OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Martellus Bennett #80 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball after catching a pass over Chris Johnson #37 of the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 13, 2009 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
The much vocalized criticism of Martellus Bennett--of his maturity, of his work ethic, etc-- that followed him into his rookie year has greatly subsided a mere year after the Texas A&M product came on the scene in Dallas; not the slightest of reasons for this shift is that, for all his funny sound bytes and tongue-in-cheek interviews, it has become abundantly clear that Bennett takes football seriously, if nothing else.
Marty B recorded 20 catches in his rookie year, 4 for touchdowns; since then, he's emerged as a training camp star, with potential seemingly oozing from his ears.
What's scary, for opposing defenses, anyway, is that (a) Bennett is bigger than Jason Witten, (b) he is faster than Jason Witten, and (c) he is only getting better, entering his sophomore season in the NFL.
Bennett has taken it upon himself to learn under his veteran teammates in camp. His teammates, for their part, have willingly obliged the former Aggie, who has already shown freakish athleticism in his short time in the league.
After a Sunday practice, Bennett discussed his growth as a football player, and the steps he is taking in becoming a complete tight end.
"I just say, 'Hey D-Ware, hey can we work on such and such,'" Bennett said. "You know, all these guys are willing to help you out anytime. So it's from DeMarcus, if I say 'Romo, let's get some extra passes after practice,' I mean, they're all willing to work with you if you try to get better. So all the guys are helpful for me, I'm learning from every single guy on the team, actually."
Under DeMarcus Ware, arguably the best pass rusher in the game today, Bennett is attempting to master pass protection, an increasingly important facet of the game considering the presumably increased workload Bennett will see, alongside Witten, in 2009.
"I got a couple good tips [from Ware]," Bennett continued. "It's all about hand placement when you're setting back in pass protection, so I'm trying to be a good pass protector, run blocker and a receiver, trying to become the total package, and being with a guy like that on pass protection is the best guy you can go to."
No arguments here.