The Return of Earl Bennett: What it Means for the Bears

The Return of Earl Bennett: What it Means for the Bears
Bennett had four receptions for 56 yards & two TDs against the Eagles in 2010

After getting injured in Week-2 against the New Orleans Saints, Earl Bennett finally returns to action this Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

And for those of you who might be saying, "Big deal. How much can he really help?” Bennett does so much more for this offense than you might think. And he surely comes back at the best possible time against a great Philly secondary.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind, that Bennett is Jay Cutler’s favorite target. He provides a consistent target for Jay, something he’s desperately lacking.

No receiver on the roster understands and recognizes when Jay is under pressure and to quickly be ready for a hot read quite like Earl. He provides great awareness, route running and catching ability that is second to none on the Bears roster.

He's become a bit of a crash test dummy for Jay, going over the middle and getting crushed in return. But regardless, he’s the guy that will help this offense convert third downs. Defenses will be keying in on Bennett when third down comes along. Just like Bill Belichick did last year when playing the Bears. They took Bennett away on third down and made everyone else have to step up.

The Bears are 4-0 when Bennett scores a touchdown. So say what you want to about it not being a big deal that he is back, but he is a factor when on the field. Roy Williams called Bennett the Bears best receiver, and he’s exactly right.

So this brings the coaching staff to making a decision on which receiver is the odd man out. Sanzenbacher has filled Bennett’s place decently, but doesn't have the catching ability that Earl provides. Dane has dropped a few passes that were gimme's.

It comes down to either Knox or Sanzenbacher. Knox has been a non-factor since his demotion in favor of Roy Williams. But Sanzenbacher provides nothing that Earl doesn't do better. Dane is probably the odd man out.

However, Cutler might feel more comfortable having two dependable targets out there, rather than a deep threat in Knox who doesn't run proper routes and doesn't always make the big catch. We’ll see.

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Tags: Earl Bennett

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