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Cedric Benson cements starting tailback position with Packers

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sports River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
Hudson Star Observer
Cedric Benson cements starting tailback position with Packers
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

It appears that Cedric Benson will remain the Green Bay Packers' starting tailback as long as he stays healthy.

In the first four games, the veteran Benson had 91 percent of the running plays called by Coach Mike McCarthy. He had 64 carries in the first month of the regular season for 228 yards.


Fullback John Kuhn has only had four carries for eight yards. That includes a fake punt in which he charged for a first-down last Sunday deep in Green Bay's territory against New Orleans.

Second-year pro Alex Green was expected to get at least some action, but he's only had two carries for two yards. Running back James Starks has been out for the entire season so far with a turf toe injury.

Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements calls Benson a "workhorse" who keeps getting better as he gets more carries. Clements says he'd like to get the other rushers some work, but after he tries to get Benson going with his early carries.

The Packers are 2-2. They're practicing for Sunday's game at 1-2 Indianapolis.

Preparing for Indy

Among other things, the Packer offensive line hopes to build on a solid performance from last Sunday. They committed only one penalty and gave up no sacks of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay's one-point win over New Orleans.

The line's performance allowed Coach Mike McCarthy to run a balanced offense with quicker passes and a stronger running game. It was just what the Packers needed after the offensive line gave up eight sacks last Monday night at Seattle.

The five starters on the offensive line have played all four games so far this season - tackles Marshall Newhouse and Bryan Bulaga, guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton, and center Jeff Saturday.

Sitton said the linemen get more comfortable when they know what the others will do. They're hoping to stay in good health as they try to build a rhythm as the season goes on.

Badger is disappointed

Wisconsin tight end Jacob Pedersen says he's been disappointed in his own play in what's been a disappointing season for the Badgers so far.

The redshirt junior said he reflected on his performance against Nebraska on Saturday and figured out what he could do better.

Pedersen said he needs to be a stronger complement to receiver Jared Abbrederis, and that he must do a better job of blocking on running plays.

He said he was getting away from his blocking technique as he tried to be too over-powering. He has struggled at the line of scrimmage, and it might be affecting his abilities as a pass receiver.

Pedersen has only nine catches this season, five fewer than at this point a year ago. He has scored one touchdown this year, compared with four in the first five weeks of 2011.

The Badgers' passing game is off as well. Quarterbacks Danny O'Brien and Joel Stave have thrown for a combined 918 yards, almost 500 fewer yards than at the same time a year ago.

Wisconsin is 3-2 as its get ready to face a 2-3 Illinois squad on Saturday in Madison.