LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett laughed off the suggestion that he should be concerned about being targeted zero times in the team's passing attack over the first two weeks of preseason action.
"In the preseason those catches don't get you any extra checks," Bennett said with a smile. "In the regular season those catches do. We'll take it up a notch. We're not even showing our full hand right now. It's a poker game right now. We have the advantage not showing our hand so nobody knows what our offense is. We are just running basic plays."
Bennett proved during his one season with the New York Giants that he can be a reliable target; he had 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns. That 2012 success convinced the Bears to sign Bennett in free agency to a four-year, $20.4 million contract, a move that was necessary after the club struggled to get adequate production and consistency from its No. 1 tight end last season.
The Bears' first-team offense has run approximately 30 plays in the preseason, hardly a large enough sample size to panic over Bennett not getting the football thrown his way. But when the regular season rolls around, Bennett promises that quarterback Jay Cutler will know when he's open down the field.
"He sees me; I'm 6-foot-7, a big black guy running down the middle of the field. He sees me," Bennett said. "I wear white gloves so he can see the white gloves when I wave them like Mickey Mouse. I clap when I'm open. So I do enough to let him know that I'm open when I have to tell him.
"Even when I'm not open I tell him I was open."