Bears Need Bennett To Simmer Down And Compete
By Adam Benovic
Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett has had some notable issues in the past. He may be a stud on the field, but he has to stay on it in order to be effective. As we all know by now, Bennett was suspended for the first preseason game for going a bit too aggressive against rookie CB Kyle Fuller after a play. Obviously, most of us weren’t there to see the altercation, but most reports were that Bennett picked Fuller up and slammed him to the ground. You just can’t be doing that -- especially to a teammate. Since then, Bennett sat out the first preseason game but was reinstated before the second. This has to be a concern, though. This isn’t Bennett’s first time getting in trouble for fighting his own teammates, and it likely won’t be his last.
But that wouldn’t matter if it weren’t for the unfortunate case of Zach Miller. The next best tight end on the team was doing everything right. He looked good in camp, and was starting to develop chemistry. Everyone was jumping on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, Miller injured his foot in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars -- all reports indicated it is most likely ligament damage. The Bears quickly released him to push him through waivers and on to their injured reserve.
After Bennett and Miller, the Bears have to rely on TEs Dante Rosario and Matthew Mulligan. Rosario has been on and off the team so many times that his ability is clear. He is one of those camp bubble players, and is borderline good enough to be on the team, but they wouldn’t hesitate to drop him in a second. Mulligan is in a similar situation. Coming from the Patriots, Mulligan was primarily a special teams player. He caught 16 passes last year -- not exactly an amazing feat, especially from a team that is as tight end centric as New England.
What is going to happen if Bennett goes down? Is there any legitimate backup plan in place? Overall, I would say that the Bears are a relatively deep team, but Bennett’s antics, along with the depth at his position, honestly concerns me. It unfortunately wouldn’t surprise me if we saw Practice Squad level players starting games at tight end for the Bears. Or washed-up veterans could even have to be brought in off of the street. The tight end situation looks rather bleak. With Miller gone and Bennett an apparent walking time bomb, WRs Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall had better learn how to play tight end.
But hey, at least releasing Miller allowed the Bears to sign Santonio Holmes, right? Right? Someone?