scott's lack of durability and ability to run the ball between the tackles. However, he doesn't need to be used in a situation where he would run between the tackles. Why not use him in the passing game or in runs to the outside?
Regardless of why Scott isn't in the game as often as he deserves to be, he needs to be impressive when he is. Averaging 0.8 yards per carry against the Browns isn't going to get things done. If he wants to prove to coaches that he deserves more time on the field then he's going to have to be better than that. We all know he is.
I'm not expecting to see him on the field any more on Sunday against the Broncos than he was on the field against the Browns. Hopefully, when he is on the field, he's more impressive so he can get some more time against the 49ers at home. Scott has already lost his job as a kick returner to Brandon Tate, it would be a shame if he continued to average less than a yard per carry and lost his job as the team's second running back too.