What part of "team" doesn’t Martellus Bennett understand?
Most of it, apparently.
Enough of it, certainly, that the Bears consider him a bad teammate.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t have taken the extraordinary step of exiling him from training camp Tuesday.
A day after Bennett slammed down rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller following a legitimate attempt at stripping the ball, general manager Phil Emery said the Bears fined and suspended Bennett for “conduct detrimental to the team’’ and told him to leave training camp indefinitely.
How bad of a teammate must Bennett be for coach Marc Trestman to abide suspending the starting tight end and hurting the growth of his offense?
Suspending a starter is a big step, especially in training camp and the week of the first game. What’s more, tight end is not an area of accomplished depth for the Bears.
But Trestman was good with it. In fact, he might’ve been the one to push for it. The Bears weren’t forthcoming with many details. In fact, they spent a lot of time talking about how great a person Bennett is and how much they love him and all that hogwash.
“We care about him and we all love the guy,’’ quarterback Jay Cutler said. “He works extremely hard out here. We just hope we get him back sooner than later.’’
Blah, blah, blah. Maybe that’s what Cutler thinks he has to say, or maybe even believes, but there’s reason to question just how hard Bennett actually works. Tribune Football Bigfoot Brad Biggs wrote about some of Bennett’s lackadaisical practice habits that aggravate some teammates and probably some coaches.
“This is a process that we’re working with Martellus on,’’ Emery said. "We are in contact with him. Our goal is to have Martellus back as soon as possible.’’
The Bears don’t know when Bennett will be allowed back. That’s some kind of bad teammate. This can’t be about just one practice field incident. This must be about a history of practice field incidents.
This also must be about some irresponsible comments Monday afternoon after Bennett had time to think about everything that transpired on the practice field Monday morning.
Bennett said he wasn’t looking to make friends, just preparing to win a championship. Wrong answer, or at least incomplete. Trestman is big on friendships. Trestman is big on being one unit, not offense, defense and special teams.
When asked if he was concerned about being fined, Bennett offered a flip, “I can afford it.’’ Wrong answer again. Bennett missed a chance to show contrition and accountability, especially after a coach who values every rep ended practice early.
Bennett came off disrespectful and remorseless. Uncoachable, undisciplined and unapologetic is a bad way to go through Camp Trestman. The note Bennett had to take home to mommy would probably read “Needs to learn how to work and play well with others.’’
Bennett was sent away for who knows how long to work through Emery’s and Trestman’s beloved “process.’’ That’s some kind of seriously bad teammate. With Bears officials refusing to reveal additional details, that’s what we’re left to conclude.
The Bears made a big move. A strong move, if Bennett is as much of an attitude problem as he appears to be.
Now the problem is wondering how Bennett will he learn to be a better teammate while ostracized from his team.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun