Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson wouldn’t have signed tight end Martellus Bennett if he thought it would be a bad fit for his locker room. No one in the NFL is more conscious of that than Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy.
But that doesn’t mean coaching and playing with Bennett won’t require some special skills.
Take it from someone who coached him. Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase was Bennett’s offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears during the 2015 season and said via WBAY TV, Green Bay’s ABC affiliate on Tuesday at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix that Bennett will keep everyone around him on their toes.
“If people have an issue with it, it’s probably because Marty doesn’t have much of a filter,” Gase said. “He’s going to say what he wants to say, and if you get offended, he’s not really going to care. So you’ve just got to have thick skin.”
A day earlier, Thompson was asked about Bennett’s big personality being a distraction in what is typically a tame locker room. The long-time general manager called Bennett “a bit of a renaissance man, and I think that’ll be a good thing, a fun thing.”
No one has ever questioned Bennett’s passion for the game, and Gase echoed that.
“The challenges Marty always brought for me was he’s very intelligent, and he asks a lot of very good questions,” Gase said. “So he’s not going to let you get away with just, ‘Hey, run it this way.’ He’s going to ask you why. And sometimes as a coach, you want to move on to the next thing, but that’s really a good thing because it allows the other guys to think they can ask the same questions.
“I appreciated that about him that he wanted to know why he had to do something, or why we were doing it a certain way. And he always had suggestions or comments about certain concepts we would do. And as a coach, you just look at it as a way to get better and make your offense better.”