RB Cedric Benson made his name in the NFL at Paul Brown Stadium and returns for the first time since the Bengals moved in a different direction this offseason. Cincinnati signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Benson sat at home until the Packers picked him up last week.
Benson ran for 1,067 yards at 3.9 per rush with six touchdowns last season. He was as much known for his inspired play on the field as his comments off it. Benson became increasingly unhappy with previous offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski in 2010 for not giving Benson enough carries.
When Bratkowski left, the free agent re-signed with Cincinnati in hopes new OC Jay Gruden could improve his situation. Benson relinquished over 100 carries to backup Bernard Scott and as the season progressed thought the offense went away from the rushing identity it rode to the playoffs in 2009.
As for if Thursday's game against the Packers will be filled with vengeance, Marvin Lewis doesn't view the situation that way.
"Ced left here on great terms,” Lewis said. “It was a great season. We lost in the playoffs. We think nothing but very highly of Ced Benson. He did great things here. He was a good guy for our team."
Benson gladly played nice while meeting with Green Bay reporters as well.
“I don't hold nothing personal against them but naturally you are going to show up on the team that passed on you,” Benson said. “It will be good to work against that defense because I've seen those guys come in, I've seen them work together. It will be good to put a licking on them.”
Still no tweets: The ban on Twitter imposed by Lewis at the beginning of training camp looks like it will have legs with camp concluded. Lewis states the ban will continue and has been good for the team.
Of course, there have been minor violations.
“It's working,” he said. “We had some guys cross the line a little bit. That New Era hat shop in Atlanta; they just couldn't help themselves.”
Twitter wasn't the only outlet banned of late. Lewis confirmed last season he placed restrictions on the music allowed in the locker room. Though, the move comes with an asterisk.
“I didn't ban music,” Lewis said, laughing. “I banned lyrics.”
Skip the dress rehearsal: With his team beset by injuries through two preseason games Lewis doesn't plan on exposing his starters to extra snaps on Thursday to meet the standard definition of the third preseason game as the dress rehearsal.
DE Carlos Dunlap and TE Jermaine Gresham are done for the preseason and OL Travelle Wharton for the season. With so many key players down, Lewis will stick with a scaled back plan similar to what he used in Atlanta last week. He doesn't expected starters top play into the second half.
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCIN.