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CHICAGO (CBS) Earl Bennett had the best hands among NFL receivers in 2010 and now Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz is looking to expand the fourth-year wide receiver’s role in the team’s offense.
According to a study by Pro Football Focus, Bennett and Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver Jordan Shipley were the only receivers in 2010 to catch at least 50 passes without a single drop. That study is mentioned in a ChicagoBears.com story that also includes a proclamation from Martz saying Bennett will receive more opportunities in 2011.
“We didn’t throw it to him enough,” Martz told the website. “That will be remedied. He will figure in a much larger role than he did last year. He came to us late. He was injured. I wasn’t really sure where he was with all the stuff. But he established himself as a guy who needs to get a lot more balls than he did.”
Bennett has always been a reliable option for Jay Cutler, but injuries and other issues have limited his playing time. The two were college teammates at Vanderbilt and Cutler’s preference for Bennett has been well documented.
“He’s extremely reliable,” Martz said. “I know Jay feels comfortable with him in the slot doing some of those things, but he should be able to play outside for us as well.”