BOURBONNAIS – The rains came Friday morning, forcing the Bears to bump their usual 9 a.m. practice back into the late afternoon. It was the hotter part of the day and it showed up in the form of the first fights of training camp.
Tight end Martellus Bennett took offense at what he believed was tackling, something not allowed in practice, by cornerback Kelvin Hayden. In the course of tumbling over each other at the end of the play, Bennett was caught on film taking what appeared to be a punch at Hayden.
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“I am actually a mean person,” said the normally affable Bennett, adding that he didn’t punch or take a swing at anyone. “I know you all think I joke around and [stuff] but I am not. I am very aggressive. [If] they are aggressive with me, I am aggressive with them. You come hard at me, I come hard at you all day. I mean, I don’t back down for anything, anyone.”
Several plays later, safety Anthony Walters delivered a hard blow to rookie wide receiver Marquess Wilson. Coach Marc Trestman then stopped practice and called the team together. Bennett, however, walked off to the side by himself.
Trestman’s admonitions didn’t take. Bennett then mixed it up with safety Major Wright, who had to be pulled away from the scrum by cornerback Charles Tillman, with safeties Chris Conte and Craig Steltz getting involved on Wright’s side.
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“It gets everybody riled up,” Wright said. “It gets everybody going. Even if you were not having a good day, that kind of gets you going. It was a good day. Overall, today was a good day other than that little scuffle we got into. But that happens for teams. We’ll move on and get better.”
Bennet has had a strong camp and he addressed the team afterwards to clear any bad air lingering.
“The guys kept their composure and moved on,” Trestman said. “That’s what we would expect. It’s going to happen in a game where somebody’s going to lose their mind.
“When one guy does, it’s not who he is, he just lost his composure for a minute. The team’s got to bring him along and I thought the team did a very good job of pushing through practice and not lowering the effort, but actually the effort was raised and we finished with a very clean practice.”