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Bengals Scouting Report: Brian Leonard

Editor's Note: Joe will be breaking down different Bengals players in scouting reports, judging their strengths, weaknesses and giving his overall impression, starting with guys who could possibly be leaving the team when the lockout ends and free agency begins. Keep an eye out for more scouting reports that will be coming soon.

Strengths: Brian Leonard is the prototype third down back. Great receiver out of the back field; can split out wide or slip out on the screen plays. Very good pass blocker; picks up blitzes and is scrappy enough to tangle up good rushers just long enough. Will fight for every inch necessary to get a first down; Leonard knows how to make a play and rises to the occasion. He can play every special teams package and can be your backup full back; very valuable on the 45 man active roster.

Weaknesses: Average speed and strength. Doesn't run with great power and isn't very elusive in the open field; limited as a runner. Has an injury history. Hurdles defenders, which can leave his body open to hits and the ball unprotected.

Overall Impression: Brian Leonard is a valuable piece to the Bengals offense and special teams. He's made enough plays in the last two seasons to be remembered as a hero in Bengaldom. Most fans would love to have him back in 2011, even if he's taking touches away from Bernard Scott. Injuries and ball carrying limitations will hurt his offers in free agency, but the Bengals know how to use him and Leonard has openly expressed his interest in returning to Cincinnati. Signing Leonard is a mid level priority for the Bengals and I expect it to get done.