The Bears didn't have anything to say regarding Cedric Benson's big win in court on Thursday.
They were relatively confident Benson would eventually be cleared of the charges from the first arrest--drunk boating and resisting arrest. He was adamant following the boating arrest that he had been wrongly accused and even roughed up by authorities. The club stood behind Benson during the middle of the offseason program and the plan was for him to battle with rookie Matt Forte in training camp for the starting job.
Judging by how Forte has performed through three games--he's fourth in the league in rushing--the competition would not have lasted long. Benson lacked the speed and explosiveness to excel, was a liability in the passing game and was never a fit in the locker room where Forte won over almost instant respect.
But as such a touted prospect three years ago, someone is likely to kick his tires. After all, the NFL is full of second-chance stories. Thursday's development allows Benson, who pocketed nearly $13.8 million from the Bears, to move forward with one less piece of baggage. One would have to imagine general manager Jerry Angelo and a few others at Halas Hall are quietly pulling for him.
In an interview with the American-Statesman last week, Benson said each NFL general manager who had talked to him since he was cut by the Bears had focused on the arrests. "There's a little bit of cleaning up to do," he said of his public image.
*** It will be interesting to see whether or not Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb practices today. He's got a bruised chest and has been held out all week. Playing without running back Brian Westbrook would be one thing for the Birds. Playing without McNabb would be an entirely different thing. Keep an eye out for that later today.
*** The other shoe will drop today on league fines from the Bears-Bucs game. Expect news on a few more fines this afternoon. So far, we've learned linebacker Jamar Williams was docked $7,500 for taunting and Charles Tillman got a $5,000 fine for taking a swing at Bucs receiver Michael Clayton that resulted in the critical 15-yard penalty.
*** Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, a Maywood native, looks like a genius for the nine sacks his defense totaled against Pittsburgh a week after the Cowboys hung 41 points on the Birds.
Check back later on today for some more updates.