TE Bennett brings quirkiness, versatility to Bears

TE Bennett brings quirkiness, versatility to Bears

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By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer


   BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) -- The most interesting person on the Chicago Bears' roster?
 
   Easy.
 
   "I'm probably the most interesting person on the team," new tight end Martellus Bennett said.
 
   And who can argue?
 
   After all, this is a player who discussed his lactose intolerance at his introductory news conference in March and was on quite a roll in training camp this week, referring to Spiderman and the Bible and discussing his fascination with dinosaurs.
 
   Along with his funny and quirky nature, he brings an ability to block and catch passes that the Bears lacked at his position.
 
   All that explains why they lured him away from the New York Giants with a four-year deal, hoping he can help them get back to the playoffs after missing out for the fifth time in six seasons.
 
   "There's never a dull moment with Martellus Bennett in the meeting rooms," tight end Steve Maneri said.
 
   Or, it seems, when there's a microphone or notepad in front of him.
 
   Here's Bennett on who he thinks the coolest people on the planet are: "Me and my wife (Siggi) are probably two of the coolest people in the world. It's like Jay-Z and Beyonce, then it's me and my wife, and then it's David Beckham and Victoria."
 
   Here he is on dinosaurs: "I love dinosaurs. They're my favorite animal. I still do believe that they exist. That may sound crazy, but I do. And, you know, I go by Martysaurus Rex. You can add `Saurus Rex' to your name, too. What's your name?"
 
   And when he was asked about his new contract, Bennett started off saying it wasn't about the money -- just like most players. But then, he mentioned how he likes having nice clothes, nice cars and a nice house before steering toward his own legacy away from the field.
 
   "I want to have my kids -- I don't have any yet, thank God. The wife's probably happy about that ... that I don't have any yet, but really it's just about building a legacy, not just being a football player, but being a good person," he said.
 
   He added that getting paid gives you "a couple avenues" to "make an impact" and finished by saying, "It's like the `Spiderman' quote, `To whom much is given, much is expected."
 
   When someone pointed out that's a reference to a Bible quote, Bennett responded, "Jesus said it. Peter Parker's uncle said it. I mean, it's been around for a long time."
 
   For the record, the quote from "Spiderman" is "with great power comes great responsibility."
 
   Bennett's job with the Bears is to provide a presence as both a receiver and blocker that they haven't had at the position in years.
 
   He had his best season in New York, setting career highs for receptions (55), yards (626) and touchdowns (five), after spending his first four years in Dallas behind Jason Witten.
 
   Now, he's trying to help the Bears get back to the playoffs after a second straight late-season collapse led to the firing of Lovie Smith and hiring of Marc Trestman as coach.
 
   When the Bears had Greg Olsen, they had a solid receiver who struggled to block. He got dealt to Carolina before the 2011 season, and Chicago hasn't gotten much production from the position since then.
 
   Bears tight ends combined for just 33 catches last season.
 
   Trestman, a longtime NFL assistant who spent the past five years as head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said he hasn't had a tight end like Bennett.
 
   "Not with the combination of size and speed and the ability to play on all three downs," he said.
 
   And, probably, not with a personality like "The Black Unicorn" -- Bennett's nickname. For all his funny thoughts, though, something else stands out about him to Trestman.
 
   "Absolutely love it because he knows how to be a pro," Trestman said. "If you can see him in the meetings, he is up front, he takes meticulous notes, he asks tremendous questions, he does everything right. That's something you don't see. He knows how to have fun with football. He's got a great sense of humor and we enjoy it."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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