Cory's Corner: Martellus Bennett wins with fun

Martellus Bennett has done just about everything to make himself relatable to Packers’ fans. He has milked a cow, sidestepped manure and even stepped foot in a brewery (even though he doesn’t like beer).

And recently, he helped pay for state championship rings for a Chicago high school football team.

At first I thought that keeping Jared Cook for 2017 would be a no brainer. He made Green Bay’s catch of the year in Dallas and improved as the season went on.

Then the Packers signed Bennett and I was shocked. Bennett was stuck behind Jason Witten in Dallas and wasn’t really given a chance until his first season in Chicago four years ago.

The 30-year-old Bennett is a huge target that Aaron Rodgers will love. He’s 6-foot-7 and 248 pounds. And what the Packers coaching staff gushes about is how well Bennett can separate and get downfield as evidenced by his 10 catches of 20 yards or more. Just to put that in perspective, Cook had six such catches last season. And Tom Brady made a habit of exploiting defenses last year by using the back shoulder throw with Bennett — something that Rodgers has perfected with Jordy Nelson.

All of those things are great to make the Packers’ offense even more lethal. But those don’t come close to Bennett’s most important qualities, and that’s his attitude and experience.

Bennett has been called goofy and a character. He isn’t afraid to say anything. He is, after all, the “Black Unicorn.” Even if you have the most buttoned-up organization it’s good to have someone that isn’t afraid to call anyone out and say what needs to be said. And just like Mike Daniels uses fire and brimstone to keep everyone focused, Bennett will put a smile on a teammates face just to keep him loose. That’s a good balance.

Secondly, his experience speaks for itself. Rob Gronkowski didn’t give New England substantial production after Week 10, yet Bennett solidified the middle and helped the Patriots claim another Super Bowl. Because he has been able to taste his first NFL title, he can be an excellent example. He knows what the Patriots had to overcome last year during the regular season and during the Super Bowl in order to finish on top. He isn’t going to let this team stop short of its full potential.

Is Bennett over the top? Sure. Is there a chance that he will say some cringe-worthy things? Most definitely.

But you’re willing to live with those things as long as he can contribute on the field and keep the temperature in the locker room nice and cool. The situation he’s walking into this year is very similar to what he saw last year. Another legendary quarterback followed by incredible expectations.

The Bennett acquisition couldn’t have been more perfect. He runs routes like a sure-handed wide receiver and is a solid blocker. And he really wants to be a solid teammate. If he didn’t, why would he walk through cow manure? He’s very self-deprecating, which only makes him easier to like.

The Packers can still have a goal of winning the Super Bowl, but now Bennett will design a road map that includes more fun.  

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (13)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

June 03, 2017 at 08:21 am

The more I read about this guy the more I appreciate Martellus Bennett the person. Not only is he great on the football field, he's equally great in the community with his work for underprivileged kids through his foundations. Pretty hard not to like a man like that. I have some much respect for athletes who use their fame and money to help others, especially kids.

On the field he gives the Packers the best TE they've had in years. TT did EXACTLY what needed to be done as soon as Cook wanted too much money, he went out and replaced him with someone better. Now he's the "captain of fun" for the Packers and I believe a perfect fit in GB.

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MissKathy's picture

June 03, 2017 at 03:14 pm

Could not agree more with your post. Well put.

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NickPerry's picture

June 04, 2017 at 06:09 am

Amazing someone would dislike a comment where helping underprivileged kids is a large part of the comment. I don't care if a comment I make is disliked, everybody has an opinion. But when ANY post mentions helping kids, wishing someone improved health, or just a very upbeat positive comment (See Above) it shouldn't have a single "dislike", at least IMO.

AL, PLEASE MAKE CHTV LIKE ALLGBP.COM. LET US SEE WHO DISLIKES AND LIKES THE COMMENTS.

I'd be willing to bet any amount of money whoever would dislike a comment like this, regardless of who posts it would NEVER do it if their name was attached.

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Jimmy Ryan's picture

June 04, 2017 at 11:27 am

They just look at who's commenting and not the actual comment. Don't let something like a dislike stop from making comments.

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dobber's picture

June 04, 2017 at 12:39 pm

I would argue against the names simply because it will deter many from "thumbs-down"-ing at all. I'd rather let people do what they will without having to worry too much about image or impressions of others. Most of us don't measure ourselves based on "ups" and "downs" anyway.

But it is a head-shaker sometimes.

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marpag1's picture

June 03, 2017 at 10:05 am

If "fun" means obliterating the backside pursuit on an outside zone play, or blasting through some scrawny CB en route to a first down reception, then I'm all in favor of Bennett being the Captain of Fun.

Otherwise, "I'm the Captain of Fun" is what very annoying people usually say in an effort to explain why they are very annoying.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

June 03, 2017 at 10:36 am

I am hoping the first game I forget the name Cook, I wanted Bennett two years ago. I can not imagine them going nothing but TE and WR should keep D on their toes maybe they will trip out there.

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croatpackfan's picture

June 05, 2017 at 03:10 am

We were both on the same ship, torpedoed by many here. But I knew it was mission impossible. Bears traded Marty to Patriots, not released him.
He is one of the best TE today, if not the best one...

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

June 03, 2017 at 03:16 pm

I would usually be inclined to characterize the statement, "The Bennett acquisition couldn’t have been more perfect.", as extreme hyperbole but I think it's only a slight exaggeration. It could have been "more perfect" had it happened a few years ago, but other than that…

I think Bennett brings precisely what the offense needs and teamed with Kendricks and the other weapons in the passing game, this offense should rival 2011's version with (I hope) better time of possession to help the defense. I expect the passing game to be so good it'll help the rushing attack which may need that help because of the downgrade at OG vs. a couple of seasons ago.

Another positive is we don't have to worry about whether Bennett will be a Packer next season. Signing him for three years at $21M was a stroke of genius.

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croatpackfan's picture

June 05, 2017 at 03:13 am

I think claiming that OL is downgraded is incorrect. Packers released 2 players more and more injury prone and replaced them with 2 capable players, Lane Taylor and several times probowler Evans... It is hard to say that OL is downgraded.

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Tundraboy's picture

June 03, 2017 at 10:39 pm

I see him as exactly the type of outspoken, hates to lose, and vocal about it, personality this team needs on the field each week. Of course he has to produce, but we again could use some of his swagger. We have a lot of quiet, professional, go about their business types which I respect and admire, but some added emotion is needed.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 04, 2017 at 01:07 am

Bennett produced his 10 receptions for 20+ yards in 868 snaps. Cook produced his 6 in 329 snaps. Doing the math, Cook should have produced 15.8 receptions if he had had the same number of snaps as Bennett. Different teams, surrounding talent, schemes all might be a factor.

Be that as it may, I do think Bennett is overall a considerably better TE than Cook. I expect Bennett to do well here.

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dobber's picture

June 04, 2017 at 07:55 am

I have a hunch that the bigger play TE of the two will be Kendricks. Bennett will get his share, but I think he's going to be more of the "moving the chains" guy of the two.

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