Martysauraus Rex: An Irreplaceable Force @ TE............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Martellus Bennett: An irreplaceable force at TE for Bears


    BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter June 19, 2014 10:18PM


    Bears Beat: What did we learn from mini-camp?
    Chicago Sun-Times

    Bears Beat: What we learned from mini-camp?

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    updated: June 20, 2014 2:24AM


    There’s no better person to describe the importance of tight end Martellus Bennett to the Bears’ success than the man himself.

    “I’m the [President] Obama of tight ends, except that I don’t raise taxes,” Bennett said. “I don’t tax them. There’s no taxation in the tight ends room. Just great leadership and great vocabulary.”
    That’s really just Bennett’s flattering spin on the truth.

    What if Bennett gets injured? He played through ailments last season and endured his share of scary-looking hits. Could Dante Rosario, Zach Miller and Matthew Mulligan — the three reserve tight ends remaining after Fendi Onobun’s release on Thursday — make up for his absence?

    Bennett is by far the Bears’ best tight end — an irreplaceable player on every level. And with that comes leadership responsibilities — a constant nudging by him to make those who back him up better.

    “A year ago [being a leader] was harder for him,” tight ends coach Andy Bischoff said. “A year ago, he was much harder on his peers. This year, and even as the year went on last year, everybody takes on a little bit of the environment that you’re around, and I’m not ever going to be a guy that’s [cursing] them, and he’s not that kind of a guy, either.

    “[Bennett is] a bright guy who is trying to help his peers and he takes a very good role. Where we stand in practice, we’re always talking about, ‘Critique the guy that’s in. Critique the route he’s running. Critique the steps he’s taking.’ He’s very good about it in a positive way with all the guys.”

    Being a starter and a leader still is relatively new for Bennett. He spent four seasons behind Pro Bowler Jason Witten with the Dallas Cowboys and didn’t become an every-game starter until 2012 with the New York Giants. But he didn’t have a long-term deal that secured his gregarious presence in the Giants’ locker room.

    With the Bears, he has the playing time and a sense of security (a four-year contract worth $20.4 million). “It was kind of tough last year because everybody was [new],” Bennett said. “I was in it with the Giants for one year and then I left New York.

    “In New York, it was really my first time being put in that process.”

    The idea of everyone being leader is a principle of Trestman’s Bears. But Bennett is a player who absolutely has to be, considering Rosario, the No. 2 tight end, had one catch for 13 yards in 15 games in 2013.

    “There is more competition for the No. 2 spot than there was a year ago, clearly,” Bischoff said.
    After saying goodbye to Greg Olsen after the 2010 season, Bennett brought the Bears into the modern era of tight ends. He set career highs with 65 catches and 759 yards in 2013. It was the best season for a Bears tight end since Mike Ditka’s 75 catches and 897 yards in 1964.

    In that regard, Bennett wants to lead in an “authentic way.”

    “Being a leader is second to me being the best player I can be,” Bennett said. “Before I could lead, I had to become the best player I could possibly be. I don’t want to be a [expletive] out there when I get out there on Sunday.

    “When I do my drills, I have to be flying around. So that way, I can be like, ‘Hey, you need to pick it up.’ If I’m not doing that myself, than how can I lead?”

    Email: ajahns@suntimes.com
  2. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Rosario is a good guy to have on the roster, but he is more of a Hback or fullback type guy. He's considered a decent blocking TE, not as a receiving TE. Emery will bring in a receiving TE to be the #2 TE backing up Bennett. Rosario is simply not a guy you want as your receiving TE.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Probably not but it's likely that he's a better receiver than Mulligan. The thing is we really don't know because they never threw to Rosario. He may actually be OK but we just don't have a TE who can block and catch the way Bennett can. Let's just hope he can stay healthy all year.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I'm hoping the hope is that ZMiller can be the legit backup, it's certainly not Rosario or Mully. If tresties doesn't like what he sees out of the TE backups he'll get Emery to bring in someone else, I have no doubt the backup TE position will be fine.
  5. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    They may like to bring in someone else but not sure anyone is out there right now on the street who could help. Hopefully when the cuts start to happen we can find somebody but there is a reason they will be cut and thinking we can get a legit back up may be wishful thinking. I have a feeling this will not be addressed until next year, either in FA or the draft.
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  6. tbear1

    tbear1 Veteran

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    Barring injury, I think we have the TE's for this year. Probably see Britton on the field a lot again. If the defense lives up the expectations and this years draft class is working out, I would like to see a TE in the first round next year. A lot can happen between now and then but it doesn't look like we have anyone who can step into the BU shoes down the road.
  7. Rakk

    Rakk Veteran SuperFan

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    True, and most teams don't either outside of their starter. I'm not so worried about this because of the size of our wide receiver room. We have some tall/big boys, unlike the Smurfs of the past. We can create mismatches with our receivers and not have to rely upon that big bodied TE. I hope Bennett stays healthy, but, if he goes down, I'm more comfortable than in the past our offense can still have plenty of options.
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  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think it is probably wishful thinking for two reasons. One is that this wasn't a very strong rookie class for TEs so few will probably be pushing established vets out of a job and the other is that there weren't many vet FAs worth giving the time of day to either.

    I think Bennett is just gonna have to have another year of "rub some dirt on it" and get back in the game. I think Trestman is smart enough to create some packages where Rosario is used a receiver and we also have some ways of using Forte or one of the other WRs to take up some of the slack and challenge those middle zones.

