Bears try to soften Martellus Bennett suspension news
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 5, 2014 9:49PM
Updated: September 7, 2014 6:39AM
BOURBONNAIS — One message the Bears seemed determined to convey after the news of Martellus Bennett’s suspension is how much they love their gregarious tight end.
General manager Phil Emery said it. So did coach Marc Trestman, tight ends coach Andy Bischoff and quarterback Jay Cutler.
Bennett was described as a ‘‘good father’’ more than once, too.
But none of the Bears’ pleasantries make up for the fact that Bennett has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended for an indefinite period for conduct detrimental to the team after his takedown of rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller on Monday.
‘‘It’s going to be one day at a time,’’ Trestman said Tuesday when asked about Bennett’s return.
The Bears will maintain an open line of communication with Bennett, who will remain on the 90-man roster but will not be involved in any team activities.
He is ‘‘away from the team,’’ Emery said.
‘‘Our goal is to have Martellus back as soon as possible,’’ he said. ‘‘He’s a very important part of this team.’’
The Bears’ decision to suspend him was made ‘‘collectively’’ and was the best course of action, Emery said. It was Bennett’s third fight with a teammate dating back to last training camp.
Emery declined to describe Bennett’s reaction to the suspension. Bears players were informed of his punishment before practice.
‘‘Everyone has a good handle on what happened and how we should handle ourselves and what each single player means to this team,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘Marc did a great job of talking to the guys after practice and in the meetings following that [Monday] night. It’s pretty clear in our minds what we need to do.’’
Suspending an irreplaceable starter such as Bennett sends a strong message.
‘‘[The suspension] doesn’t sit well with us because, No. 1, we know what type of player and what type of person Martellus is,’’ left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. ‘‘When you get into altercations like that, we just got to protect each other. Because at the end of the day, while we are competing, while we are fighting to get better, this is our team, this is our family, our unit here. We got to protect each other, and it’s just unfortunate that he can’t be here getting better right now. We’re going to have to let it die down as a team and him as an individual.’’