Earl Bennett Needs Better Study Habits

Bears WR admits to not knowing playbook last season

Last season one of the biggest problems the Chicago Bears had as an offense was finding a wide receiver. It's because of this why so many fans have been clamoring for the team to go after Anquan Boldin or draft Darrius Heyward-Bey in the first round of the NFL draft this spring.  Of course the Bears did draft a wide receiver in last year's draft, and he turned out to be one of the biggest mysteries of the season.

Jerry Angelo took Earl Bennett out of Vanderbilt in the third round, yet fans were baffled all season while wondering why the SEC's all time leader in receptions never saw any action on the field.  He couldn't have been any worse than Rashied Davis or a rapidly aging Marty Booker could he? 

Well, Bennett let the cat out of the bag on Wednesday.  The reason he never got any playing time?  Well, you kind of have to know the plays to run them.

"I struggled [learning] the plays last year," Bennett admitted. "I was lethargic because of it. It probably took me until Week 6, Week 7 to pick them up.  Toward the end, I started grasping the concepts. Once you put things aside and just play, you can play a lot faster."

Other things that Bennett forgot last season that kept him from seeing the field?  In Week 4 he left his helmet at the laundromat, and then there was that Week 15 game in which he forgot where the Bears played.

What we don't understand is how somebody who went to a fine school like Vanderbilt -- it's the Harvard of Tennessee -- would have such trouble learning the Bears playbook.  Especially when anybody who has watched the Bears knows that there can only be five, six plays tops in there.

There's run up the middle, run right, run left, the five yard hitch route to the tight end, the one where Devin Hester runs the fly route and Kyle Orton overthrows him, and punt.  That's it.  It took Earl seven weeks to figure that out?

Along with writing for NBCCHICAGO.com, Tom Fornelli can also be found contributing at FanHouse, SPORTSbyBROOKS, and his own Chicago sports blog Foul Balls

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