On this episode of the vIQtory podcast we are joined by Texas Longhorn legend, Midland, TX native, and 8 year NFL veteran – Cedric Benson.
Cedric talks to us about his mental approach to football and how the business side of the sport shaped his career. He also details his journey through the NFL, how he overcomes obstacles, and about Nufced.org where he channels most of his time and energy. We encourage everyone to check out nufced.org at their website or Facebook page and help his cause.
1:30 – Being Drafted to the MLB
4:00 – Why Cedric chose Texas Longhorns
6:00 – Playing for Mack Brown
8:13 – Favorite Moment/ Memory
9:35 – Rookie year dealing with contracts/business of the NFL
11:00 – Being Drafted #4 overall – Draft Day story
13:20 – Playing in Chicago
16:30 – Free Agency and playing in Cincinnati
18:15 – Reinventing himself in Cincinnati
19:40 – Best Year as a pro
20:00 – Signing with Green Bay
21:50 – Playing with a Chip on your shoulder
22:50 – Most difficult playing in the NFL
24:00 – Advice to 21 year old self
25:00 – Nufced.org
28:00 – The Gauntlet
You know being a really good baseball player, I wanted to address that first and foremost offers again at the end, but I’m being a good baseball player and going down the baseball amount of people that you know it’s on. That would be a good business man tell me how I was face was standing up to you know, a management or at an early early age and and having a stand up in to make a decision that would affect the rest of my life that early age. And I, and I really appreciate that journey down baseball. That are that are when appreciate those coaches. That whole experience on great do more just as from need and then we’ll. Small short little bit. More just as the meeting will ever do.
But you know was, it was the high, how does a kid from West Texas, one three state championships and not play? You know you know, player right. You know right player in the state of Texas, not play football yeah. Thank you walk away from that. You know to go, play a baseball, rookie ball. You know what I mean it’s at the time. At the moment, you know it wasn’t it’s a it’s, a no brainer, it’s hard to walk away from that.
But you know in hindsight, of course you know what I mean you can’t make a main who needs to be on the on the diamond today. She correct yeah, but the reality of the situation and then I’ll young kid making the man’s decision. You know, I’m I’m glad I made that decision and brought us where we are today. We had a lot of great story to tell about it. You know, and.
A lot of good things come from it so, but you know if there was ever a time, I could recharge it all again. Knowing what I know today, you know the chain that we always say you’re right. We only know what we know today.
You don’t like the complicate things it was pretty easy for me. I’Ll play so much football and for both so being was so much of it traveling. So much I mean we would take Trips out to El Paso to play a football game, get up, play a football game, drop right back. You know what I mean I’m in those were six hour trips. So are we once once went out to Louisiana Lafayette, You know got the bus played football game drove over that we were rolling. You know we’re going through those state championship runs, so I was wore out and by the end of the season and so to imagine traveling all these places and meeting all these strengths. Folks. That you know.
Just really didn’t you know, I don’t know, mess will remain been awhile, young kid after playing football season. So many things really simple. Yeah look look. I got a hold of Ricky Williams, between the years of my cousin turned me onto him. He will bring a lot of tapes over and we will watch old my two thousand one, two thousand two years of high school or no,t I’m sorry, sorry, ninety eight ninety nine years of high school.
Two thousand and I just got really hooked, and I saw myself being a successful, and you know do emulating myself out there. So I really appreciate it for all his hard workers and he was driving force a firm out myself. Various we fast forward to you ultimately choose the Texas Longhorns.
You had a a University of Texas, is there any favorite memory or our favorite moment that sticks out for you are playing football?
Oh, so you know all your college accolades as we’ve already mentioned once they they’ve wrapped up. You know you’re sitting as one of a highly touted NFL prospect. So you actually end up getting drafted number for overall, or you had a little bit of a contract situation. You weren’t able to get your first camp, I’m as early as some of the other guys. You know in hindsight, when you look at just a rookie year by Chicago, how Much to situation affect you just being able to hit the ground running with which situation, not being able to get the camp of. I think as early as soon as the other guys.
