Chicago Sun-Times

A pigskin weekend: Tickets available for Bears Expo, Ruben's Run

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This promises to be the biggest football weekend until training camp convenes in late July.

The Bears have renamed their fan convention the Bears Expo and moved it from the Hilton and Towers to Soldier Field.

It takes place Saturday and Sunday and offers fans some new opportunities, including the chance to tour the home locker room, kick a field goal and run through drills on the field.

More than 55 current and former players are scheduled to attend, including the entire 2008 draft class, Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Mike Singletary, Super Bowl XX MVP RIchard Dent, and current players with Pro Bowl experience including Marty Booker, Lance Briggs, Robbie Gould, Tommie Harris and Nathan Vasher.


The popular Q&A session with general manager Jerry Angelo, coach Lovie Smith and president Ted Phillips will be Saturday morning at 11. As always, there will be extensive autograph sessions and more. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and may be purchased on a walk-up basis. Walk-up tickets are cash only and are available at Soldier Field Gate 10. Adult weekend passes are $50. Kids weekend passes are $20. Saturday only is $35 and Sunday only is $25. For more information, check right here.

Bears Expo isn’t the only game in town. Former Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown is holding his third annual motorcycle ride. Fans at the Bears Expo can double dip on Saturday and join a VIP yacht cruise aboard the Anita Dee, leaving Navy Pier at 1 p.m. All the information on the weekend’s festivities, including the VIP yacht party, bike ride and after party is available here. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army.

Brown has held a motorcycle run in Buffalo since 2001 that is still going strong but didn’t know if he’d continue here after his contract expired.

“I kept getting calls from all over,” he said Monday. “Can you do the run? Will you do the run? Everyone wanted me to do it, so we’re going to. It’s kind of cool. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know if anyone would want to show up because I’m not on the team anymore. But Olin [Kreutz] called and asked what we needed, the whole line s showing up. [Brian] Urlacher called and asked what’s up, what could he do. [Devin] Hester called.

"We’re doing it. It's going to be a great time and it's for a great cause."

The Inside the Bears staff will be taking some time off. We'll be back in the swing of things come Bourbonnais.


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31 Comments

brad! you will be missed!

This is the best bears blog out there, and I really appreciate all the info and timeliness you and the staff put into it.. have a great vacation! its well deserved and can't wait for camp!- hopefully all the draft picks will be signed by then- and dare I say it? at least 2 of the 3 of tommie, hester and url..

I can hope can't I?

"brad! you will be missed!"

What a suck up...

It looks like Benson has been arrested again in Austin, this time for drunken driving.
http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2008/06/07/chicago_bears_running_back_ced.html

What happens now?

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck its a duck.

Benson is a duck and ducks can't run.

Cut him or trade him if you can (not likely) he does more harm than good for the Bears.

Maybe you could trade him straight up for Lamont Jordan?

what a fool.

I want to see the two-headed monster of Forte & Wolfe . So much potential wasted on a weak o line.

Iceman nice find. Its time for Benson to clean up if he wants to remain a Chicago Bear. He isnt thinking about the future any more, he is thinking about the moment. Thats what gets alot of people in trouble. Benson is dead weight at this point. Put him on the I.R. for some nick nack injury so the Bears dont receive a cap hit in the 2009 season. Need he money for Hester, Harris and others.

Its not looking so good for old Ced this time around. Maybe the boating incident Angelo could of let fly, but this time??? With Tank and now Cedric Benson, the Bears are going to become the Bengals of the NFC, this is what worries me the most about all of this. I say cut your losses, and anyways, the Bears drafted Matt Forte on the first day for a reason. I think Forte & Wolfe will be the combo that Angelo envisioned Benson and Wolfe being. I think Forte is gonna be a good one, especially with his good work ethic, that Benson lacked GO BEARS!!

