Camp Q&A: WR Earl Bennett

Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are made to be the speedy receivers for the Chicago Bears, but it was Earl Bennett leading the offense in yards per catch. Bennett talked with JC before practice Wednesday.

John Crist: You didn't have any catches as a rookie, but then you came out and did pretty well in Year 2 with 54 catches for 717 yards and two touchdowns. So now, what's a reasonable expectation for you when it comes to making another leap from Year 2 to Year 3?

Earl Bennett: Just progress. I wouldn't say I set a certain amount of catches, a certain amount of yards. Just come out, be better and help the team out the best way I can.

JC: You were incredibly honest a season ago, saying you initially had trouble picking up the intricacies of an NFL playbook. But now with Mike Martz here, you've got to learn a new offense again. Are you more prepared for learning this scheme after learning Ron Turner's?

EB: Oh, yeah. Now, it's definitely different. I mean, great plays, great playbook – I stuck my head in it, and it's just stuck in it right now. So I'm doing a lot of learning and picking it up pretty quick.

JC: During the offseason program, guys like me are writing about how good Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Devin Aromashodu are performing. You, on the other hand, had to take care of your knee after getting it scoped. I know you needed to get healthy first, but there had to be some pressure to get back out there for fear of falling down the depth chart.

WR Earl Bennett
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

EB: Yeah, that's why. I've just got to come out and prove that my knee is healthy and that I'm capable of doing better than I did last year. So I just come out, make plays in practice and just let my play to the talking for me.

JC: Everyone talks about how fast and explosive Hester and Knox are, but you actually led this team in 2009 with 13.3 yards per reception. Do you ever get tired of being known as the possession guy?

EB: It's cool, man. I mean, critics are gonna say what they've gotta say. So I just come out and try to silence them and put up numbers and prove everybody wrong.

JC: When Tiger Woods got married a while back, a lot of people wondered if his priorities would change and if he would still have his killer instinct. That story didn't quite go where we expected. Anyway, you got married yourself this offseason. Is there any way that has an effect on how you play the game?

EB: I think it'll help a lot. My inner focus, having a wife back home and just knowing that she's behind me supporting me 100 [percent], it gives me the ease of mind. I'm not dating anymore. I don't have to go to those things. So, I mean, it's a lot more fun. I can relax. I know my home is safe with her, and I can just come out and play football.

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John Crist is the Publisher of, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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