Our friend Jason Garrison over at CincyJungle.com posted an article about how after this season he is done with Bengals running back Cedric Benson and how he hopes the Bengals agree. I could not disagree more with the Bengals parting ways with Benson. I am all for getting a young back in here to groom as a backup, we all know that the life of a running back in the NFL is short.
Jason starts by talking about the numbers Benson put up and how last season was down from 2009. He then talks about how so far this season Benson is on pace to put up 2009 ish numbers again. Then he follows with:
That’s all good news and you would think that if he keeps this up for the entire season and gets back to 2009 form, I would change my tune. I won’t. I don’t want to see Benson on the team after the final game of this season and the main reason is because of this recent pending suspension.
Yes, it is annoying when players in the NFL can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The actions of Benson pummeling someone else were bad no matter the circumstances. However, Benson has been very reliable for the Bengals until this suspension and I think that he can continue to do so.
That aside, look at the Numbers. There is some rediculous stat that states the Bengals win games where Benson breaks the 100yd mark like 95% of the time. The key, it seems, to the Bengals winning is getting Benson his touches and yards. With the flucuation on the O line in the past 4 seasons, the fact that Benson has been able to break the 1000yd mark every season speaks volumes about what kind of back he is.
Then Jason follows with:
Next year Andy Dalton won’t be a rookie anymore and with a season’s worth of experience under his belt, coaches should be able to rely on him much more to move the ball down the field himself.
Ugh. In 2009 the Bengals swept the division and hosted a home playoff game. They were able to control the division games by riding the Benson train. Not by Palmer putting up fantasy numbers. Fans called for the long ball and in 2010 the Bengals signed TO to play opposite of Ocho to bolster the passing game. Gresham came in to catch passes along with Shipley. The Bengals were going to be a pass focused team. What happened? They go 4 and 12 and suck it up. Had the Bengals focused more on defense and ruuning the ball, I think they would have enjoyed continued success.
Jason then speaks to the drama aspect of it all:
The Bengals got rid of a lot of drama when they shed Chad Ochocinco in favor of A.J. Green. They need to do the same thing in their backfield this offseason.
I would argue there is more drama surrounding this team concerning Carson Palmer than with Bensons suspension. Benson is a good locker room guy and a smash mouth player that other rally around. Removing that from this team could be devastating. There is no one on the roster that can fill in for Benson (hence the workouts for Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis). So you would prefer a rookie or retread to carry the running game for the Bengals next season over Benson? Sorry, I couldn’t disagree more.