CEDRIC BENSON, A FOOL YEP YOU ALL HEARD ME A FOOL....AND SO ARE THE REST OF THESE YOUNG PLAYERS MAKING MILLIONS AND GOOFING UP... TO MUCH UNDER THERE NOISES... BEARS DUMP BENSON, DUMP HIM NOW... YOU HAVE TO OR YOUR THE BIGGER FOOLS... I LOVE THE BEARS BUT THESE KIDS FORGOT WHAT THEY HAD AND DONT APPRECIATE THE THINGS GOD HAS GIVEN THEM....AND THEY MESS IT UP.... DUMP BENSON, START YOUR SEASONS WITHOUT AN ANCHOR, BECAUSE IF HE PLAYS MARK MY WORDS HE WILL BE TERRIBLE......

wow, not a very smart thing for benson to do. the bears might not have a choice in cutting benson. i think after june 1st the teams will also be fined for the off the field conduct of its players. it might be time to ship benson out or even cut him. what an idiot

WOW,AGAIN??? i just dont get why he would even think about drinking after the crap he just got into. isnt there anything else out there for these people making millions to do besides drink or do drugs? well, we all know that benson really isnt that interested in playing football anyway, anyone who watches football can see that. if it was up to me this is what i would do. i would dump cedric and cut my losses, pick up someone like shaun alexander, or someone of his caliber. i like what wolf bring to the table, i just dont think hes big enough yet to pound the ball all the time. if anyone should have gotten another chance it was tank johnson, atleast he could play the game!

Ok let me get this right, you guys think it's a bad idea to give young men in there early 20's millions of dollars without actually earning and in most cases these guys don't come from money so they get a little drunk on the money. Stop, next thing you know you will expect college players take take and pass real classes and not be handed what ever they want. Whats next you gonna ask the women that chase them around to stop gold digging.

Benson does it again, ok so when do the "it's cause the Police are all racist" guys arrive to scream conspiracy?

Whats great is his lawyer admits he had a few drinks two or 3 with dinner. If he is not drunk why does he keep refusing to do blood tests? Thats all you got to do is take the blood test, it's full proof it will tell the exact amount of blood to alchol. Yet he has refused it twice and then said he was innocent.

Brad have a good summer catch some rays, go to the beach and check out the babes.

Benson good luck with the drinking and good bye, cause "HE GONE".

Me like Brad I am taking the Summer off, have fun people, enjoy your el nino summer.

As an ardent Benson supporter, I have to say he has passed the point to where it is even worth defending him any more. The kid has been in all sorts of trouble, and is taking on the authorities in Austin for wrongful treatment, so you would think laying low and avoiding trouble would be a good thing. Not only did he further jeopardize his future with the Bears, but also his case, as he now looks like a drunk troublemaker in the eyes of the courts, so there is no way he wins his case against them. I don't know what pushed him over the edge, but this is a kid who needs serious help before he goes too far and seriously injures himself, or even worse, someone else. He is in a dangerous spiral out of control, and it is only a matter of time before the centrifugal force of that spiral throws him out with enough force to cause permanent damage.

From the perspective of a Bears fan, I think he has to be suspended. We cannot afford to have this kid unravel during the season. Maybe a half a season on the reserve/suspended list for conduct detrimental to the team or something. That way the commish can't come down on them for not doing anything about it. Get him some help, and see if he can get it together. From what I understood from an earlier cry to cut him after the boating thing, we basically have the same cap impact if we cut him as if we keep him, so there is no fiscal reason to cut him. If he can get his act together, there is no doubt he has the talent to be a good back. But in his current state, he cannot be allowed to compete for a job. In the meantime, our running game is in trouble (not like it was much better with Ced). We have a rookie who had a penchant for fumbling atop the depth chart, and a mini-mite Warrick Dunn pretender behind him that hasn't shown much of anything. Alexander is done, so I wouldn't bring him in. LaMont Jordan seems like the best option, but his attitude has caused him trouble for years, so it's not like he is a model citizen to bring in to compete.

