Chicago Bears end of season grades: Tight End
It was only during last training camp in Bourbonnais did we notice Martellus ‘Marty’ Bennett show the behavior that helped lead to his exit from the Cowboys.
It was a seemingly physical play that Kyle Fuller exhibited in a practice session that led Martellus to body slam the rookie to the ground after he swatted the ball out of Martellus’ hands. Was it intentional harshness of a rookie, or simply an aggressive young player trying to fly around the field? I’ll go with the second.
While all the backlash and finger pointing can be brought back to Bennett and his immature and (sometimes) childish ways in practice; it should be noted that this was just the beginning of Captain Trestman’s own Titanic hitting the iceberg and it was a very long and arduous sinking ship.
One in which none saw coming. As we all learned; perhaps this flaw of the team and leadership was first shown with Bennett’s outburst.
We as fans surely do expect and demand more from this team and apparently we are not alone. Now with new leadership and a totally refreshed and dedicated team that has a realization that John Fox isn’t a pushover ; but one who demands respect.
Just how do we think the tight end position handled itself this season? Looking at the numbers I cannot argue that Bennett has been extremely productive with his two years on the Bears. In truth, he’s excelled at the position. Not only has he proven to be a fantastic pass catcher; his run blocking has been excellent.
One could argue that Marty is the “total package” when it comes to a full flight talented tight end. And honorably so, he has received a pro bowl invitation after Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots made it to the Super Bowl. I believe 90 catches, 916 yards and 6 touchdowns is more than worthy of an invite to the Pro Bowl.
I believe what John Fox and Adam Gace must be wondering is who the #2 tight end will be with the Chicago Bears. We know that Jay enjoys the underneath routes and finding Bennett out in the flats. But if they run a two tight end set; will they be okay relying on Dante Rosario?
A proven veteran with a career of 116 receptions is someone who you can deem “reliable”; but far from being a consistent force if pressed upon in action. After the failed fiasco of Evan Rodriguez as a 4th round pick, I believe the Bears should consider the options of letting Rosario stick it out as the #2.
While low on the high potential he is consistent. You know what to expect and what you will get as far as his productivity. If a investment in a project tight end is warranted and asked from Adam Gace, the Bears then should consider the options in 4th or 5th round of draft.
Remember, Marty Bennett is on a 4 year deal and going into year 3.
If he continues to blossom as he has, and being he only is 26, he will be entering his prime at 28-29 years old with many credentials for him to become a high in-demand tight end for a team willing to dictate the market for his services. But that is a story for another day.
Overall, even with Marc Trestman’s (painfully) predictable offense which showed major signs of regression during it’s second season; he helped earn Bennett a pro bowl birth. It seems he is getting better every year and it makes the tight end position one of the more highly ranked, but shallow positions on the team