Smith Disappointed in Benson

Bourbonnais - Cedric Benson missed the Bears' three 1/2 week stint in Bourbonnais, which has made him the target for criticism from his head coach.

"It's disappointing," said Lovie Smith. "Training camp is over and we have a high draft pick that's not here. One that's a good football player. We got a chance to see some of what he can do during off-season workouts, but we need to see what he can do in pads.

"So disappointing, what else can I say but we've moved on. Eventually he'll get into camp, we just want it to be soon."

David Pollack signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, ending a 19-day holdout on Wednesday.

Technically Benson is not the only first round pick not in training camp. Adam "Pac Man" Jones has agreed in principle with the Tennessee Titans on a deal worth $13.5 million guaranteed, but has yet to sign the contract.

Benson missed 25 days of camp, which puts him behind in several areas of Ron Turner's offense. Among what he'll have to learn are two new pass two protections that have been installed since Benson last practiced with the team more than six weeks ago.

"We'll see when he gets here, and then we'll just start coaching him up from there and try to catch him up as fast as we possibly can, hopefully before that first game," Smith said.

Looking for a Return Investment
In the absence of Jerry Azumah from the kick return game, the Bears have been given numerous players an opportunity to audition for the role.

The search went outside the organization Wednesday, when the team signed return specialist J.J. Moses to a two-year deal.

For his career, Moses has a 22.5-yard kickoff return average on 121 returns and a 7.3-yard punt return average on 77 returns.

When healthy, Azumah will be the kick returner, but the team is using the final three preseason games to evaluate the talent on the roster.

"J.J., we want to take a real good, hard look at him too," said special teams coach Dave Toub. "He's done it before at this level and established himself. So we want to take a real good hard look at him."

The punt return job is Bernard Berrian's to lose, but if he secures a starting job at wide receiver the Bears may go in a different direction.

To make room for Moses, the Bears waived running back Fred Russell.

Injury Update
Although the Bears may have left Bourbonnais with fewer injuries than a year ago, there were some tweaks in the final days of camp.

Charles Tillman missed his second straight practice because of a tight back.

"It feels good, I just don't know, I guess I'm getting old," Tillman said, who has not been ruled out for Saturday's game against the Colts.

Muhsin Muhammad went from a veteran's day off on Tuesday to sitting because of a sore groin. He's expected to practice on Thursday. Terry Johnson has a foot injury that forced him to sit out the final practice. Mike Brown was excused from practice for personal reasons.


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