Again, I hate to see a young man be that dumb and ruin what could be a very productive career, but at this point it is not about football. This is about a young man about to come undone, and the Bears owe it to him as an employee to offer him some help. My company does it for people all the time, and we sure don't make millions from them. Deion Sanders is mentoring PacMan Jones (just what he needs, more arrogance and entitlement issues...), but why not bring in a legitimate strong character in Gale Sayers as a potential mentor to Benson? At least he would see what it is like to be a man, not a child in a man's body...Help the kid however you can, and maybe he turns a corner. If he doesn't, it is on him. If you do nothing as an organization, then I think the Bears share in the blame for his fall. That is the intent of the commissioner's plan to punish the teams for players that get in trouble. He wants them to share in the responsibility for the conduct of their players, like any company takes a part in the conduct of their employees.

Benson a under achiever in football & in the game of life too it appears (at least on controlling his drinking).Bears need to cut him,certainly not a game breaker & probably will never be.

Next stop...... Cowboys???

Benson will fit in good there.

Joe I think you are missing the point, the Bears don't need a running attack, they have there awsome passing game to rely on. Led by Air Grossman and such stud recievers as Joy Boy Lloyd, Big Hands Booker the 36 year old future hall of fame greatest reciever ever never dropped a pass once super reciever, Devin I couldn't make it in college as a reciever but I am sure it will be easier in the NFL Hester(Run Hester Run), Mark have you seen my knees Bradley and Greg whats up duds Olsen. Running game ha, next thing you will be saying it's important to have a good Oline.

I think the Bears rushing attack will be better than last season. Matt Forte was a good draft pick, I know he hasn't done nothing yet, but can't a Bear fan be optimistic? Forte rushed for over 2000yds, and on a team where he was the only offensive weapon. Forte showed in the senior bowl he can run with the big boy's. Also, keep in mind, running back is one of the easier positions to go from college to the pro's. Forte can catch and block, this will also make a big difference, the offense won't be so predictable. As far as the fumbling problem, this can be fixed with coaching. I look for Forte to have a rookie season much like the A-train did back in 2001, maybe 1100yds or so. Garret Wolfe I think will be more effective also. A season with NFL strength training will do him wonders. I think the line play will be better also, thus helping the rushing attack. If Chris Williams can come on, Tait on the right side, Metcalf with BOTH hands [or Josh Beekman], Garza, and Kreutz, and the Bears o-line will be fine. This has been brought to you by, The glass is half full side of things, by Kevin Armstead, as always GO BEARS!!

Kevin your right the Bears running attack should be better after all it really couldn't be anyworse than last year. I don't know about your theory on Wolf though, he was in amazing shape to begin with, the guy is all muscle to begin with, but the fact is he is not that fast or elusive at least not by NFL standards and, let me tell you there is no chance he is 180, the guy is tiny, i would say around 165-170 at the most. That is his big problem, just cause he is small everyone thinks he is going to be like Dunn, but Dunn was a lot more talented than this kid.

As for Metcalf, Kevin he has always had 2 hands and he has sucked everytime he has stepped onto the field. Give him 4 hands and he is still going to be slow, lack power, get blown off the line and rack up holding calls. He also has about as bad a pair of feet as you will ever see on a guard and he does not bend his knees and plays upright. Also you have been watching Garza while he has been here right? Now he is suddenly going to be good?

I hope Tait has a good year I always liked him, but I worry about his ankles and his knees. Well his legs in general. I still say the under drafted at oline and that they needed more help. In a year with the amount of talent that came out of college at that position they should have loaded up, instead of making unneeded picks at other positions. like TE, and still don't like the Steltz pick, in a year were Angelo who actually knows safties says it's worst crop he has ever seen, deems this kid worthy of a mid round pick. To what play special teams if he is lucky.

Also if not for Benson they could have gone oline in the second round, but first they had to make sure the injury prone, A hole who acts like a spoiled 14 year old had someone to push him so that he might actually try this year. Now it turns out there lucky they got him but I think Peterson will be the starter this year if they cut Benson which they may not actually do.

Wolfe has great speed he just needs to split carries with a big fella who can take some hits like Forte. If used right Wolfe can be a great 3rd down back. He needs to gain some weight though

Creighton who put your BVD's in a bunch, now that kinda answers the Austin question doesn't it, did you actually expect something from Benson that's why Forte was drafted and why the build-up. Benson just took the team off the hook so the league will mandate his release. Ced I'm sure Jerry is happy you let him off the hook. We have a back on the practice squad (P.J. Pope) and Robert Lawrence we could even take a shot at Kevin Smith by mid-season could be a viable back-up.

