BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Martellus Bennett returned on Sunday from nearly a week on suspension and a fine stemming from an incident last Monday when he slammed rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller to the ground after a play in practice. The Bears tight end met with team officials after that, has talked with coach Marc Trestman repeatedly over the past week, and comes back with some lessons learned, on the field and perhaps off it as well.
“I think I could have handled the situation differently,” Bennett said, specifically, “any way differently than what I did.”
Whether he was speaking of his dust-up with Fuller or if there were issues with how he took any reprimand from coaches or management wasn’t apparent. Regardless, when practice opens at 3 p.m. in Sunday, Bennett will have made some changes.
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“Now I understand how they want me to practice,” Bennett said. “I’ve always been a guy who practiced hard. I understand what they want me from me and just do it the way they want it to be done.
“I think everything in life is about learning lessons. Whatever situation you’re going on through life, you always learn from it, whether it’s good or bad, whatever it may be, there’s always a lesson or a moral to the story.”
Bennett’s absence from last Friday’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles provided more playing time for other tight ends on the depth chart and they made something of the opportunities. The group combined for 10 receptions and 112 yards, with two touchdowns.
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Zach Miller led all receivers with six catches, two for touchdowns, and he netted 68 yards. Dante Rosario caught two passes amd Jeron Mastrud caught two.
“Zach was out there ‘balling,’” Bennett said. “He had some YAC [yards after catch]. Dante caught a big ball across the middle. Everybody caught a pass except for [Matthew] Mulligan, so I saw Mulligan today and I was like, ‘You’re the only one who didn’t catch a pass besides myself.’
“I thought they played exceptionally well. I think we had over 100 yards as a tight end group. To see all those guys get a chance to go out there and do what we’ve been working on together and having them perform at a high level, I was super excited for them. I thought they played well and I was extremely happy about that.”