Benson Bares All

As Cedric Benson met the Chicago media on Monday, he appeared to have made a 180-degree turn from his emotional state after initially being selected by the Bears.

When Benson was chosen with the fourth pick in the draft on Saturday, tears rolled down his face. However, he proved to calm and collected the second time around, as he answered questions about growing up in Texas, sharing the ball and his character.

"In comparison, it was a great relief," Benson said. "It's hard to really describe the emotions that were floating at the time. I saw my mom get up and she was so happy and things like that. Instantly I thought back on everything that she's done for me and it's just a wonderful feeling and it's really hard to express or explain in words."

Benson talked about growing up without his farther for the majority of his childhood and the sacrifices his mother had to make to help he and his two brothers.

"Just keeping feed in my stomach and clothes on my back. Those are little things that people don't even (think about) you know what I'm saying," Benson said. "She didn't have to do those things. She worked hard and she had two other boys to take care of. She put a roof over my head and kept me in school, stayed on me.

"You know how in school if you don't get your grades, you don't play. She had that rule too. I had to stay on top of things. At the time I hated it and I was probably mad at her for it. But when you look back on it, you realize that it was all for the right reasons."

Benson made one thing clear during Monday's press conference; his background has made him comfortable in the spotlight.

"See this ain't pressure to me," Benson said. "I've been in this situation millions and millions of times before. This is fun to me. This is I can't wait to do and I'm very much looking forward to it. But no, I don't have no pressure on me at all. I think pressure is going into Iraq, you know, that's pressure right there."

The native of Midland, Texas was part of the rivalry that was featured in the book and movie "Friday Night Lights." High school football in Texas has become folklore. Fans are packed into stadiums that rival the size of some college programs.

Although Benson admitted the film version of the story was exaggerated at times, the message still rings true. High school football in Texas is one of a kind.

"It's really hard to describe because you're born in it," Benson said. "It's like I didn't know no better. I didn't' know football was different in California or Illinois. I thought that was football and that's how I played football."

While Benson has familiar faces with him in former teammate Nathan Vasher and assistant coach Daryl Drake, he faces a new challenge in Chicago.

With more than 1,100 carries in four years at Texas, Benson is accustomed to being the featured back.

For the time being, it appears Benson and Thomas Jones will have to share the ball.

"I understand I'm in a different situation and I've got new coaches," Benson said. "If I'm sharing time, then so be it. I'll keep my eyes open and always be paying attention to take any new pointers from who I'm sharing time with."

Benson is keeping quiet about his expectations for his rookie campaign, but in his eyes work ethic is what will make him successful on the next level.

"I think that goes for anything, whether you're a janitor or a business executive downtown," Benson said. "I think what you put into it is definitely what you get out and hard work goes a long way in football."

The Bears believe they've found a workhorse running back.


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