Bears' Bennett reports, claims to be 'dark-skinned chameleon' at camp


Bears' Bennett reports, claims to be 'dark-skinned chameleon' at camp

Martellus Bennett made his first appearance of the 2015 Bears offseason under coach John Fox, having skipped all of the voluntary/optional sessions. He indicated he does not plan to be holding out of at the July 29 start of training camp.

And he did not sound like missing the offseason time with new coordinator Adam Gase and the offense was going to be much of a problem, supported by Bennett’s immediate installation into the No. 1 offense.

“Just like going to a new school,” Bennett said, smiling. “I fit in everywhere I go. I’m like a dark-skinned chameleon.”

Bennett indeed did fit in: “He was out there doing some plays that we were going to hold him back from,” said quarterback Jay Cutler, “but he picks things up so quickly.”

[MORE: Bennett expected at Bears’ camp, future still uncertain]

The prospect of a key member of the offense holding out to the point of either missing valuable learning time or infuriating the organization into trading him was a potential serious issue for the offense. The Bears invested the No. 7 pick of this year’s draft in wide receiver Kevin White, but that effectively filled in what went to New York in the Brandon Marshall trade.

Fox and Gase made effective and high-impact use of the tight end with the Denver Broncos. The plan is to have that weapon available in Chicago, and without Bennett, an offense already looking to replace Marshall’s production would be faced with an added challenge.

“This game’s about matchups,” Fox said. “The tougher matchups you can create for the opponent’s defense, the better. He’s got all the physical tools it takes, both as a blocker and as a pass catcher. Those are both important skill sets for that position. He proved what he’s capable of a year ago and hopefully we can duplicate that and then some this year.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

For his part, Bennett dismissed any concerns over what he may have lost by not being around for the offseason programs. He worked out on his own and at Marshall’s facility in Florida and appeared to be in good physical shape overall.

The football part of it is a non-issue, in his mind.

“We’re only out here for three days, and then it’s training camp, and they install all over again,” Bennett said. “I’m pretty intelligent, so I pick up on it pretty quick… .

“The great thing about football, there's only so many concepts you can possibly run. Nobody's really doing that many things different around the league; it's just different ways of getting there. Once you crack that code, you're pretty good. It's no different from coding on a website or something.”

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.