Well, that didn’t take long.
Even before he has been able to find himself a defensive coordinator, new Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor has had the first arrest under his watch. One of his running backs was arrested in Florida over the weekend, though it’s not the running back you might be thinking of.
Mark Walton, a rookie fourth-round pick in 2018 out of Miami, was arrested on Friday night or Saturday morning following an incident that took place in a parking garage that escalated into the physical, having been charged with battery. The report indicates that he became angry when a couple began filming him during an argument that stemmed from his car blocking the entrance of the parking garage.
The running back, still 21 years of age, is already out of jail after posting bail, but this will not be the end of the story. He will have the pending legal matters, but he will also have to face heat from the league, and could end up receiving a suspension.
You might recall that two-year veteran running back Joe Mixon, who is most famous for punching a woman in a Subway restaurant, also had an incident that involved a parking situation, as he almost fought with a parking attendant. This incident occurred in early 2017, before he was drafted in the second round later that year.
Under the 16-year tenure of former head coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals became known as the franchise that would not only give opportunities to troubled players but would also foster an environment that may have enabled their continued behavior, with no player better embodying that than Vontaze Burfict.
While it didn’t help that he posted losing records in each of his past three seasons, it’s reasonable to believe that one of the reasons Lewis is finally no longer here is because the front office is looking to change the culture of the team.
Taylor represents a seismic shift from Lewis in many ways, including age and philosophy, but they also have different views on culture. It wouldn’t be surprising if Walton ends up getting released. He was the third-string running back behind Mixon and Giovani Bernard.
Walton only had 14 carries on the season, rushing for 34 yards. He caught five passes for another 41 yards. The Bengals had two different quarterbacks who rushed more often and for more yards than he had.