Cedric Benson: “I wanted to turn everything around and I wanted everything to be on a positive up and up.”January 15, 2010 – 6:15 am by Zach Krantz
He was originally the #4 pick in the 2005 draft to the Chicago Bears. In 2008 they cut him, released him, said goodbye to the “bust” pick from their 2005 draft. Before the 2008 season, Benson, who missed all of training camp due to a contract holdout and who had a couple of notable off the field incidents, was still not the top flight running back that they thought they drafted. When you look at it all in perspective for the Bears, this pick set them back a few years. They drafted Matt Forte in the second round in 2008. That could have been a pick taken in another place they needed (they had plenty of gaps on the team, one pick might not have saved the Bears, but would have helped). It triggered a list of what ifs the Bears wished they hadn’t had to think about when they drafted Benson. Tough break for them and great break for the Bengals.
Cincinnati picked up the running back and signed him to a one year, $520,000 deal that in hindsight was a hit or miss that they were ok with taking. Boy were they right. Benson became the starter for the Bengals after week 7 that year and has never looked back. He has proven to the Bengals why he was a #4 overall pick, somewhere in Chicago someone is throwing up. He became a free agent after that season and had a few suitors, but he re-signed with the Bengals and is now the workhorse for them. He had a monster season this year running for 1,251 yards despite missing three games. He ran for 169 yards against the Jets last weekend in a loss, but has proven to the rest of the NFL, he is a franchise back.
Cedric Benson joined AM 1300 the Zone in Austin on the Wake Up Call and talked about the Bengals loss to the Jets last week, this season with the Bengals and what it has meant to him, and where the future lies with him and the NFL.
Asked about all the negative attention surrounding him before the season and coming back with his best season of his career:
“Well you know, they always talk about making it through the storm and coming out of the other end a much better person…In life or whatever you are doing. I just saw the opportunity as a chance to grow, not only spiritually but mentally. It was a life lesson, life is full of lessons. It taught me a lot, not just about myself but my career, about my inner self and you know I learned from it. I wanted to turn everything around and I wanted everything to be on a positive up and up.”
Asked to talk about the Jets and their shot this week in San Diego:
“They are poised to find themselves in the championship game. Anybody who won a championship, Super Bowls, college championship bowl games, high school championship games, everybody know you must play well on defense and run the football. That’s usually the key to success deep in the playoffs and they have all those tools. Great defense, not a whole bunch of big name guys, but they all play well and run to the ball well which is what I found when we played them. They weren’t trying to give up a yard easy at all; they made me work for every inch. I admired the competition and the play that was going on by that. I can see those guys working their way to the Super Bowl as long as they keep the same mentality and play. Hats off to them, great team, well balanced on their offense, great running game and defense plays very good.”
Asked to talk about his contract status with the Bengals:
“I have another year on the current contract; it’s a two year deal. We put it in their ear that we would like to kind of go back to the table and talk some extension things. They have a lot of other things they have to address right now, free agents and things like that. Hopefully we can go back tot the table and work on an extension for the fans, for the team and Cincinnati.”
Asked if he was offered an extension it’s something he would embrace: