Scouting Report: Michael Bennett

The Chargers picked up veteran RB Michael Bennett on Wednesday. For an insider scouting report, we check in with Tim Yotter of VikingUpdate.com. Yotter followed Bennett during his stint with the Vikings, from his Pro Bowl season in 2002 to his final year in Purple & Gold in 2005, and has the inside scoop on what Bennett brings to the table.

Michael Bennett is an accomplished runner. During his eight years in the NFL, split between the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bennett has piled up 3,627 rushing yards, 1,220 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Known best for his world-class speed, Bennett should bring a big-play element to San Diego. His career rushing average of 4.4 yards is a full half-yard better than the Chargers' team rushing average this season.

But, as a midseason pickup, can Bennett really make much of an impact? To find out, we check in with Tim Yotter of VikingUpdate.com. Here's Yotter's take on the Chargers' latest acquisition:
During his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Michael Bennett had one breakout season after following up Robert Smith upon his retirement. While the Vikings drafted him for his speed, with Dennis Green calling him a godsend to "fall" to the Vikings, he never really fully displayed that speed.

Once he got into the open field, Bennett probably was faster than most on the field, but that didn't happen often enough, despite the Vikings' passing game being the centerpiece of attention for defenses. It seem at the beginning of his career he tried too hard to beat defenses to the edge, which worked in college but not in the NFL, where defensive players are faster.

Bennett also got a bit of a "soft" label in Minnesota. He was serviceable when healthy but never really did live up to first-round status and certainly never lived up to the billing the Vikings put on him as far as his speed, at least in how that translated on the football field.
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