With as much trouble as Cedric Benson has gotten into over the course of his NFL career, one would think he would be happy to fall in line and allow his situation in Cincinnati to play out (on the field and off it, for that matter).
But one would be wrong.
While recently appearing on SIRIUS NFL Radio, Benson took the time to voice his displeasure about the Bengals’ offense and how the team has gotten away from running the football.
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Said Benson about the offense’s direction right now: “I don’t know. With all those players and names you brought up (Terrell Owens, Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham) they’re all, except for one, directly involved in the passing game. So, I mean, if I had to guess, it seems that that’s kind of the route that we’re trying to go, which can be a bit frustrating because we were successful running the football last year and being a power team. Being that type of team got us where we ultimately wanted to be, which was in the playoffs. I don’t know what would be the reason the team would want to change their identity, unless in the past season it didn’t work. But that’s not the case here. And, I mean, I don’t know. I guess whoever’s making those shots, or calling those shots, you got to kind of roll with the punches.”
In the first two games, the Bengals have called 85 pass plays to just 56 run plays. But they also trailed New England 31-3 early in the third quarter in Week 1 and were inconsistent running the ball against Baltimore last Sunday. So what is Benson looking for here?
The Bengals were successful running the ball last year, but they also desperately needed to upgrade their passing game, which they did this offseason with the selections of Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley via the draft, and Terrell Owens in free agency. They lost to the Jets last year in the Wild Card round partly because they were too one-dimensional. And despite Benson’s claims, the goal isn’t to reach the playoffs – it’s to win in the playoffs.
The teams that win in the NFL do so because every player accepts his role and executes the plays that are called. If one guy doesn’t accept his role and fails to execute, then the rest of the 10 players usually suffer.
With that in mind, Benson should stop worrying about the distribution of run and pass plays and just concern himself with what he’s doing to help the team win. Going on SIRIUS radio and bitching about the offense isn’t helping his team win and doesn’t help the Bengals’ reach their ultimate goal.