Scott To Carry Load for Bengals


AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) - Bernard Scott has waited two years to get this


The shifty running back will be a focus of the Cincinnati

Bengals' offense Sunday in Seattle, taking over for suspended

starter Cedric Benson. It'll be his first featured appearance since

he started two games as a rookie in 2009.

"I'm excited to go out there and get more opportunities," the

sixth-round pick said.

There haven't been many of those lately.

Benson gets the overwhelming majority of plays in Cincinnati's

run offense, carrying 117 times in the first six games. Scott was

so overlooked early in the season that coach Marvin Lewis insisted

that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden get him a couple series each


Even that wasn't much.

"It's always difficult when you don't know when you're going to

get in," said Scott, who has carried only 30 times for 85 yards.

"You know you're probably going to get one or two plays or

whatever. I feel like the more you're in with the offense, the

better feeling you get out of the game. Once I get my rhythm, I

think I'll be all right."

The question is how much the Bengals (4-2) will change their

running game on Sunday in Seattle (2-4), where the crowd is loud

and rookie quarterback Andy Dalton will rely on Scott instead of

Benson to control the ball.

"I don't know if it's going to change much," Dalton said on

Wednesday. "Obviously they're two different style backs, but

Bernard is capable of doing a lot of good things. We've got to get

him in some space and let him run with it."

Benson is serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL's

conduct policy. He spent five days in a Texas prison settling two

misdemeanor assault cases before the season started. The Bengals

expect him back next week for a game at Tennessee.

That means Scott gets one chance to show his stuff for an entire


"I'm going to get a better feel of the game, and I'll be able

to showcase my talent instead of trying to make every play a home

run," Scott said. "Every play is not going to be a home run."

The Bengals have gotten off to their surprisingly strong start

by playing good defense - they rank second in the league in yards

allowed - and running the ball consistently to take the load off

their rookie quarterback. Scott is an inch shorter and 29 pounds

lighter than Benson, but has more break-away speed.

"We're two different kinds of backs," Scott said. "He's a

bruiser, I'm a slash-and-dash type of back. But if I have to run

inside, I don't mind running inside neither."

The Seahawks have been tough to run against all season. Seattle

has allowed only 3.2 yards per carry, best in the NFL. Cincinnati,

Baltimore and Dallas have allowed 3.3. Only nine teams are allowing

less than 4 yards per carry.

With Scott in the backfield, the Bengals have a better chance of

running outside and throwing screen passes that could turn into

long gains.

"Bernard is a shifty guy who can get loose," left tackle

Andrew Whitworth said. "He's hard to tackle just because of his

shiftiness. He's just a different style, where Ced's more of a

full-steam-ahead, power-runner type guy. Just a little different.

"It doesn't really change anything we do just because a

different guy's carrying the football. So it's different for the

defense, not that much different for us."

Notes: MLB Rey Maualuga is wearing a walking boot this week to

support his sprained left ankle. He sat out a win over Indianapolis

and will miss the game in Seattle. He hopes to be back next week

for a game in Tennessee. ... LB Thomas Howard didn't practice

Wednesday because of a hamstring injury. CB Nate Clements was

limited by a sore hamstring. ... CB Adam "Pacman" Jones fully

participated for the second straight practice. Jones, who missed

the first six games while recovering from neck surgery, could be

activated for the game in Seattle.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)