Bennett: As long as we win, I'm alright
November, 29, 2012
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesEarl Bennett's 39 targets are second on the Bears, but 82 fewer than Brandon Marshall's.LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Wide receiver Earl Bennett has no complaints about his role in the Chicago Bears' offense despite the disparity in the club's passing game.
In his first year re-united with quarterback Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall has been the focal point of the Bears' offense with 81 catches for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns, numbers befitting a player of his No. 1 wide receiver status.
Marshall has been targeted 121 times this season, the third-highest total in the NFL, while Bennett is second on the team with 39 targets. That gap of 82 targets between the Bears' most and second-most targeted receivers is the highest in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
"I'm a team player. As long as we win I'm going to be alright," Bennett said. "We've been winning and Brandon has been making plays so I'm just staying patient. When my number is called, that's when I make plays.
"He's one of those guys that can change the game. He's a phenomenal player, and it's just been a blessing to play with him and learn a lot of things from him. As long as we keep winning, we'll be fine."
Bennett got off to fast start with three catches for 50 yards in the Bears' Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. But he suffered a hand injury at practice the following week that he played through for two games before the team decided to shut him down the two weeks (Dallas, Jacksonville) prior the team's bye. Bennett re-emerged last week with four receptions for 45 yards to give him 22 catches for 238 yards on the season.
Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks could provide Bennett with another opportunity to get more involved with wideouts Alshon Jeffery (knee) and Devin Hester (concussion), who are both sidelined. But it won't be easy, as the Seahawks enter the game with the No. 3 passing defense in the NFL, spearheaded by talented cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
"It's going to happen more and more as we go on," Bennett said. "I just have to stay patient and just take advantage of the opportunities."
When it comes to Bennett, it's more of a matter of getting those opportunities, rather than taking advantage of them. One of the most sure-handed pass-catchers in the league, Bennett is one of only seven NFL receivers with at least 20 catches to have zero drops on the season.