With Cedric Benson suspended for Week 8 of the 2011 season, the Cincinnati Bengals will have to turn to backup running back Bernard Scott, who many Bengals fans feel has been underutilized in the Bengals offense by head coach Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
So far this season, Scott has 30 times for 85 yards. The most carries he made in a game came in Week 6 when the Bengals played the Colts. Scott carried the ball 11 times in that game.
Scott is excited about his opportunity to start for the Bengals for the first time since the 2009 season.
"I’ll be so anxious just to get out there and show the coaches what I can do and just try to go out there and make a play," Scott said. "I think this week with me being in the offense most of the time, I can just let the game come to me and I can go out there and be patient and just run the ball the way I know how."
Benson and Scott have a different style of running. Benson is better suited to run between the tackles as a power back but Scott is smaller and quicker and is better suited on runs to the outside where he can get in open space. Jay Gruden says he's still going to run the ball and he's going to try to get Scott in the best situations for him to succeed.
"We’re going to be similar the way we attack. We have to run into some good looks and try to put our guys into the best situation," Gruden said. "We’re not going to stop running because they’re good. We’re going to challenge our guys."
Scott isn't going to be fortunate enough to play against a low-ranked run defense at home during his start. Seattle's run defense is ranked at No. 11 in the league and they always have help from the 12th man, their screaming crowd. Scott has had chances to watch the Seattle defense against the run and said that while most teams have just one or two guys that make a lot of the tackles, the the Seahawks have six or seven guys in a lot of them and that they "play a lot of team ball."
Hopefully Scott can help the Bengals improve from having the 21st ranked running offense in the league. This will be his best chance to prove to coaches that he deserves more playing time.