Giants Late Season Run Proves Super Bowl Reachable................
Bennett: Giants' run shows Super Bowl reachable
By Fred Mitchell, Tribune reporter 12:49 p.m. CST, February 14, 2012
If the New York Giants can get into the playoffs with a 9-7 record and win a Super Bowl, why can’t the Chicago Bears?
“Just get in the playoffs. Anything is possible,” Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett said Monday night before accepting an honor at the 24th annual Comcast SportsNet Awards Dinner. “You’ve just got to continue to work hard and stay focused. Those (Giants) did a great job with doing that and they won a Super Bowl.”
The Bears were 7-3 last season before injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte contributed mightily to a five-game losing streak. The Bears finished 8-8 and out of the NFC playoffs. The Giants, on the other hand, rebounded from a slow start to capture the NFC East before running the table in the postseason.
Big plays from Giants receivers caught the attention of Bennett.
“(Mario) Manningham stepped up and (Hakeem) Nicks played big throughout the playoffs,” Bennett said. “And Victor Cruz was lights out throughout the whole season. So we look to build on what we had early in the season last year, and just pick up and get everybody healthy and we will be all right.”
This time last year, the NFL lockout inhibited opportunities to stage regular organized workouts for players. That is not an issue this year. The Bears have a new offensive coordinator in Mike Tice, as well as other new assistant coaches.
“We’ve got a lot of time to work out and a lot of time to get timing and route-running down,” Bennett said. “So I look forward to bringing in new plays that coach Tice has drawn up for us. New coaches, new coordinator … it’s just going to continue to help us get better and I look forward to the season.”
Bennett received the “Bear of the Year” award at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers during the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards presented by Navistar to benefit the March of Dimes. Previous dinners had raised nearly $8 million for the March of Dimes. Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar International Corporation, was the honorary chair of the dinner. William T. Barry, Senior Vice President of Draper & Kramer was the event’s chairman, and James J. Corno is the president of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.