With the Pre-Season Game 3, aka the Regular Season dress rehearsal all wrapped up for the Bears, one of the biggest bright spots on the field was Earl Bennett. Earl came up clutch, nabbing every pass thrown his way, including a couple of 3rd down conversions. In fact, some who follow him closely have likened him to the Bears version of Wes Welker.Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but perhaps there is more Earl can do that we haven’t seen yet?
Earl Bennett deserves the chance to put up big numbers, and not just at the slot. His consistency and great hands make him Cutler’s safety valve – you know if a play is breaking down, Cutler is going to be looking Earl’s way. So why not put that trust to good use?
The counter argument is obvious – Earl is already proving he is a great slot receiver, so why move him? Those wanting to see Earl get his chance though argue that the slot may be holding Bennett back, and he has more to give. So I propose this – why don’t the Bears give Earl a shot opposite Roy Williams on first and second downs, and move Earl into the slot role for 3rd downs? You can then move Hester to the slot for 1st and second downs, keeping the same personnel on the field when going to a 3 or 4 man set.
The dropped passes on Saturday by our receiving corps is very disconcerting; something like that can make a Superbowl team into just a playoff team, and a playoff team into a 9-7, 8-8 team. So, if the issue is the receivers hanging onto the ball, why not put your best receiver on the field on every play, and see if he’s capable of stretching the field?
Earl Bennett is glue – he helps hold the offense together with his consistency. But the Bears owe it to Bennett and themselves to see if Bennett is just glue, or if he can be Super Glue.