Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo: Benson guilty of bad judgment

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The court of public opinion has had Cedric Benson on trial for a week now.

General manager Jerry Angelo took his turn judging the running back Saturday night at the Bears’ black-tie fundraiser at Soldier Field.

Benson’s guilty, at least when it comes to proper judgment.

That’s what Angelo said in his first comments about the arrest of the former No. 4 overall pick from 2005. Benson was busted May 3 on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, charged with drunk boating and resisting arrest. They are allegations he vehemently denies. Benson claims he was sober and was roughed up by police for no reason, that he was fully cooperative even after being sprayed in the face with pepper spray.

``The thing that I am most disappointed is the fact that he put himself in a position to be the victim,’’ Angelo said. ``That’s the disappointment. He’s done a real fine job in the offseason, obviously this makes big storylines. That’s not good for business. But unfortunately we’re having to deal with it and as I said, we’ll just wait and see how all the facts present themselves.

``He put himself in a position. Obviously, he knows he is going to be held to a higher standard. All athletes know that. Particularly those that are high profile like him. That’s his hometown, everybody knows him. Again, it is what it is and we’ll deal with it from here on out.’’

Angelo said the team has no plans to cut Benson and the Bears are anxious to see him on the field this summer.

Check Sunday’s edition for more details.

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21 Comments

What? Does Jerry Angelo have some inside info. or something? Angelo is saying that Benson did this to himself/he put himself in this position? Well, if we were to look at Benson's side of the story, he had a mild party on a boat, with his mother, and while being sober, when the LCRA nabbed him, beat him, pepper-sprayed him, hosed him, kicked him, and then took him in to 'el carcel'(where by the way he meets Gene Wilder, befriends him, and then they stop the bad guys from destroying the town whilst ultimately proving that racial harmony benefits all).

This story gets weirder every time there's something new on it. Either Angelo doesn't believe Benson, or he thinks having a boat party is "crossing the line." Funny though that Angelo has made no public statements on Lance Briggs. The story with that clown is pretty clear cut.

Cedric Benson needs to keep a real low profile from now till training camp. Benson will be giving every opportunity to be the starter and I hope him the best. But I think the bottom line with Benson this season is he has got to produce or his days in Chicago will be numbered. Hopefully with a younger offensive line Benson will pick up his production and simply start makeing plays and moveing the chains. I'm hearing a lot of good things about Matt Forte and I know it's just rookie mini camp but its unlike the Bears to brag up a player like they have been with Forte. Also Benson has got to stay more durable because I just don't know what would happen to Benson if he were to suffer yet another major injury and Forte were to come in and take over. Also Benson cannot afford to get injured in training camp this summer like he has in the past, Benson is going to have to show up and perform this time around. Hopefully, best case scenario, Benson carries on his play from the final two contest last season and becomes the back we thought he could as a #4 overall pick back in 2005 GO BEARS!!

Real smart comment Angleo, great point about Lance Briggs. I will root for Benson as a real person. I could care less about his production. Did you morons see our offensive line last year?

Obviously, Ced has pictures of Angelo doing something he shouldn't be doing!

This is his moment to either take the next step in his development, or slip into oblivion as yet another top 5 draft pick bust. Up until 2007, he was an effective back, and took a major step backwards as the bellcow back this past season. An improved offensive line, and a young rookie with a more diverse skill set to push him, and maybe he is back at 4 yards a carry again. This incident is a bad decision, but none of us know what really happened. The only thing we know is Ced made the decision to go to the same lake where he has been continually singled out for boat inspections, and left himself open to being stopped again. For anyone who has ever been stopped multiple times without significant cause (try having a Bears trailer hitch cover on your truck in Packer country if you want to see what it is like), you tend to get a little irritated with the authorities. Cedric is a large man, and probably a lot more powerful than any or all of the cops that stopped him, so a sarcastic wit, an expression of anger, or many other things could be perceived as a threat, especially when the police know they are outmatched by a person. If it is racial and unwarranted, I hope Cedric get the apology of all the media members that have been bashing him incessantly since it happened. But if he did anything to warrant this, or was lying about the account, he deserves much more scrutiny and criticism.

Jerry is correct in that he made a bad judgment to go onto that lake again, and show up in Party Cove, but that is not illegal. If he was telling the truth, and he had 2 drinks during the day, that also is not illegal. My 125 lb. wife can have two drinks and not come anywhere close to nearing the legal limit. If his accounts, or those of the witnesses who have come forward are not accurate, then there is a bigger problem that will have to be dealt with, not only in the courts, but in Halas Hall.