Good or bad when I was in camp, because you know, ultimately, you don’t have any control over all that stuff yeah sure, and I just real quick
It was good, I mean it was. It was interesting because you know your business because I can say you. You’re in a different world, you know it. It appears in it seems fine and you know everybody’s, getting jobs and making money and things like that, but like stuff, that’s the thing that s*** that’s what’s happened. You know we’re not talking about football. You know they were talking about draft status as we’re talking about drop position’s we’re talking about contracts are talking about money. I were talking about all these things outside of football side of the game of football, and so that that’s it that’s. What that is that’s not football.
You know, and so you know you come into a young man, taking that’s football and you find out pretty quick, just awful and and that’s the way. I you know. I think just to you have fun playing college. You have fun play in high school and then also the NFL business right and run what you’re not I mean. I guess you were exposed to a little bit with the end all be stuff in the Yeah I absolutely but but but then on on the same since.
Well, I mean think about it. I mean I’m a young man, I’m from Texas, I’m from Chicago on this. Up there, I don’t know anyone up there. You know I’ve never been. I don’t know anyone in your common thing that happens in the industry every year with every player, I’m even probably would change and other industries Coca Cola, but was there anybody there’s contract dispute and then go, and so a young men coming into this who’s now is the experiences first contract dispute and it goes from a who’s, been picked.
Your team coming into your city and just to be challenged by the to have the I think you you, you’re you’re up against a bigger animal. I do try to make a lot of decision based on the best outcome for your life and the barriers are. The city is just trying to make this decision for the outcome of the entertainment or their business right, your lights involved, they’re entertainment as state, and so you know big push up just being pushed by the media.
On in my career, just kind of got Shunned has a kind of a I guess a bad guy for trying to negotiate a deal. You know what I mean I get the best for business, and you know they kind of gave me a hard time about this. So you know you end up. I get there I show up, and then you know there’s a in terms of just having a good season, and so you know your channels they throw that in mass into things up, and so it’s just like in my career, never really got a respectable start.
Why? I do not know.
I don’t know how I have so much success in college and it’d be a challenge so much in NFL, just so we’re
Not many had already been kind of in Austin was the town than what school and was trying to make. You know to be some figures so they’re. Writing in the papers much about me to that didn’t help me and my favorite and then there’s aware, as well as my struggles inch Chicago just kind of didn’t know the this big image of you gets created. This for this and everybody sees it should be who you are. You know. Nobody Knows you nobody, regardless of your success, is once you’ve done the idea of you overcome the reality of your best powerful and into may just need.
Given I finished just make a stance and show everybody you know with you know, it’s not a game out here.
Prove everybody wrong and then just off you know, but that just kind of wasn’t my style, so I was like all right well, I guess I’ll go ahead and kick a** and show them that they disrespect. You know that right Yeah Yeah, and I was only going to do it for like a season or to just quit. You know what I mean and or so, but you know the Lord saw that plan is like hey. Let’S do it earlier than that. So I got got out there got started job in was up to this done and delivering Andrew monthly.That’s it Yeah and walk away, because I knew it was coming in or no no there’s no charge walk away from it.
You know the game, it’s just a game. You know, but what you do what your time when I’m doing those challenges, yeah yeah? Those challenges have me get the best that much on the ship. Looking back to you say, it was the most challenging part of playing football and the so would it be more just handling it having to understand the business side of it, or is it more.
Basically, you know having your body ready being able to come back from injuries, and now you know luckily, and the physical part was was not the challenge to me. I’M always man, it’s just crazy. You know I’m really good at football. You know, since just the extra stuff that starts to come along with you know what I mean it takes away from
Note From your football experience, and you have to work hard to make sure you maintain that focus and, like I say you can have it all and you can have successful careers.
