Bears love Martellus Bennett’s ability — and sense of humor
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 27, 2013 8:48PM
Tight end Martellus Bennett is looking forward to developing a good relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler. | Nam Y. Huh/AP
BIG MAN ON CAMPUS
A look at Martellus Bennett’s
numbers in 2012, compared with those of the Bears’ tight ends:
Rec. Yards TDs
Martellus Bennett 55 626 5
Kellen Davis 19 229 2
Matt Spaeth 6 28 1
Kyle Adams 4 40 0
Updated: August 30, 2013 6:45AM
BOURBONNAIS — Tight end Martellus Bennett was like a comedian going through the best part of his bit. Dinosaurs, David and Victoria Beckham, Spiderman, Mike Ditka and his own wife all were
‘‘I’m probably the most interesting person on the team,’’ Bennett said.
And that’s fine with the Bears. It was when they signed him to a four-year, $20.4 million contract, and it will continue to be, especially if he produces like they expect him to.
Bennett has shown he can joke with coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery while having a sincere sense of what he means to the Bears. He knows he can be outlandish at times — he embraces it, in fact — but he grasps what the big contract means to public perception.
‘‘I don’t really play for the money,’’ Bennett said. ‘‘The money is good. I like driving nice cars, [having] a nice house. I like nice stuff. I like to dress nice, mainly. But . . . I’ve got to build a legacy not just on the field, but off the field, too.
‘‘I don’t want my kids to grow up and be like, ‘Oh, my dad ran fast down the seam.’ I want them to see the life [away] from the field, an all-around person. I think getting paid, it gives you a couple of avenues to make an impact, and I think it’s the biggest thing. It’s a blessing, and a lot comes with that. It’s like the
Spiderman quote: ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ ’’
Bennett seemingly is doing
everything he can to meet those expectations, whether it’s watching a documentary about Ditka to get a taste of his passion or sitting
behind quarterback Jay Cutler when watching film.
‘‘When we watch film, I sit right behind him so I can whisper in his ear,’’ Bennett said. ‘‘It sounds kind of creepy, but I sit right behind him so I can whisper in his ear and ask him, ‘Hey, is that what you wanted?’ And he’ll just give me a thumbs up. I know I probably get on his nerves because I’m always talking to him.’’
Cutler, who has shown a tendency to look for tight ends in the red zone, should appreciate everything about it. He can be seen talking with Bennett during practices and instructing him after plays if something was amiss.
Bennett spent four seasons watching quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten flourish with the Dallas Cowboys. He wants the same kind of relationship with Cutler.
‘‘I’m very grateful for the four years I spent behind [Witten] and watched him, the professionalism that he had, and learned how to play tight end and communicate with the quarterback,’’ Bennett said.
Bennett is a full believer in the Trestman way, too. He said he makes it a point to eat and talk with different teammates often because Trestman ‘‘believes that personal relationships with each other will affect the way we play in the game.’’
Bennett is expected to be everything the Bears’ tight ends weren’t the last two seasons, and those who work daily with Bennett see his
efforts to become that. Bennett had 55 catches for 626 yards and five touchdowns last season with the New York Giants.
‘‘Martellus is one of the smartest guys on the team,’’ tight end Steve Maneri said. ‘‘He watches more film than pretty much anybody, and he’s a character. He’s hilarious. He’s great to be around. There is a never dull moment with Martellus Bennett in the meeting rooms, and we appreciate that in training camp.’’
Trestman said he never has had a tight end with the full package Bennett offers.
‘‘Different kinds of tight ends, but not with the combination of size and speed and the ability to play on all three downs,’’ Trestman said.
But what about that personality?
‘‘Absolutely love it because he knows how to be a pro,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘If you can see him in the meetings, he is up in front, he takes meticulous notes, he asks tremendous questions, he does everything right. . . . He knows how to have fun with football. He’s got a great sense of humor, and we enjoy it.’’