One of last season's pleasant surprises was Bernard Scott's return for the investment the Bengals took a chance on after several character issues plagued his collegiate career. He was another story of a kid that could have been drafted high, but off-the-field flags prevented teams from taking a chance on him. Before the draft last year, I spoke with the President, senior writer and NFL Draft Director of The Football Expert. He said that a "prospect like Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian could be a steal in the 7th round or even as an undrafted free agent." Nailed it! But it didn't stop there. Many didn't like the pick. Including Bengals fans. On a poll after the Bengals selected Scott, a whopping 78% didn't like the pick. Todd McShay called Scott the team's worst pick. Not so nailed, Todd. We did, after all, draft Freddie Brown.
When Scott was drafted, the general consensus at the time was that we drafted another player with major character flags. One year later, we wouldn't dare think of replacing him. And it's not just because of his on-field talent. Every interview I've read of the guy shows me that this kid is already getting it with a team-first mentality.
On Thursday, Scott spoke with Carlos "Big C" Holmes.
“I think I had a decent year, but it’s really not about me it’s about the team,” Scott said in an interview. “I think overall as a team we didn’t reach our goals. If we would have won more games then I could have looked at myself and tried to achieve some of my individual goals. But for me the team comes first.”
“Everything was a learning experience in my first year in the league,” Scott said. “It was definitely a positive having good guys like Ced (Benson) around that I could learn from. Hopefully, I’ll come back next year as a better player and make this a better team.”
“I’m going back to watch film and see what areas I can improve my game,” Scott said. “I want to be better overall and more of a factor next season. I have a year under my belt and the team will be counting on me to perform. My plan is to work diligently in the offseason to improve so when things start I can hit the ground running next season. I’m excited about this team’s future and want to contribute. I believe the best is yet to come with me.”
Cincinnati's running back situation is solid. Cedric Benson is a very good feature back, Scott showed us that he has a lot of promise and Brian Leonard is the only human being that can see the television first down marker while playing on the field.