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Okay, so seeing Lucas films has distorted my perception a little bit, but it hasn't clouded my judgement. For those of you saying he's no Ced-I right now, mark my words. He completed the training with master Yoda. He didn't have any friends to go save. He finished and then they allegedly went out drinking on his boat. Here's my take so you don't miss the boat.
In years past I have stayed away from certain teams because of offensive philosophy, coaches, or dreadful situations. One of these stay away at all cost situations was the Green Bay Packers backfield. The reasoning was based on the talent, a coach who sniffs the sharpie, and an air it out mentality. The Packers receiving corps was good enough to carry the team previously with a few touchdown vultures from fullback John Kuhn. There is no one that can sell me on how good the backfield trio of James Starks, Brandon Saine, and often injured Ryan Grant is.
Grant ran well when he was healthly, but Coach sharpie would surface and pull him out when down near the stripe. When I looked at it, there was no logical reason to choose any of the runners. I was not inpressed with the whopping three touchdowns last year.
Kuhn vultured four touchdowns as the fullback which was more than the sum of the tailbacks put together. I have a huge problem with that from a production standpoint.
How can you as a fantasy owner put faith in a tailback to score points when his own coach doesn't have any?
You simply can't and that is why I never bought into this scenario.
Enter Cedric Benson, who was signed as a free agent in the off-season. It seems that the Packers needed some renewed faith in the tailback position.
Some of you are wondering if the scenario has really changed much. I assure you that it has and here's why...
Cedric Benson is the type of grinder that gets going late in games after many carries. That is the type of back that he has always been. The Packers know this and will not try to have him adapt his game. The fact is that when you get ahead in games, you have to run the ball to keep the clock moving.
Enter the grinder as a perfect puzzle piece to the equation. My thought is that with the passing game as good as it is, Benson will be asked to move the chains a few times during the first half of games to show the added dimension.
This establishes the play action game threat and simply keeps defenses honest. As the game goes on, the carries go up and the clock keeps moving. Benson adds some value as a goal line back as well.
The offensive line is pretty solid, but the thing that strikes me is that they are fairly deep. The zone blocking scheme plays to the strength of new center Jeff Saturday, who was acquired after last season as a free agent. Saturday is a five-time Pro Bowl selection with the last coming in 2010.
The right side is really the strength with the only question being how fast will LT- Newhouse who started 13 times last season develop? Left Guard Lang is very consistent. On the bench you have 2011 first round pick Sherrod as insurance as well as newly drafted Datko, who's draft stock took a major hit from injuries. Dietrich-Smith saw action in a few games and looked pretty decent.
LT: Marshall Newhouse
LG: T.J. Lang
C: Jeff Saturday
RG: Josh Sitton
RT: Bryan Bulaga
Bench: G/C Evan Dietrich-Smith,G/T Herbert Taylor, OT Andrew Datko, OT Derek Sherrod,OT Chris Campbell.
I'm not saying Benson is a good blocker or pass receiver. This could limit his time in 3rd down packages. Alex Green appears to be the most well rounded back on the roster. He is not ready out of the gate for that role at this time.
The good outweighs the bad in any case. I drafted Benson as a RB3 in a standard format league. That being said, I expect him to again reach 1,000 rushing yards and 7-8 TD's. Unless Alex Green catches on really fast, It's Benson's job to lose. I'm really not sure that he gives it up.
Benson's preseason value is fairly low, It's a good idea to get him at the right price. Once he piles up some numbers, he will be worth more and you can move him. This isn't a long-term outlook for Benson, (two years max.) He has looked young with quick bursts in preseason. I really like this kind of party with that offensive line. Now go get him as your No. 3 back.
Thanks for the read folks!
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