Notebook: Cedric Benson could star

The Bears went to the Super Bowl last year employing a two-running back system, yet that drove fantasy owners crazy for much of the year. With more teams seemingly open to going to a timeshare this season, Chicago now has a clear No. 1 running back, and 2007 will be the year when Cedric Benson either becomes a fantasy star or shows us he wasn't worth the fourth pick in the 2005 draft.

Thomas Jones is gone, and Benson now gets the opportunity to prove he can be a dependable featured back for the Bears. Some NFL experts have described Benson as a "rhythm back" in the past, the type of runner who needs regular carries to truly get into the flow of the game and play up to his potential. Benson was a highly dependable regular ball carrier in college at Texas, but he still has a lot to prove at the NFL level. Can he stay healthy with increased carries? If you listen to Benson himself, you might think so.

"My durability isn't a concern," Benson told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Not only do I know I can carry 300-plus times, I know what I have to do to continue to do that 20-some weeks out of the season."