Communication key as Packers tight end Bennett acclimates to new team
GREEN BAY, Wis. — When it comes to the NBA, Martellus Bennett’s loyalty lies with the San Antonio Spurs.
As for his day job, the tight end is just getting used to his new team, the Green Bay Packers.
The acclimation process shouldn’t be difficult.
Bennett, who signed with the Packers as a free agent, makes it a point to make small talk with his new teammates. He exchanges text messages, including emojis, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“We just talk a lot, that’s pretty much it,” Bennett said during a light-hearted exchange with reporters at his Lambeau Field locker. “I tell him things like, `I like chocolate chip cookies, you know. What kind of cookies do you like?'”
This season could be as entertaining off the field as it could be on it in Green Bay with the new tight end. At one point, Bennett called himself “Captain of Fun.”
“I’m excited by the energy that he brings. I love the energy that he brings,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said Tuesday. “Then when you turn the tape on, you saw everything else as far as a guy that goes about doing it and playing the game the right way.”
Bennett went to high school in Katy, Texas, and played his college ball at Texas A&M. It’s no surprise that he wore a Spurs jersey sweatshirt after offseason workouts on Tuesday. The Spurs were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors from the NBA playoffs on Monday night.
When it comes to football, Bennett has a new outlook on the game after winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots last season.
“It took me 10 years to get there, but it’s like, `This is why I’ve been practicing. All those sprints. All those extra runs, those extra reps,” Bennett said. “This is why you do it.”
Now Bennett moves from a team that had Tom Brady at quarterback to one that has Rodgers, a two-time NFL MVP who led the Packers to the Super Bowl in the 2010 season.
The Packers spiced up their passing game by adding Bennett and fellow veteran tight end Lance Kendricks in the offseason, giving Rodgers a bevy of options to go with a deep receiving group headlined by Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams.
Bennett had 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns last season for New England. He has averaged 10.6 yards a catch in his first nine years in the league.
“He can do a lot of things. He can get down the field. He can make plays in the passing game. But he can really run-block as well,” Rodgers said.
But there’s plenty of time to figure out what kind of impact Bennett will have on the offense. For now, for Bennett, it’s just as much about getting to know the new guys and developing relationships in the locker room.
“Interesting young man. You talk about a football IQ is off the chart,” Edgar Bennett said. “He brings a unique perspective to a lot of different things.”