You're absolutely right about Wolfe being tiny. He's not even as big as a frosh-soph high school second stringer RB. I met him and he looks like a small adult and not even a football player. This was a month and a half ago and unless he's locked himself into the gym for 23 hour/7 days a week since then I won't expect him to be much bigger. People can expect him to be like Dunne but I don't see it. Don't add anything to being being optimistic. You can be an optimist I will be a realist. Thomas Jones' star is rising still because irregardless of what he did last year his team went out and got better blocking for him and a former NFL head coach to coach the running game. Plus he's dating a movie star named Meagan Good. We sure did back the wrong horse between Jones and Benson.

Seeing Benson + arrest in the headlines yet again will make even the most casual football observer slap their forehead in disbelief.

Still, I respect Lovie's position on waiting for all the facts to come in. Supposedly there's a tape of the field sobriety test Benson was given. Also, valet witnesses claim that Benson wasn't drunk when he left the restaurant. I do find it hard to believe that a 220 lb guy could be intoxicated after 2-3 drinks spread out over the course of a few hours, but at the same time, why refuse the blood test and breathalyzer?

The glassy, bloodshot eyes? Hey, does anybody's eyes look good at 4 A.M.?

I'm not defending Benson even though I, like Joe F., have supported him in the past. Though it looks really bad, I think it would be reasonable to wait for more info. on this in the coming days and then make a decision.

Creighton, I'm not saying Garza will be an all-pro, but he will be better next to John Tait. As far as Wolfe, just because he looked muscular last season, dosen't mean his strength was up to par with other NFL players. What I meant was, a year into an NFL strength training program, and Wolfe should be stronger this season, and more effective. Also Creighton, you have watched the Bears cover two defense right? You realize you don't have to be a track star to be effective in this defense in the secondary right? Just because Craig Steltz didn't have pretty measurables, does not mean he cannot be an effective safety for the Bears. Steltz had a nose for the ball at LSU, and was a good pick for the Bears at #120 in the fourth round. Also, Craig Steltz has been running with the second team defense at free safety, so he must have shown the coaching staff something so far this off-season. One more thing Creighton, I also disagree about Peterson, I think Matt Forte will be the starter if Benson gets cut. I, like you, don't know this for sure, I just have a gut feeling about it. GO BEARS!!
William R. Donald, I disagree with you about Thomas Jones. Yeah, now Benson is probably going down as a bust, but he was pretty even, as far as production with Jones. Both Jones and Benson ran behind bad o-lines and both were even production wise. The only difference is Benson got injured. Also, I don't care what line you run behind, you should have more than ONE touchdown with 310 carries, like Jones did. Benson had 4 with 196, and if not for the injury, would have had more. Also, if not for the injury, Benson would have probably broke a 1000 yds. So what I'm trying to say is, injury free, and Benson would have actually been more productive than Jones. Yes, Jones had a bad o-line, but the poor production might show that Jones got his pay day, and didn't have to work as hard. So many people go on about how Benson had to be pushed, I think Jones did also. Jones never had the production till he got with Chicago, and its kind of funny how his numbers went up when the Bears drafted Benson, and went back down when he got his pay day in Ney York, and had nobody pushing him isn't it? So whose to say that if Chicago would have payed Jones, and cut Benson, he would not have been just as lazy as Benson. Plus, the Bears would have been stuck with a 9 year vet, and still would have had to bring in a young back for the future like Forte, so I don't think the Bears would have been any worse off. GO BEARS!!

Well scratch that LOL! Benson is gone as of today. Let's hope Wolfe, Peterson and Forte can get the job done.

Benson will now be a Cowboy. Yee-haw!

Good to see Angelo taking such a strong position on...WAAHH!!!! I said good to see Angelo taking such a strong position on...WAAHHH!!!!...On morality! Man, will someone tell Lance Briggs to quiet his kids up!?

I know it is tough to take when the 4th pick in the 2005 draft is cut but JA made the right decision.

