After Cedric Benson was released Monday, even more attention might be paid to Garrett Wolfe.

At last weekend's inaugural Bears Expo, Lovie Smith praised second-year running back Garrett Wolfe.


The Chicago Bears head coach said the former Northern Illinois University star brings something no other back on the roster does with his quickness and elusiveness.


"That definitely makes me feel good coming from the head coach," Wolfe said Wednesday at the team's voluntary organized team activities. "That means he's taken notice of what I'm able to do, and other coaches have taken notice."


Now, after starter Cedric Benson was released Monday, even more attention might be paid to Wolfe.


Wolfe ran most of the second-team drills Wednesday at Halas Hall, with rookie Matt Forte working with the first unit. Adrian Peterson is out after undergoing an appendectomy this week.


While Benson's departure theoretically moves Wolfe up the depth chart, Wolfe made it clear he'd rather have Benson around.


"He's been nothing but tremendous to me since day one, so I miss him," Wolfe said. "He was a good friend and a good teammate."


Benson was the topic of the day, as it was the first time players were available to the media since the former first-round pick was let go after a second alcohol-related arrest in five weeks.


"It sends the message that a lot is expected of you, and I think that's pretty well understood from the moment you're drafted," Wolfe said. "A lot is expected of you as a professional athlete, and that's the reality of it."


Fullback Jason McKie said he "wasn't sure what was going to happen. But that's what did, so it's something we have to move on from."


Running backs coach Tim Spencer said he's simply going to coach the players he has.


"It's always tough to lose one of your players," he said. "He (Benson) has a lot of friends in our running backs room. We've had numerous conversations, and I like Ced. Ced was all right with me. You hate to see this happen.


"We all have a responsibility, and we're responsible to a lot of people. We've got to handle our business."


Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. He can be reached at (815) 987-1381 or rschreck@rrstar.com.