As they prepare to play their first NFL game in Nashville after starring together at Vanderbilt, Jay Cutler would like to get Earl Bennett more involved in the Bears offense.
After missing two games with a hand injury, Bennett caught three passes for 27 yards in a win over the Lions and had three receptions for 47 yards in last Sunday’s victory over the Panthers.
“I have a comfort level with him, so when he is out there I know he is going to get open if he’s one-on-one,” Cutler said. “He knows where he is supposed to be. It’s nice having him back out there and hopefully we can get him more involved whether it’s in the slot or outside.
“With the coverages we’re seeing with everyone rolling over the top of [Brandon Marshall], it’s opening some other lanes in the running game and for the other receivers. Other guys have to pick up and they’re going to for us.”
Bennett helped the offense awaken from a slumber last Sunday, catching passes of 24 and 11 yards on the final two plays of the third quarter. He also had a 12-yard reception on the Bears’ last possession to help set up Robbie Gould’s game-winning 41-yard field goal as time expired.
“[Bennett] was the reason things shifted for us on Sunday; making two big first-down catches really got us going,” Marshall said. “We definitely need to get him involved, and he’s healthy now so I’m expecting to see a lot of Earl. He’ll definitely open things up for us.”
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