You know four seasons in a row and an end up getting offered league minimum that’s live in ages. It is not my we’ll know what I mean and and and refused to give you the refused yeah the game. So you got to try it out to you know, take it says here isn’t just right now at the top of the league
As you mentioned, you know we kind of had that reset button. If you could go back in time and you’ll go between the baseball football. I a similar type of question, though you know if you could go back and talk to whether it’s twenty one year old Cedric or eighteen year old Cedric. Yet is there any specific it bye see? You would give us your what’s to come and how to best deal with it a man you know, I’m will be.
The history or where you come from the way nobody can show you where you are. You know. You know rely on your heart and your understanding a have a relationship working with god on first and foremost, because we can’t do nothing we’ll go your way without him and a work order. Thanks man, that’s it and I’m like unfold for right before you
I want to get something that I think is really cool and there’s a little bit more up to date in your place.
Where a let’s talk about Nufced.org, your organization, you just some really cool things this summer, but I want you to just get out there.
You know what exactly you’re doing and you’re just sort of what’s coming up for it. I’M a pretty safe is a note say, a as. Prices are that are started without a year on the table. I’M they came in a time when when she know knowing that a lot to get back there’s a lot of things, knowledge that I have stories to tell, and I need to find an avenue to do that, and so we know we started the foundation,
So we could take you know, the communities, donations and then put on a camp for those communities, I’m as well as bringing it educational piece. I’M, I want to put.
On my vision is to come to the city to put on an elite, our performance got what we get on appealing we’d definitely trying to put them awesome jobs to specific careers, that aremaybe needed.
We want to also bringing a doctor, maybe a lawyer and have a classroom session where they have a Q. a with the doctor and they’re logging in questions on what is like, you know to Dr would like to be a lawyer what’s a typical day or how how did you become a doctor, a lawyer, or you know?
Let’s just get that on the education of light, do sports thing? First and hopefully they forget about it on the educational piece that we keep in mind so what we want to try to develop much more Ah lawyers and much more on doctors and much more and scientists and things like that in our communities. That way we can empower ourselves within our communities.
Depending on you know, a couple of needs to be a doctor’s, a scientist, and you know I coach high school football yeah local high school. I always tell the kids you use as a bridge to get to where you want to be right. It’S not the end goal if it’s that bridge data education right, we are you doing this going to teach you the tools to make you stronger than the next line in the work for exactly what I mean.
And that’s on top of a free training camp, a sessions that you had a mid went over the summer, I’m totally great start really cool. If we wanted to introduce ourselves and just going to get out there and just kind of show what we can do on. The sports you know there were we get back on them and implement the educational piece to on the so that’s awesome. So for everyone which listening now set, is spelled, nufced.org for the website, but if you’re able to search and Instagram.
Are we also got a Facebook handle on on Facebook and that’s about it and then we’re young we’re just starting now, I’m taking a slow and we appreciate any support awesome well. I hope that all those things go up. There follow you, and I know we’re we’re. Definitely happy to watch you and see how this thing grows, but before we let you off the hook. We got to get you to go to the.
The one last time was going to just got a couple of quick questions for you to just tell me a quick answered knee Jerk reaction, a what’s most important having the number one off into the number offense or number one defense?,
Defense wins championships
Power or Spread offense?
power offense, power. You control the clock.
Going back to your playing days, which would you prefer, went over a camera when over. Oh, is there any one coach or or team that you wish? You could do it all over again that you would have had a chance to play with a place for a down at the bureau started our arts.
when I was in Cincinnati, the Dodgers came into town and a lot of those coaches approach me down and where people happen to be up into May, just on a new right away. When I saw him, I was like well, you know I’d be here with these guys too, so just need to see them so we’ll have nice to have experienced that life, those guys and gone up that journey.
Close game or shoot out.
which more important the Scheme or the players?
Players – without players they can’t execute the scheme.
We really appreciate the time!