As a result of the decision the message has been sent to the entire team that individual agenda's will not be tolerated and what will be accepted is that TEAM is the key componenet and commitment.

I appreciate that JA had the Quihones to cut Benson and I think in the long run the BEARS will be a better team as a result.

P.S. Please JA trade for Lamont Jordan ASAP. We hope that Forte is the one but we need a NFL proven running back to provide back up support.

Super Bowl, I still believe.

Ummm djssr what are you talking about were did I ever say I expected anything from Benson? I am the guy that said they never should have drafted him or released Jones.

Also what Austin question are you talking about? I didn't ask or say anything about Austin, on another blog a month I go I said I am pretty sure he is guilty and actually gave the stats on deaths caused by drunken boating. I also pointed out how heavly that lake is patroled and that Benson was only stopped twice not 6 times.

Dude, it's me, I have been hammering Benson his entire career, I can't stand him everyone knows that.

I would just like to point out that once again another guy Angelo drafted and deemed a good character guy has been fired by Angelo for being a bad character guy. This is probably the biggest reason I hate Angelo, he loves bad character risks in the draft and they always come back to haunt him, yet he never learns from his mistake and keeps doing it. A wasted number 4 pick. I swear if this guy wasn't so busy drafting bad character guys and injury prone guys, he might actually find the time to solve the QB position that seems to have perplexed Angelo his entire career.

As for Wolfe, the Bears actually list him at 186 pounds(yeah right), and in 31 attempts last year on special plays designed just for him he managed 2.7 yards per, and was caught from behing multiple times by 270+ pound dline guys. Also to be a third down back you need to be able to block, something Wolfe is to small to do, I saw him almost get killed a couple times last year, I swear I never thought I would see a guy fly but he proved me wrong. He has 4.4 speed but for a small back that is not special not to mention that is on a track with no pads, small guys tend to slow down more when they put the pads on then big guys do. I saw at least 4 powerbacks who where at least 30-50 pounds bigger run that or close to it this year at the combine this year.

I'm a pissed off BEARS fan right now at Benson, this does not make any sense, why would he go back to Austin anyway, he supposedly had been brutalized un-necessarily and he goes back, no wonder he couldn't pick up a blitz, he can't see what's right in front of him...the only good thing about this is it gives the team plenty of time to find a replacement..we can't nor shouldn't go into the season with all our hopes focused on Forte, he is after all a rookie who hasn't had one carry in the league yet, saw a quote from Gale Sayers the other day about one and done, and thought it was kind of harsh, but Gale turned out to be right in this case....I had supported Benson, this is one of the all time screw ups in Bear History......

Benson must have really been hated in the locker room. What a wasted yalent. That kid was all everything coming out of Texas. Then he held out, even when his agent was telling him he had a good deal. He never recovered.

Good riddance Benson. They could sign Alexander, or Henry, but I think they should just find a practice squad player to compete for a roster spot. If the O-line is better, and defense stays healthy....we go 10-6.

But I wanted to bring up Bears drafting history of the first 3 picks from 2000 till now:
2000: Urlacher, Mike Brown, and Dez White.
2001:David Terrell, Anthony Thomas, and Mike Gandy
2002: Marc Columbo, Roe Williams, and Metcalf
2003: Haynes, Grossman, Tillman, and Briggs
2004: Harris, Tank, and Berrian
2005: Benson, Bradley, Orton
2006: Manning, Hester, Dvoracek
2007: Olson, Bazuin, Wolfe, and Okwo
2008: Williams, Forte, and Bennett

That is 29 players picked in the first 3 rounds since 2000.
1. 6 are current starters. With their jobs virtually locked.
2. 2 are good starters, but injured way too often (Dusty, and M. Brown)
3. 2 used to start but got cut because of off field crap
4. 7 used to start but no longer with team because of variety of reasons (including Benson)
5. 6 used to start, are with the team, but just haven't been consistently good enough to be locked into a position.
6. 8 have never started a game (3 in 07 draft, and 3 more in 08 draft)

That is both bad luck and bad drafting in the early part of the rounds. Angelo has made us forget some of that by getting true steals in the later rounds (Vasher, Anderson, Brown, etc.).

