4 projected Bengals starters who need the most playing time in the preseason

  • Dax Hill needs reps after not playing a ton as a rookie
  • Nick Scott, the other presumed starting safety, needs to learn his new team's system.
  • Rookie Brad Robbins needs to punt in an actual NFL game.
  • Will Chris Evans be able to shine?
Cincinnati Bengals safety Nick Scott (33) walks between drills during an off-season workout inside
Cincinnati Bengals safety Nick Scott (33) walks between drills during an off-season workout inside / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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3. Nick Scott

Nick Scott is the other starting safety who will see extra time in the preseason. There are several reasons for this.

First, last season was Scott’s first season as a starter. Before that, he was primarily used as a special teams player. In 2022, he played 31.7% of defensive snaps, the most he had played before last season.

In his sole season as the starter, Scott recorded 86 tackles. That total was more than Bates and Bell. However, Scott also allowed a QB rating of 118.5 and a 79.3 completion percentage.

In contrast, Bates had a 51.4 completion percentage and a 76.1 QB rating when targeted last season. Bell allowed a 67.9% completion percentage and a 64 QB rating when targeted.

Hopefully, in his new defense, Scott’s passing defense numbers will look better than last year for the Rams. Either way, the Bengals need to be sure that Scott was not just a "one-hit wonder" in Los Angeles and deserves a starting role in Cincinnati.

Also, Scott is the only new projected starter on defense who was not with the team last year. Because the other 10 have been in Anarumo’s system for a while, they do not need many preseason reps, if any, to get acclimated.

As this is his first year, Scott could use playing time versus teams in different colored jerseys during the preseason so he does not have to think, but he can just play when the regular season begins.

Furthermore, we can anticipate Scott getting more playing time in the preseason to hold off third-round pick Jordan Battle. The rookie safety out of Alabama had a good offseason this summer.

During OTAs and minicamps, Battle was spotted taking reps with the first-team defense on several different occasions. Perhaps if it were not for his suffering from some “tightness,” we would have heard about a similar occurrence taking place at training camp.

We could get a long look at Scott if for no other reason than the Bengals like what they have in Battle and would like to get him on the field sooner rather than later. That could be, in part, at the expense of Scott.

This all adds up to the expectation that Scott will need more playing time than the other defensive starters in the preseason.