Players usually pay some lip service to feeling bad about the departure of a fired coach, but Cedric Benson didn’t get that memo before talking about offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski’s departure from the Bengals.
Benson, who stands to be an unrestricted free agent whenever the new CBA irons itself out, didn’t pull any punches when discussing Bratkowski’s departure.
“It’s good to see them make some moves and it will help,” Benson said. “It will be a benefit in a positive way. It was a smart move that can benefit the team and everyone.”
It’s not too surprising to hear Benson crow about Bratkowski’s departure. Their problems have been well-documented over the three years that Benson has been with the team and their relationship cast doubt on Benson’s return. Bratkowski’s departure, as well as all the other offensive uncertainty in Cincinnati, would seem to swing the pendulum back in the other direction.
Benson took a step backward in 2010. After rushing for 1251 yards on 301 carries in 13 games during the 2009 season, he posted 1111 yards on 321 carries, with five fumbles, in a full 16 games. That’s a drop in 0.7 yards per carry, a significant number to weigh when considering a long-term contract for a 28-year-old. At the same time, the Bengals don’t have someone waiting in the wings to pick up Benson’s workload so perhaps they’d utilize the franchise tag if that remains part of their arsenal.