The Bengals have chosen not to re-sign Cedric Benson and instead they signed free agent running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, so, at least for now, the pecking order at the running back position in the eyes of Bernard Scott remains the same. It goes Green-Ellis, Scott, Brian Leonard and then Cedric Peerman. But what happens if the Bengals grab another running back in this year's draft, like most analysts expect them to? That pecking order could change drastically.
If that happens, Scott likely wouldn't be the No. 2 guy anymore. Instead it would go Green-Ellis at No. 1 and the rookie at No. 2. Deciding who would be the team's third back would be tough too. Scott is talented, but he doesn't have the play-making ability that Brian Leonard has as the team's third down back. He also doesn't necessarily have the special teams value that Cedric Peerman does.
It's very possible that Scott could find himself on the outside looking in, especially since his durability has been in question and he hasn't been exactly what you would call "eye popping." Scott knows that he isn't guaranteed a spot on the 2012 roster and he's nervous, and he's right to be. However, he has a plan.
In the past Scott admits that while he knew what he was doing on the field, he didn't put in a lot of extra time to learn all the little things that a professional running back needs to know. That's going to change as Scott says he's going to become a "student of the game."
"I knew what I was doing before, but I wasn't a student of the game and that's what I'm trying to improve this offseason," Scott said. "So it's basically like having two quarterbacks in the backfield. I want to know where the blitz is coming from. What's the hot read? I want to know the whole offense. I feel like the skills are going to take care of themselves."
Scott will need to prove himself heading into his contract year, especially if the Bengals are able to get ahold of a guy like Doug Martin, who could make an immediate impact on the team, in the draft this year. An average of 3.4 yards per carry won't cut it if the Bengals are choosing four of five running backs before the season begins. And if he does make the team, since this is his contract year, he'll want to prove that he can perform in the NFL, even if it's not for the Bengals.
Scott will likely be paying very close attention to the draft this year as he could be looking at his replacement on the roster in 2012.