BENSON RIPPED BY CHARGER
The excellent David Haugh has some juicy bits about Cedric Benson in today’s Tribune.
Another byproduct of Cedric Benson’s slow start could be a national media following the Bears this year more than ever will dredge up the cool reception Benson once got in the locker room. After Sunday’s game, Yahoo! Sports reported a conversation with an unnamed Bear in July that suggested Benson still has hard feelings for Brian Urlacher and Ricky Manning Jr. for their treatment of him. The same online report quoted an anonymous Chargers player saying of Benson: “We felt we could get in his head. It’s not like we were looking at Larry Johnson or anyone back there saying ‘let’s go.’ I talk to guys around the league. [Benson] took himself out of the Super Bowl. That’s letting down your team. I guess that’s what kind of guy he is. We knew that, and we played accordingly.”
When it comes to personality, Benson is not Thomas Jones. Defiant from the moment he was interviewed after being drafted by the Bears, Benson isn’t all cuddly nor seemingly interested in putting on a happy face. Good. I hope he uses all the knocks–perceived and otherwise–to put a chip on his shoulder and start barreling through and over defenders.
He’s had only a handful of solid games in his pro career. On Sunday he needs to gain at least 100 yards and hit the end zone to start erasing some of the doubts about his makeup and ability. A huge performance by Benson on Sunday could go a long way toward the Bears’ success this year, much like Grossman’s hot start a year ago propelled the Bears into some new territory.