Friday, August 10, 2012

Should The Packers Sign Cedric Benson

Simple answers to simple questions: No. But the Green Bay Packers might sign RB Cedric Benson anyway, as was reported by Ian Rapoport at, and they (hopefully) have a good reason.

While I don't believe this line of thinking, here's why he could be a good signing. I questioned last week whether James Starks was really the answer, and pointed out that there isn't a strong Plan B on the roster. Cedric Benson has shown great athleticism and production in the past, and a strong work out could be a sign that he still has some game left in him. After weak performances by Starks (5 carries for 16 yards) and undrafted rookie Marc Tyler (13 carries for 32 yards) in their opening preseason game, they understandably might want an upgrade.

On the other hand, there are many reasons why he's not the answer. He has rushed for over 1000 yards each of the last three seasons, but he's done it while averaging under 4 yards per carry. Football Outsiders had him ranked near the bottom of the pack last season for good reason: his low ypc and his tendency to fumble. I double-checked their section on him in the 2012 Football Outsiders Almanac, and there's nothing positive to recommend him there either.

Other red flags abound, he's frequently in trouble with police and he's on the wrong side of age 30, but his fumbles, on a team that prides themselves on winning the turnover battle, is my biggest concern. However, he might not be given more than 150 carries even under the best of circumstances, which would only add one or two more fumbles (potentially) over the course of the season.

It's disappointing to see his signing receive serious consideration, they should have planned this better during the offseason, but his arrival wouldn't have a major impact one way or another.


PackFaninFl said...

This post should be everywhere because you nailed it. And congratulations on voicing skepticism on Starks last week and right on cue. Let me borrow that crystal ball!

I cannot believe how people think this guy with all the miles on his body (I mean, Ryan Grant transforms into a spry 27 year old next to this guy), his fumbles (he's HORRIBLE) and his "off the field" activities merit serious consideration for ANYTHING.

Look, I remember in 2008 when he ran roughshod over us for something like 150 yards and all his gaudy potential. But there is a reason this guy hasn't been picked up.

If we use this as a sort of "smelling sauce" to wake James Starks from his mental slumber, then I guess have at it. But I DO NOT want this guy touching the ball EVER for the Pack.

And as your last sentence suggests, this reeks of desperation.

PS. Over at some unnamed blog, certain bloggers have engaged in the exercise of looking at Benson's past four years as indicative of what he could do for us. People, if we looked at Ryan Grant's last four years (including back to back 1200 yard seasons) we should be signing HIM instead!! Benson is on the wrong side of 30, if he averaged 3.8 a carry at 26-7, think what he would do week one against San Fran, against the Bears Front seven, against Detroit's front seven, etc. I give him 3.5 yards a carry at best. I rather keep a youngster like Saine or Tyler.

Book it, Brando'

Stroh said...

I fully endorse signing Benson. I feel he is exactly the type RB the Packers need this year. He has never had the opportunity to play w/ a passing offense like the Packers have. He can finish in short yardage/goal line, he runs w/ very good power, as opposed to Grant. He will grind out the tough yards in the 4 min drill. These are all aspects the Packers are missing w/ the current group.

Benson doesn't have alot of options, he'll come very cheap and instantly give the Packers a threat at RB they don't have w/ Starks and never had w/ Grant. Benson was always the only real option on teams w/ no legit passing offense. He had to play against Pitts and Balt, for 1/4 of his games, 2 teams that are very stiff against the run.

Just Benson's presence on the field for the Packers makes them better than they are w/ Starks, regardless of his actual production!

PackFaninFl said...

Stroh, I hope you are right! Let's hope he doesn't fumble it on his way to a potential TD :D

To me, that's the most damning and devastating aspect to benson's game. His fumblitis. Hence, my skepticism.

We went 15-1 last year averaging about 60 yards a game. We won a Superbowl with average running as well. When did the running game really hurt or cost us? Easy, when turnovers rear their ugly head. Not on short yardage, not when we run the ball 12 or 13 times total in a game (I believe we set a Super bowl record low for rushing attempts, no?)

When Kuhn and Grant fumbled twice in the Giants game, it was devastating. Imagine if we fumbled twice during any of our games during the playoff run in the 2010 Superbowl year. We may have lost three out of our four games! (We beat Philly by 5, Steelers by 6, Bears by 7).

An offense gets about 10 possessions per turn it over twice is just plain devastating. Which is why I still "ugh" at Benson. And Benson is not good at picking up blitzes. The extra shots to Rodgers absolutely grate me!

There is a reason this guy wasn't picked up by anyone else -- the reason pointed out by Brandon.

But hey, no matter what, in MM we trust and TT we worship! Go Pack Go and hope Benson works out!

Brandon said...

Would defenses respect the run more with Benson instead of Starks? That seems like a push to me, though most announcers would probably go with the 1000 yard rusher than no one wanted.

After reading the terms of Benson's deal, veteran's minimum with no guaranteed money, it's hard not to like it when they need depth. Still, it's hard to believe Benson would be better than either Starks (when healthy) or Green. Hopefully Green's ready to go full-time once the regular season starts.