By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — When Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was asked about quarterback Jay Cutler being voted a team captain, what one thing immediately came to mind?
“Like Captain Phillips?” Bennett joked Thursday. “Because he’s a good captain.”
On Tuesday, the Bears held their vote for team captains, with Cutler earning the nod, along with Matt Forte, Pernell McPhee, Antrel Rolle and Robbie Gould — two on offense, two on defense, one on special teams.
Bennett thinks that Cutler will be a good captain, too, as he threw his support behind him.
“Jay’s a good captain,” Bennett said. “I think he’s the right guy to be voted for a captain. As far as a captain goes, I think he’s already done what captains do — leading, being the same guy every day. I think he’s a good captain.”
The comments from Bennett on Thursday came with a different tone than his interview with Chicago Magazine in August. When asked about Cutler’s leadership abilities then, Bennett offered a strong take.
“Why does everyone always assume the quarterback is the leader?” Bennett asked in the magazine. “Leading the offense and leading the team are two different things. Sometimes I like Cutty, and sometimes I don’t. When I think of a leader, I think, ‘If he started a company, would guys come to work for him?’ There’s a lot of guys on our team who, if they started a business, it’d be, ‘F— you, I’m gonna go work at McDonald’s.’ ”
In 2014, Bennett had his best year in the NFL, recording career-high marks with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns, most of which came with Cutler as quarterback.
The Bears now feature a new-look offense, led by Adam Gase, but two of the primary features will be Cutler at quarterback and Bennett playing tight end. Sunday brings Week 1 and the start of a new season, with Chicago hosting its rivals from Green Bay at Soldier Field.
Bennett is feeling a sense of optimism for the new beginning and believes in what Cutler can do.
“As long as we make it quarterback-friendly for him, he has all the abilities in the world,” Bennett said. “I love playing with him. I’m excited to go out there with him this season. I think we’re going to light it up.”
Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.