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.”
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.”
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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.”