The Bengals improved the receiving core, but I still think Cincinnati is best equipped by running the football. The offensive line is a better mauling run-blocking line than pass-protecting line. Running behind that line is the bruising work-horse Cedric Benson.
(Starter) Cedric Benson- 301 CAR 1,251 YDS 4.2 AVG 6 TD 17 REC 111 YDS
Cedric Benson has completely revamped his career in Cincinnati after 3 abysmal seasons in Chicago. Last year he set career-highs in carries, yards and yards per carry. He also set a team record with 6 100-yard games.
Benson has a powerful running style and is fit enough to handle the bulk of the carries; approximately 20+ rushes a game. He’s good between the tackles and has a solid burst in the open field. He doesn’t have the best long speed, but he has the strength to break tackles in the 2nd level.
Benson is just 27, and if he can stay healthy, it looks like he found a home in Cincinnati. He doesn’t have a lot of mileage on his legs, so we’ll see if Benson can shoulder the workload. He’s only carried the ball 200+ times once in his career.
(Backup) Bernard Scott- 74 car 321 yds 4.3 avg 0td 5 rec 67 yds
Scott filled in nicely the 2 games that Benson missed. In those 2 starts, Scott carried the ball 39 times for 206 yards. Scott is quick, and knows how to find the hole.
(3rd String) Brian Leonard- 27 car 84 yds 3.1 avg 0 td 30 rec 217 yds
Leonard is strictly a 3rd-down back who is a nice pass catcher out of the backfield. He has good awareness on the field to know where the sticks are to pick up 1st downs.
(FB) Fui Vakapuna-
Vakapuna is a 2nd year player from BYU. He is strictly a blocking back who won’t see the ball much.
OVERALL GRADE- 7.25
So how does Cedric Benson stack up with the rest of the running backs in the NFL. Listed below are my preseason 2010 running back rankings.
Adrian Peterson (Min)
Chris Johnson (Ten)
Steven Jackson (Stl)
Maurice Jones-Drew (Jax)
Ray Rice (Bal)
Michael Turner (Atl)
DeAngelo Williams (Car)
Frank Gore (Sf)
Rashard Mendenhall (Pit)
Knowshon Moreno (Den)
(To view the rest of my rankings, and where Cedric Benson fits into the equation, clink the link below)
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!