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Write Now Blog

Offense comes up big in red zone

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 31, 2013 – 5:45 pm

The Bears defense boasts several talented Pro Bowlers. But the unit could have used a step ladder or an NBA power forward during a red-zone drill late in Wednesday’s practice.

Taking advantage of a size differential, Jay Cutler threw touchdown passes to 6-3 receiver Alshon Jeffery, 6-4 receiver Brandon Marshall and 6-6 tight end Martellus Bennett.

“We’re very lucky,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We thank [general manager] Phil [Emery] every day when we come off the field that he was able to bring in guys with this kind of size and girth, and we’re going to do our best to try to put them in a position to have success.”

Jeffery leaped high in the back of the end zone to snare the ball over 5-11 safety Major Wright, while Marshall hauled in a jump ball over 6-2 cornerback Charles Tillman in the corner.

“It’s good to have a situation like that where you can throw some fades into the side of the end zone,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “And when you have to cover 53 yards in the end zone, it makes it tough.”

Other big targets in the Bears passing game include tight end Fendi Onobun (6-6) and receivers Terrence Toliver (6-5), Marquess Wilson (6-4) and Marcus Rucker (6-4).

“We’re got some big dudes out there,” Cutler said. “You just kind of have to put it up high, and they understand football, which makes it nice.”

Cutler has especially enjoyed bonding with Bennett, a complete tight end who signed with the Bears as a free agent after spending his first five seasons with the Giants (2008-11) and Cowboys (2012).

“He’s a joy to play with on and off the field,” Cutler said. “He brings a little bit of energy. He brings some edge to the huddle and he’s like a Brandon Marshall [in that] he’s really smart out there, understands defenses and knows where the holes are. It makes it easy on me.”


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Trestman a fan of Bennett’s versatility

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 27, 2013 – 7:00 pm

Tight end Martellus Bennett’s recent assessment that he’s “probably the most interesting person on the team” isn’t something that Bears coach Marc Trestman would disagree with.

After all, Bennett nicknamed himself “the black unicorn” and often discusses his love of dinosaurs and Harry Potter movies. On Friday, he compared himself and his wife to power couples Jay Z and Beyonce and David and Victoria Beckham.

Asked about Bennett’s personality, Trestman said: “Absolutely love it because he knows how to be a pro. If you can see him in the meetings, he is up in front, he takes meticulous notes, he asks tremendous questions. He does everything right. That’s something you don’t see. He has fun with football. He’s got a great sense of humor and we enjoy it.

“Those are the things you don’t see. And out on the football field you can see his leadership and his effort level. He’s on top of everything and he’s extremely smart and he’s also extremely football smart.”

Trestman has never coached a tight end like Bennett “with the combination of size and speed and the ability to play on all three downs.”

“If you can have a tight end in the game who can block all three downs for you and still run routes on all three downs and do it at a consistently efficient and high level, you’ve got a pretty good chance of having the kind of tight end that you want,” Trestman said. “After two days [of practice], you can see the versatility of Martellus.”


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