Now let's look at positions drafted:
1. 4 were OL (2 on current team are metcalf and williams)
2. 5 were DL (3 on team are Harris, Dvoracek and Bazuin)
3. 3 LB (all on team Briggs, Urlacher, and Okwo)
4. 3 were DB (2 on team are Tillman, and Brown)
5. 13 were offensive skill position players (8 on team HEster, Grossman, Orton, Bradley, Forte, Bennett, Wolfe, and Olson)

With that said, I think the BEars should focus more of their early drafting to lineman and linebackers. The occassional "sure thing" for a skill position player is there sometimes, and you have to take it, but the percentages of what positions end up "worth it" for the picks are OL then DL and the LB.

Way too many offensive skill position player picked early by someone who is not very good at it so far.

GO BEARS!!!!

You have to follow more than just the BEARS to make an assessment that Jones didn't work hard after he got his money. The guy is an absolute work out devil. He is marveled in the Jet's work outs because he's there from sun up to sun down. The argument that their production was even only can be made that Jones brought out the best in him. After giving him the reigns he did nothing else. He didn't improve in no facet of football. If you watched the Jets they took Jones out more than Chicago did. The line here didn't look old and useless until they had to block exclusively for Benson. And the injuries happened to Jones before Benson got here but the guy actually fought back every time. Benson has never played until the last whistle of ANY season he played in. You prepare yourself for the season in the offseason. Obviously Benson has been doing what he has been doing without getting caught. Lounging and drinking every chance he got. You sound like my dad acting like we can't have an opinion about someone's production because we haven't been to camp with them. Just like I told him I will tell you: you don't have to be a player to see what a guy has done to better himself. Jones was actually the only productive skill player who "played" on a regular basis. The only skill guy who played his heart out in the Super bowl. you may want to forget what he brought to the team but I'm sure there are plenty of current players who would've taken him BEFORE Benson acted up. In 2004 Jones faced 8/9 men fronts on a regular basis but was still productive. We didn't need a RB after 2004. We needed a QB. Or at least a consistent QB. Ask anyone. And I've been a Jones fan before Benson ever got here. Maybe Benson will go on and do the same thing that Jones did and blossom into a serviceable player. I wouldn't bet on it. He's gotten his money and lost his heart. Defend that if you want to.

And I bet that teams are upset that we've given up on Benson. He was so predictable that he actually hurt us by playing. I'm sure we've seen the last of him. Dallas don't need him. He's not better than Julius and they let him go. Not everyone is caught up in hometown players like we are in Chicago.

William R. Donald, don't misunderstand me, I'm not defending former Bears running back Cedric Benson. Im defending the move by Angelo to let Jones go get his pay day with New York, and go with Benson. Im just saying that Jerry Angelo drafted Benson #4 overall, and had to give him a chance. I wanted Benson back during the 2005 draft, and was glad when the Bears drafted him. Who would have known that Benson would turn out the way he did? During the 2006 season, Benson looked legit spelling Jones. Angelo already payed Benson, so he did the fair thing and let Jones go get his payday. I would have done the same thing. Also, yes I agree Jones is a better back than Benson, but again, who would have known that Benson would turn out to be an off the field problem child like he did? This is the chance you take when you draft a player, the draft is like the lotto, sometimes you win, most of the time you don't. And William, only 4 other running backs had more carries than Thomas Jones 310 this season, so I don't think the Jets took Jones out as much as you say they did. And yes, Jones should have had more than ONE td. Like I said, if healthy this season, Benson would have out produced Jones, and he did in rushing touchdowns. I think if Benson would have had the amount of carries that Benson did during the 2006 season behind that line, Benson would have been just as productive rushing wise. Thomas Jones however, was a better all around back than Benson,especially as a receiver out of the backfield. Oh well, their both gone now, so GO FORTE & GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 3, 2008 9:56 AM.

Mike Brown looks like old self, fine with conract restructure was the previous entry in this blog.

Dollars and sense: Saying goodbye to Benson is the next entry in this blog.

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