Five questions with ... Cedric Benson

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

GEORGETOWN, Ky. -- This is a year of optimism for the Cincinnati Bengals and starting tailback Cedric Benson.

After joining the team last October, Benson made his mark by leading the team with 747 rushing yards in 12 games. This year Benson is in camp and expected to be productive for 16 games.

Over the weekend Benson talked to the AFC North blog about this upcoming season. [Editor's note: HBO's "Hard Knocks" filmed this interview, which was addressed in question No. 5.]

1. Cedric, how different is Year 2 with Cincinnati, knowing you get a full training camp?

Cedric Benson: Well, I'm doing something as opposed to chillin' on the couch right now. I guess that's about the only difference...Camp tends to have its pros and cons. It takes a toll on you as well. At the same aspect it gives you a chance to get really meshed in with your offense and in a good groove going into the season.

2. There are a lot of new faces in new places on the offensive line. So how will the adjustment be for you running the football?

Benson: [Saturday] was our first day in pads. So we didn't really get the chance to get a feel out there for how it's going to pan out or how it's going to work. I'm sure they're still looking for their groove, because we're kind of still trying to find our niche together.

3. Is there a reason you're hitting the outside more in these camps than last season?

Benson: That's basically the plays that I've been running. We've worked on a couple stretches and outside runs. It's just utilizing the speed, too, and letting that be a factor in the game.

4. You've never had 1,000 yards at this level. Is that a goal you set for yourself this season?

Benson: It's definitely attainable. It's something that you think about. It's something that you work for, both in the offseason and during the season. And you hope everything matches up and everybody meshes together so you can have some success with it.

5. Last thing: Is it weird having these guys [Hard Knocks] around?

Benson: [Smiles] Nah, I haven't even noticed them.