Bears Frustrated by Lack of Progress with Benson

CANTON, Ohio - Cedric Benson's holdout has caused frustration from the top on down in the Bears' organization.

If he had, he's got a constant reminder these days with Benson's current absence from Bears camp.

"You're always frustrated when a guy is not in camp," Phillips said prior to Monday night's preseason opener between Miami and the Bears. "We drafted him No. 4 for a reason and we'd like to have him here."

Phillips negotiated Bears contracts before being promoted, so he can empathize with contract negotiator Cliff Stein's struggles.

Benson's contract holdout hit 16 days on Monday.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo had only three words to report prior to the game on contract talks.

"No, nothing, zero," he said.

Angelo said the sides hadn't talked Monday, but added they spent the day "reading," through proposals.

"We haven't made a lot of progress," Phillips added.


The Bears had been searching for better blocking in their running game with fullback Bryan Johnson still sidelined due to a foot injury.

They got it Monday night against Miami, but not from Keith Belton, the player who had been their starter all training camp.

When the Bears reached the 1-yard line and needed an extra push free agent acquisition Marc Edwards provided it. Edwards threw a key block on Thomas Jones' 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Edwards had been playing with the second team, but coaches like his 249 pounds over Belton's 235 when it comes to short yardage.

"We would like to be a running team and our fullback has to be able to contribute," coach Lovie Smith said. "First he has to be a good lead blocker. We're not quite there at fullback yet.

"But it will be good to get Bryan Johnson back, too. I mean, he's kind of a forgotten player that we have."

Johnson said last week he should be returning soon, but couldn't be definite on a date.

Bears reserve tight end Dustin Lyman was flagged twice in the first half for holding. One came on special teams and the other on a running play.

Safety Mike Green started at free safety and Bobby Gray was back with the second team. Gray had played with starters almost all last week in practice at strong safety while Mike Brown had been at free safety.

Defensive tackle Alfonso Boone started in place of first-stringer Ian Scott, who has been nursing a shoulder injury.

John Gilmore started at tight end over Dustin Lyman.

Fullback Keith Belton suffered a sprained left ankle in the second quarter and did not return.

Former Bear Keith Traylor started at nose tackle for the Dolphins instead of Jeff Zgonina.

Traylor was suffering from a quad muscle injury and his status was up in the air most of the week. The 35-year-old, 15-year veteran is listed by the Dolphins at 337 pounds this year.

Dolphins veteran linebacker Junior Seau was held out of the game. Defensive tackle David Bowens left the game with an ankle injury.

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