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PHOENIX – Martellus Bennett’s athleticism will help open up the middle of the field, but a former teammate believes his receiving ability isn’t the attribute that will most help the Green Bay Packers' offense.

Brandon Marshall, the New York Giants receiver who spent three seasons with Bennett in Chicago, said the Packers' new tight end will be a challenging matchup for his blocking as well as his receiving.

“He doesn’t give up tendencies,” Marshall said, “because he can block. He’s probably the best blocking tight end in the business. So that’s a plus. I would think he’s actually better at that than at being a receiving tight end, and we all know how special he is as a pass catcher.

“Aaron Rodgers has an exotic car, and pull him out and do whatever you want with him, and he’ll be ready.”

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The Packers signed Bennett as an unrestricted free agent after he won a Super Bowl last season with the New England Patriots. It was the first time in five years general manager Ted Thompson signed an unrestricted free agent, a player who will count against the Packers' compensatory draft pick formula.

Marshall said Bennett was “a great addition” for the Packers. On the field, he combines speed with a 6-foot-6, 275-pound frame to present a big receiving target. Bennett had 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns last season, helping fill in after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was lost for the season because of injury.

But Marshall said Bennett’s big personality also would be a welcomed addition.

“He strives for excellence every single day,” Marshall said. “Whether it’s in the weight room, on the field, and also he keeps things light. He breaks up the monotony of our game. We’re around each other 24/7, it seems like. We see each other more than our families. He’s a guy who always keeps the room mellow, he always keeps it fun and light. It’s a great addition.”

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