Bears tight end Martellus Bennett has never had any compunction about publicly speaking his mind, and today’s beneficiary is Chicago magazine, which dropped a very entertaining profile of Bennett. In a wide-ranging interview conducted in May—when Bennett was holding out from OTA workouts in an attempt to get a richer contract—he speaks about everything from his relationship with his family, how passionate he is about animation, and of course football.
Bennett tells author Jeff Ruby that his plan is to retire sometime prior to 2020, and focus on animation. He’s currently working on an animation feature film and a children’s book series, and dreams of opening a Dinosaur-themed amusement park called Dinosaur Land. He’s already released a half-hour animated movie, and is creating a series based around the characters on his own after Cartoon Network turned down his pitch:
And then we get to the discussion of football, where Bennett doesn’t mince any words about how bad the Bears were last season, when they went 5-11. He says their problem wasn’t that they had bad players, but good players who didn’t try hard enough:
“We had lots of mellow guys,” says Bennett, who nonetheless set new career highs in receptions (90), yards (916), and touchdowns (six). “You didn’t see a lot of guys running to the pile, helping their teammates up, or having each other’s back. We weren’t a bad team. A bad team is a team that doesn’t have the talent to win. We did. We just sucked. Everybody sucked. Coaches, players, everybody.”
He also had some pretty interesting thoughts about quarterbacks, leadership, and Jay Cutler:
“Why does everyone always assume the quarterback is the leader?” Bennett asks. “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, ‘Fuck you, I’m gonna go work at McDonald’s.’ ”
So would Bennett work at Cutler Corp.? “There are veterans that people follow,” he says after a long pause, “and then you’ve got guys that lead the offense, get everyone lined up, get to your spot, do what you need to do, let’s do our plays.” Take that as you will.
There is a lot more in there, like an admission that he was banned from IHOP as a kid for stealing pancakes (how do you steal pancakes?) and a criticism of the Bears organization for relentlessly focusing on the 1985 Super Bowl winning team, at the expense of the current one. Check it out.