By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Martellus Bennett isn’t really concerned about the success Jimmy Graham is having in New Orleans.
“I don’t give a s***,” Bennett said Thursday.
But they play the same position.
“So, a lot of guys play my position,” Bennett said. “I think he does a phenomenal job for the Saints but I’m not in competition with him. We have different roles on our team. He’s the No. 1 target over there and I have different job from him. We’re different athletes.”
Bennett wasn’t being disrespectful to Graham. He was just being honest.
“I think a lot of times people try to compare us but we do a lot of things differently,” the tight end continued. “He does a good job going up for the jump ball and making plays for them. He’s the No. 1 choice over there. I’m a team guy. Whatever I’ve got to do, if I have to block a little bit more, whatever it is, I’ll do that.”
Indeed, Bennett’s role is different in Chicago. He is more of a traditional tight end that has a lot of blocking responsibilities, but still can make a big catch when needed. Graham’s No. 1 job in New Orleans is to get open and make big plays.
So excuse Marshall if he doesn’t aspire to be Jimmy Graham.
“Everybody impacts differently,” Bennett said. “I don’t compare myself to him. I don’t care what he does for his team. My role on my team, I make a different impact on this team. I have a different job. Everybody’s job is different. I don’t care if I catch 10 balls or two balls. As long as I make an impact, in the run game or whether it’s helping out in pass protection, whatever it may be, you can make an impact.”
But it wouldn’t be a full Martellus Bennett explanation without a comparison to something outside of football.
“Just like everything else in life, everybody makes an impact doing different things. Some of us make charitable donations, other people donate their time. There’s no wrong way to make an impact. There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.”
Kromer Pitches In
Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer spent the last five seasons on the Saints’ offensive coaching staff, so he knows a little bit about how teams have tried to stop tight end Jimmy Graham.
“Teams have doubled Jimmy Graham in the past and Drew (Brees) will throw it to somebody else,” Kromer said Thursday. “So I think you have to play your defense, your style of defense the way you play it. And I’m not a defensive coach so I’m not here to stand and tell you how our defense is going to play but I think you do what you do and try to get to Drew as best you can.”
So what is the best antidote to stop Graham?
“The best antidote would be our offense staying on the field,” Kromer said. “That would be the best.”
– Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (foot), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe), cornerback Charles Tillman (groin/knee) and safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) all missed their second straight day of practice. Bears head coach Marc Trestman referred to all of them as “day-to-day” and there’s still optimism they will all play Sunday.
Meanwhile, linebacker D.J. Williams also missed practice with an illness and cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad) was limited again Thursday. Tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and defensive end Julius Peppers (chest) were full participants.
– For the Saints, running back Mark Ingram (toe), defensive end Tyrunn Walker (knee), safety Roman Harper (knee) and wide receiver Lance Moore (hand) all missed practice.
Defensive end Brodrick Bunkley (calf), cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) and defensive end Tom Johnson (hamstring) were limited.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.