COMMENTARY | When Mark Trestman was hired as the head coach of the Chicago Bears everyone presumed the Bears would elevate their normally mediocre offensive play. Through the first two weeks of the regular season, overall, they have.
Trestman's track record with quarterbacks should make the early improvements fans are seeing in Jay Cutler as pretty much expected. Everyone knew the Bears had weapons in Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, and even the developing Alshon Jeffery. Martellus Bennett's signing was considered an upgrade over the frustrating Kellen Davis at tight end, but presumed to be "just another weapon" for Cutler to utilize in the Bears' offense.
Hindsight is 20/20, but it's unlikely the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings think of Bennett as "just another weapon." Bears fans certainly don't, either.
In the Bears' two games thus far, Bennet has 10 receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns. His three touchdowns lead the team, and only Marshall (15 receptions, 215 yards, 2 TD) and Forte (14 receptions, 114 yards) have more receptions.
The Bears haven't had a receiving tight end since Greg Olsen, who they traded to the Carolina Panthers in July of 2011. Though playing on a Bears team that sported a lacking receiving corps at the time, Olsen quickly became Cutler's favorite target. During the two seasons they played together (2009, 2010), Olsen had 101 receptions, 1016 yards, and 13 touchdowns. And that was without Brandon Marshall (or any other viable target that might require extra coverage) on the team.
During his two full seasons in Denver, Cutler had similar success with his tight ends (Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham, specifically). Those two seasons (2007, 2008) saw Denver's tight ends put up a combined 150 receptions, 1,891 yards, and 14 touchdowns. With an impressive array of weapons at Cutler's disposal and the history to back it up, there's no reason Martellus Bennett shouldn't continue putting up gaudy numbers for the Bears.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him an opportunity to closely follow Chicago sports and has allowed him to contribute to Yahoo Sports,Yahoo Voices, and various independent sports blogs. Brian is also a senior in college majoring in creative writing.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Martellus Bennett
- Jay Cutler
- Brandon Marshall