Rookie Diary: Cedric Benson

Lake Forest - Much of Cedric Benson's time these days is filled with this type of a predictable routine. As far as the rookie is concerned, that's exactly what he's been waiting for. Benson takes a moment to offer his views on adjusting to life as a pro and more.

I know other rookie running backs are off to good starts. I will get there too, but I just have to remain patient.

I have great respect for the coaches here. They are the reason I was glad to be drafted by the Bears. We seemed to be on the same page right away, I admire Lovie Smith and feel that he will give me the opportunity to be my best self.

I didn't know too much about Chicago before I came here. Of course I had heard about the tradition of Bears football. Lots of their former players are household names.

Sitting out during the summer was more difficult that you could possibly imagine. I know that everybody had their opinions of what was going on. I won't go into detail right now, but I will say that it was not easy by any means. Stressful, extremely stressful every single day.

What got me through was my faith and the emotional support of my family. They never let me stop believing in myself and they never questioned whether or not my decisions were the right ones. I had confidence in my advisors and in my own judgment and I believe that it all turned out well in the end.

As the season approached, I found it harder and harder not be in there with the guys on the team. It has never been my intention to let anybody down and I don't think I did do that. I understand that training camp is an important part of the learning process but I wasn't sitting on my couch watching TV or playing video games. That's not my mentality at all. I did my best to stay in shape and to be football ready. When I did join the team, I seemed to be fine as far as conditioning was concerned.

When I got to Halas Hall I lived with my playbook. The coaches and the players helped me whenever I asked them for advice. I am here to be an impact player and I want to be out there in a productive way as soon as possible.

Barry Sanders was my football idol while I was growing up. How that guy could run. I watched him do those cuts and studied his technique. He could get the yardage when he had to. That's my goal as well. I think that I am strong and fast and that I will be successful at this level. Coming from a strong college program helps as well. Believe me there was a lot of pressure during those games. That's not so different, I would imagine, from what it will be like in the NFL.

I watched from the sidelines last week. It was hard not to be out there myself but I understood the situation. I watched and learned all that I could from that vantage point. Did I want to be in the game? Of course I did. I'm a very competitive guy. If I weren't, I wouldn't be here today.

My next goal is to be a starter. I understand that I have a ways to go before that happens, but the sooner the better as far as I am concerned. I'm all for fair competition for the position. Let me show you what I can do, then we'll have this conversation.

I'm going back to Texas for the bye weekend. I plan to get away from the game and just relax.

The diary was a summary of an interview between Benson and Beth Gorr.

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