Cedric Benson Arrives to Raves, Pans, Shrugs

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Benson reax: C. Trent approves:

"This is a better move than either James Johnson or Shaun Alexander. It may not work out, but Benson is a better option than either of those. Johnson isn’t good enough and Alexander is too old."

Kirk seconds the motion:

"Considering the situation of running backs on this team, I like this move. We need to bolster the position after injuries and questionable cuts and lack of production. Look, we’re 0-4; there’s not one thing we shouldn’t try."

Whodeyfans has some video.

The Chickster calls the signing a joke:

"Seriously, folks, I thought the Cincinnati Bengals signing of running back Cedric Benson was a joke."

The Bengal Blitz is on the same page:

"Insert punch line here. Well, so much for wanting to change the image of the franchise. The Bengals have decided to return back to the butt of jokes around the football world."

To Muckraker Mike, it’s business as usual:

"Though a grand jury opted last week not to indict Benson on any of the pending charges, the decision of the Bengals to add a player with a troubled past will only reinforce the team’s standing as a franchise that simply doesn’t care about the perception that more than a few of its players are turds."

PFW believes Benson lucked into a great opportunity, but needs to bust his ass or risk a career-ending washout.

"If Benson is in shape, and if he is willing to work at his craft, he’ll have a chance to push for a significant role in the offense, especially if Perry doesn’t pick up his play. But if Benson falters in any way, all bets are off, and his NFL career very well could be over.We’ll quickly find out if Benson learned anything from his experience with the Bears, who handed him a starting job and were very disappointed with the results. The Bengals will have far less patience with Benson.All they have given him is an opportunity, a pretty choice one, all things considered. Now it’s up to Benson to do something with it."

James Walker whines that Shaun Alexander would have been a better PR move:

"Benson’s had some character concerns and there’s a hometown product from nearby Kentucky in Shaun Alexander who has a better resume and would have been a better public relations move."

Uh, yeah, James, because PR is at the top of the Bengals’ list of problems this season (insert rolling eyes smiley here). Now you know why I rarely bother any more with what had been a good sports blog back in the “Hashmarks” days. That said, Bengals Gab appears to agree:

"As for the Bengals, they are following form like the Raiders, who take just about anyone that has some sort of record. Don’t forget, this is the same team that dumped WR Chris Henry after multiple arrests, and then for whatever reason brought him back after they changed their minds. If there’s any question about the Bengals as a franchise, a signing like this simply proves it yet again."

On the other hand, Bengal Stripes isn’t concerned:

"Let’s breakdown the arrests, Benson was arrested for boating while intoxicated and on a drunken driving charge. What he didn’t pull out a gun on an officer, or crash into an apartment building, or kick a random stranger in the face, or knock out a women who was his neighbor, or robbed a teammate in college and wasn’t accused of rape on an ESPN special.Benson’s problems seem small in the world of troubled Bengals."

WDR responds to the signing in its usual uber-Homer, Mike-is-always-right manner:

"In 2007, the Bears made Mr. Benson the starter. He sucked. He averaged 3.4 yards a carry, so did Adrian Peterson. No not that Adrian Peterson. Then he got arrested twice. Now he is a Cincinnati Bengal. Wonderful."

As for yours truly, my take on the signing is, why the hell not? At 0-4, it’s unlikely to make a difference even if Benson suddenly transforms into the second coming of Jim Brown. If he works out, great. If he stinks it up on the field, or runs afoul of the law, he’ll be shown the door without a second thought.

Sadly, I don’t give Benson much of a chance to succeed here, not because of anything about him, but because our anemic run game has less do do with the back in question and a lot more to do with our crappy offensive line. Moses might have been able to part the sea, but even he couldn’t open up a hole in this line.