Yes, Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott is a talented football player. However, it's worth noting that the Bengals seem to have once again ignored the rap sheet of a player before using a draft pick on him. As Ryan Wilson pointed out Sunday, Scott has been arrested on at least five separate occasions, and actually hit a coach during one of his college stops.
It was doubtful that the Bengals would defend this choice by saying that they weren't aware of Scott's past. Naturally, they were quick to defend their pick, a player whose last college (Abilene Christian) was his fourth since 2003.
"I think at that point in the draft it was worth the opportunity," (head coach Marvin) Lewis said. "He has kind of gotten his life back together. Wherever this guy has been, he has succeeded and run for a lot of yardage. We had a lot of time talking with people around him the last couple of years, and we felt really good about him."For his part, Scott is trying to make it clear that he's matured.
Said running backs coach Jim Anderson: "I think that the image is what (media) project. Give the kid a chance. I think that's the American way - to give someone a chance. Let him come in and do what he can do."
"I cleared up the issues of my past. All of the mistakes I have made, I have learned from them," Scott said. "I have become a better person. I am not ashamed to talk about what I did. I made those mistakes and I have to answer those questions and go forward from there."Now, it's likely that someone else would have either drafted Scott or pursued him as a free agent once the seventh round ended. However, these are the Bengals, and given the problems they've had with off-field behavior, they really should know better. Let some other team take the public relations hit that comes from drafting a player with Scott's background.