INDIANAPOLIS—Earl Bennett has talked about being excited to dive into the new playbook belonging to offensive coordinator Mike Martz, but the Chicago Bears wide receiver might need a little bit of time to put what he finds inside the thick binder to use on the field.
Bennett recently underwent minor knee surgery, according to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, and could miss a portion of the offseason program. The Bears are scheduled to begin in a month. A source described the procedure as a “minor cleanup” and said Bennett will be fine.
Getting quarterback Jay Cutler up to speed with the new offense, and getting him in rhythm with his receivers, something that was an issue at times last season, is paramount to the team’s success. Bennett and Cutler have a comfort level, though, having played together previously at Vanderbilt.
Bennett started this past season but changes could be in the works. Martz has said he would like to see Devin Hester moved inside to the slot like he used to use Az-Zahir Hakim in St. Louis. Some believe Martz will find Hester has more skills to him. If Hester goes inside, it would presumably leave Bennett with Johnny Knox and Devin Aromashodu to compete for two starting jobs on the outside.
“With our offense, we’re going to do a little bit, a lot of shifts, motions and things like that,” coach Lovie Smith said. “It’s just important that the guys, first off, be here. I know they are all excited. How could you not be excited if you are a wide receiver with the type of offense we’re going to run and that’s been the case with all of the guys. They can’t wait to get started and we can’t wait to work with them.
“Even though we’re young, I really feel like that may be the deepest position on our ballclub and they’ll just take off. Even a guy like Juaquin Iglesias that didn’t get a chance to play this last year. I saw a lot of good things that he did during practice going against our one defense last year.”
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