Cedric Benson says he's "grown up a lot" since leaving Bears

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If the Bears have any hard feelings toward Cedric Benson, they sure aren’t making them public. In training camp, after Benson signed a one-year deal with the Green Bay Packers, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman wished nothing but the best for the beleaguered running back.

Then, on Tuesday, Bears coach Lovie Smith said he doesn’t “live in the past,” when asked if it was hard to sever ties with Benson in 2009.

“Cedric was great,” Smith said. “He did a lot for us while he was here. I’m just excited that he’s playing for another good team.”

Benson, for his part, was also diplomatic. Asked what he remembers about his tenure with the Bears, he said, “Nothing, it was so long ago.

“I don’t remember anything at all.”

Perhaps he’s blocked it all out of his mind. The sub-1,000-yard seasons. The two arrests. All the drama.

Asked how he’s changed, Benson said, “I’m 29 now.

“I think at the time I was like 24, 25 maybe. You know I was a young man. I’ve grown up a lot since then.”

Pressed on his time with the Bears, though, Benson did recall the Super Bowl season and “kind of having the upper hand on the Packers at the time.”

In his Packers debut, Benson carried the ball just nine times for 18 yards. He’s obviously hoping for more opportunities Thursday, in spite of the opponent.

“I don’t have any personal grudge against them but.. based on the fact we weren’t very successful in the run game last week, plan on being that way this week. That’s my focus,” Benson said. “It’s a division game, we def want to be up in the division, we don’t want to fall behind with two losses.”

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