I have faith in Benson the player. I think he will be much better in 2008, especially with the upgrades to the RT spot, and a healthy LG. If Orton wins the job in camp, we can have a balanced offense, which starts with Cedric and Forte averaging 4+ yards per carry. If he stays healthy, it will be Ced as the starter, and Forte getting a few series shots per game, like Benson did as a young player. We can get 1,500-2,000 yards rushing out of our backs this year, if we commit to the run, and use play action to the tight ends consistently, to keep the LBs from filling the holes too quickly. The running game is no longer just a back running hard, and linemen making a block. It is slowing down the reaction time of the defense with the threat of something else. In 2007, we were not capable of doing that consistently, and look what happened to our running and passing game because of that.

I really don't care whethr Benson is not guilty or guilty. I just care whether Benson is productive for the Bears. The only possible production that I could see out of Benson would be to trade him to another team for a draft pick or another player like Lamont Jordan as an example, who is now third on the Raiders depth chart. I truly think Benson's time is up as a Chicago Bear running back. There would be nothing better than to see him prove me wrong with 1,500 years and 15 touchdowns, not!!!

I hope in my lifetime that the Honey Bears will return to the field. At least when the Bears aren't running up tons of yardage and a cloud of dust we could watch the Honey Bears.

I'll go along with the honey bears comment. I miss them almost as much as I miss Ditka. Ced obviously is still suffering from growing pains. Maybe the last couple of years of the adversity he faced will finally allow him to see the light and become a mature individual. The Bears have stuck with him so far, but obviously he is now on pretty shaky ground. One hopes he realizes that this year is it. He makes it or he's gone. That means a better work ethic and a more mature approach in his life style.

Angelo is a complete idiot. He should be glad there are diversions that allow the fans to forget what a complete moron Angelo is when it comes to running a football team. It was his idea to go with that offensive line in 2007 and that is what caused the QB, RB, and other offensive issues. It wasn't Grossman, Orten, or Benson that caused the offensive problems, it was Angelo and maybe Lovie who should take the blame. Should Benson lock himself in his house and come out only to pratice or play in a game? Please Angelo, get a life (hopefully in some other city).

You mean you COULDN'T care less?

Wonder if we could all chip in and buy Rex a boat? Hmmmmmmm

How is having a get together with friends and family in your hometown during the offseason (while no OTA's going on) a bad judgment? That's absurd!

Just because Benson's been stopped before for safety checks (and he has always been in compliance), it doesn't mean that he should not go back to that lake. If Benson's telling the truth (which I think he is), then the problem wasn't Benson. The problem was those policemen who abused their power. All the information that have surfaced so far have corroborated with Benson's account of the incident. If Angelo is suggesting that Benson should have avoided encountering those crooked cops just because they are crooked, then Angelo is a gutless coward, who does not believe in standing up for truth and justice, despite the consequences.

Mr. Angelo, a bad judgment is when you forgot to check the "box" on Warrick Holdman's free agent form, which would have allowed another team to sign him with no compensation to the Bears.

A bad judgment is when you used the 14th pick in the 2003 draft on Michael Haynes, a complete bust, (after trading down from the 4th spot, passing on Terence Newman, Jordan Gross, Terrell Suggs, Marcus Trufant, Ty Warren, and Larry Johnson.)

A bad judgment is when you went into last season with a broken down, aging, slow, weak, and pathetic offensive line.

A bad judgment is when you signed Fred Miller from free agency. (A little research would have shown you that he is not highly motivated, doesn't keep himself in shape, and doesn't finish off his blocks...That was why Dick Vermeil let him go to the Titans.)

I could go on, but you get the point. Mr. Angelo, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and prove it."

I was surprised by JA comments, hmm, weird timing to not stand behind your 4th pick? They already heard from Benson in a closed session.. so what gives? Damn, I sure wouldn't want Angelo in my corner in a tight fight huh? It's only the 5th round and he's already picking up the towel....
Ced had every right to be there, but still you think he'd learn after getting stopped so many times... maybe choose a different lake??

Well said, St. Louis.

Hindsight is 20/20, but it sure looks like the "bad judgment" was drafting Benson in the first place.

But I guess when you already have a multi-year extension in place, you don't really have to worry.

Bad judgment goes way back. Back to drafting Benson, hiring Lovie, hiring Jerry, hiring Teddy. It's about four years past the time to clean house. Let's get on with it.

