When the Chicago Bears suspended starting TE Martellus Bennett last week after he initiated an altercation with rookie CB Kyle Fuller during practice, their intention was to send Bennett a message. That message was intended to motivate Bennett to mature and take a more serious approach to the game. On Friday night, Bennett got sent another message — this time by the hands of back up TE Zach Miller.
The journeyman TE caught six passes for a total of 68 yards and two TDs in his first game as a Bear. His performance not only helped the team grab a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but also sent a very clear message to the suspended Bennett. In 2013, the Bears lacked depth at TE and Bennett was the main attraction, catching 65 passes for 759 yards and five touchdowns. If Miller’s performance against the Eagles can prove to be more than just a mirage, Bennett will need to come to his senses and make a major attitude adjustment, quickly.
The scuffle with Fuller was not the sole reason for Bennett’s suspension, scraps like that happen all the time in practice, so there must be more of an underlying problem going on. Both head coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery described Bennett as being difficult from time to time. If this is true, all signs point to Bennett simply needed to change his attitude and his approach to the game. If the suspension handed out by the Bears wasn’t enough to help bring about change in him, watching his replacement light up the scoreboard should definitely nudge him in the right direction.
Trestman said Bennett’s suspension wouldn’t be prolonged, but that the TE would have to go through a “process” before being allowed to return to the team. If Bennett returns to the team this week, then it will show that Miller’s performance motivated more than just the fanbase this weekend.
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