    FWIW, and depending on the draft class, I'd say a TE should probably be on our list for a pick somewhere between rounds 2-4 next year. Unless we get lucky and have one we can't pass up fall to us in round one I don't see us taking one that high with Bennett being the lead dog but after that we should be bargain shopping for one just like him.
  9. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This is an interesting article. Maybe we'll still see a backup quality receiving TE become available this summer. Even though we have some tall wide receivers, that doesn't mean they make a receiving TE optional. That's Lovie Smith kindof thinking (I about crapped when we got rid of Olsen.......like having a TE who could catch a football was somebody to get rid of).

    Anyway, I thought it was interesting that the teams listed here with solid TE corps are teams that are among some of the best in the NFL, even Super Bowl contenders and winners (Seahawks, San Francisco, Saints, Broncos, Colts, etc). With us only having 1 decent receiving TE, that's not good. But like I said, I think we'll get at least a backup quality guy to backup Bennett. I "get it" that we can't fix everything overnight though. But thinking we may get a mediocre backup quality guy isn't being delusional.

    p.s. I wonder if we could make a trade for a 2nd tier receiving TE? We are fat-city at some positions. Maybe there's a team that is hurting at a position where we have a wealth of depth/talent, and they have a TE who could be a decent backup TE.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I get it but if these teams are keeping 3 or even 4 TE/WR types will the left overs be any better than what we have? Surely some of those guys were UDFAs or vet UFA's we could already have pursued but didn't.

    I'm not saying no chance as much as I am slim chance. I also highlighted something in another thread about Rosario's history as a pass catcher and it's not all that bad for a #3 type guy which is all we'll ever see on a waiver wire.

    Rosario has caught 100 passes for 1119 yards and 8 tds so he is a viable target if we begin to phase him into the offense. I don't think they spent a draft pick on him just to play STeams.
  11. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah, it could all work out with what we have. Good receiving TE's are just worth their weight in gold now.
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  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    You betcha' which is why nobody seems willing to part with theirs if they're any good. Some of these guy are 6'5" to 6'7" go 250-270lbs and have close to the speed of a WR. Now that's a weapon to turn loose into a opponents secondary. Pretty soon we'll need Safeties the size of small LBs just to cover 'em.
  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree. The elite teams understand that the receiving TE position is an incredible weapon for a powerful offense. I'm thrilled we have Bennett. Adding a youngster in the draft would be a smart move next year, IMHO.
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  14. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I was hoping we would get a TE this year in the draft but realized it was a long shot. I am happy with the players we have but see a risk to the offense if Bennett goes down. We still need the blocking of a TE for the passing game and thus I do not see 4 WR sets replacing the TE if injury should occur. Yes we have some big recievers but losing Bennet to injury would take away one of our options. Maybe one of the other TE's on the team can step up but for now it is a risk until proven otherwise.
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  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think it becomes TE by committee then brother. I really don't have any kind of handle at all on this kid Miller but both Mulligan and Rosario have been around the league for a while so they know the ropes

    Mulligan was an UDFA whose mostly been a PS guy or a late preseason release throughout most of his career. From what I can see he's not much of a receiver but he has the size to be an inline blocker and if he's lasted this long (6th year) that much he's probably learned to do. But he's definitely more a throwback type TE. More small OT than big WR.

    Rosario was a 5th round pick by Carolina out of Oregon where he was an HBack/Full Back guy who blocked, caught passes and even had some carries as a FB. For us he's pretty much the same, a small TE and a backup for Fiametta at FB but he's caught enough passes in his career to know he can catch. To me he's kind of a Des Clark kind of guy. Not a modern prototype TE but still useful enough to help in several ways if we need him.
  16. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    By observing the way Emery goes about his business I'd say this is almost a certainty unless he can find a good young one in Free Agency he can get cheap like he did with players like Slauson and Mundy. How it plays out this year will give us a better indication of he ranks that need.

    Whoever it is the he brings in will play second banana to Bennett so unless a guy he can't pass up falls in his lap in round one I think it's more likely he'll use a second or third round pick on one if there's talent on the board that's worth it. In those rounds I could see him making a move up to get the guy he wants like he did for Jeffery and Vereen.

    We could use another year of observation too just to see how Trestman's offense develops in year two. We may never use two TE formations now as long as we have the other weapons we do. Some of the team who do use that don't have a WR like Marshall whose damn near the size of a small TE himself or a RB whose a good a receiver and open field runner as Matt Forte. So despite what other teams may do it just may be that Trestman can adapt without the need to two big TEs on the field at once.
  17. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I have to believe Trestman would like to add a 2 TE set. It could help the run game in short situations and Trestman could certainly design some passing plays out of the set. Bennett, Forte, Marshall, TE2, 5 linemen, QB, leaves room for 1 more, Jeffries or a FB type. We could do it now but TE2 has to be a threat and not just an indicator a run is coming. I may be wrong but I perceive the depth at TE is mostly blocking, not to say they could not make an occassional catch but hands do not come to mind when speaking of Mulligan and Rosario.
  18. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well we really don't know much about Mulligan as far as his hands go other than the fact that he wasn't thrown to much. So I think we can look at himas pretty much another OT with 50lbs less on his frame.

    Rosario on the other hand has caught 100 balls for over 1100 yards in his NFL career and was also a productive receiver in college so we can probably assume that he can get open and that he can catch. But he's really more the HBack, move TE type we were looking for when we drafted ERod. I guess it remains to be seen whether or not Trestman can make use of his receiving skills. So far he hasn't but that was just year one of his offensive package. We should see more of it this year and maybe Rosario gets more looks.

    Receiving TEs are getting to be valuable commodities so like certain other positions the chances of getting a good one cheap in Free Agency isn't good. So you have draft them and my guess is that's what we'll do. I think we may have done it this year if we didn't have those holes to fill at DT and S that consumed our early and mid round picks. After that the pickin's went from slim to none unless we wanted to take a risk with a bad boy like Lyerla.

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