Jerry Angelo is not the great savior or genius people think he is. Remember when we had Washington and Traylor on the D-line? Jerry wanted to get rid of Jauron, who was Angelo's predecessors' pick as coach, so Angelo gets rid of the heart of the D-line--and what happens? The D sucks. Jauron is fired. The Bears, having no interior D-Line presence, are pretty bad. Angelo relies on his talent evaluation to plug in scrubs to replace Traylor and Washington. Chaos ensues.

Last year's O-line was another example--he stood pat when there was some compelling statistical evidence that that O-line was not getting it done--as displayed in the SuperBowl, and previously. Allowing other teams to penetrate with their front four, and destroy us with a blitz--not good. Again, Angelo putting too much faith--contrary to evidence--in players he chose.

Understand, you have to have faith in your players. But when they can't get the job done, you have to pay attention to the evidence. And Angelo doesn't.

Look at the QB's he has brought in here, save Grossman and Orton, who I think are serviceable. All others have been a bit of a trainwreck, and those who are decent (Griese) get kicked out of town.

Angelo didn't bring in Urlacher or Briggs or OK on the O line. He drafts a ton of D players and ends up with some who can play. He has way more misses than he does hits. And he is a guy who remains infatuated with his moves in a way that does not help the team get better.

That said, Forte was a good move. We know what Benson is--and that is a part-time player. And no better than Adrian Peterson. Forte might be more. I think it was a mistake not to bring in a free agent QB, or at least to hang onto Griese, since Orton and Grossman are not exactly tremendously experienced, and Grossman is injury prone. I would have liked to see another solid O-line addition.

2008-9 training camp is going to be fun to watch. Will the D return to form? And what is the O going to look like, on the line, at QB, at WR, at RB? We could have a whole new look on the O. And frankly, we need it.

I always wonder why drunk rich people dont have someone drive their car or in this case boat for them. I make less than 30k after taxes and have enough money to get home via person who drives people for a living. There are boat captains you can get as well, think about it Ced and call me next time you go boating. I drive a Honda Civic so I guess I cant stunt properly maybe thats why i take cabs.

If the boat was anchored, and Benson WASN'T even at the wheel, how was he showing "bad judgement"? I guess it would be politically incorrect for JA to say the cops blew it.

I enjoyed the article , and also wanted to say that a similar incident , although not so foul happened to my father and me when I was younger. We were just fishing on one of Illinois far Southern Lakes, anchored and fishing. Other boats were out there having fun and just racing back and forth. But a patrol boat , came up to us amid many other boats , asking us for our fishing licences, boat registrations, if we had life jackets , flares,if we had been drinking , what's in your cooler etc. So I'm just saying , I can sympathize. He is entitled to go out on the Lake just as every one else does without being targeted. I mean just think about it , during the Chicago Air Show, you see hundreds of boats on the water. Do you think that any of them have been drinking to much? So , I'm just saying sad as it is , that these things still happen , my incident happened more than 15 years ago , but as we can see not much has changed or has it. It seems to have gotten worse , at least we didn't get pepper sprayed.

yes, it is a good idea to put angelo on the boat..with Mccasket and phillips...you know: rub a dub dumber three clowns in the summer (aka the three stooges in their element-deep water.

The funny thing is that Benson never brought the spector of race into the equation. Everyone else did. He just said he wasn't drunk and he that he was roughed up. I never heard him say race as an underlaying factor. Everyone else jumped to those conclusions. And guys like Angelo and Earl Campbell are jumping to conclusions and acting like they side with authorities just because they think their account is correct is so wrong. Angelo jumped the gun I feel. He would've been better off just telling the media he'd hold off on making a statement until more facts come in. Then he could just put it off until it didn't matter. Or at least wait to see if it get thrown out. Does he think that this will erase the fact that he backed Tank Johnson and that prove to be futile? How will his team feel knowing that in an instant it could've been any one of them? You can't take away misjudging a situation. It would be like Emily Lattela making a rant and then saying never mind. Intentionally doing something is bad judgment. Having something done to you while anchored is a little extreme. Until all the facts come in it's a wait and see proposition. The funny thing is that most of you guys would've sided with him right off the bat if you liked him. Since he's that guy who isn't a superstar he has to be a liar in your eyes. If he was Jordan, Payton ,Ditka or Urlacher you would've said the cops were lying without even hearing what the situation was. Too many thick headed individuals in Chicago. Just throwing accusations out just because you are biased against a guy for not being good at playing ball.

Good points WRD, my thing is, it may might not have had anything to do with his race, but it definitely was about the fact he's a big man. A lot of men my size get disrespected by police because of our size, they try to intimidate us, and he was a victim of abuse and should file charges against the cops accordingly.

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