Martellus Bennett ready to be Packers' ‘captain of fun’
GREEN BAY - Three questions into his media scrum Tuesday, Martellus Bennett had no problem succinctly expressing what he brings to the Green Bay Packers' locker room.
“I feel like I may not be a team captain,” Bennett said, “but I am the captain of fun.”
No, Bennett isn’t a team leader yet, though quarterback Aaron Rodgers foreshadowed Tuesday the Packers' new tight end might find himself in that role sooner rather than later. What Bennett brings in the present is an unduplicated dimension to the Packers' locker room.
In a word, fun.
“Marty has a good personality that you like,” tight ends coach Brian Angelichio said. “I mean, he brings energy, which is all positive. Marty has been successful in this league, so any time you have a chance to get a player like that, you’re excited.”
On the field, it’s easy to see what Bennett could bring the Packers. Even without pads during organized team activities, his size and athleticism stand out. During one team rep, Bennett got lost in coverage on the right side of the field as Rodgers rolled left. When Rodgers threw across the field, Bennett’s ability to run in the open field was obvious.
Bennett’s transition to the locker room might be even more interesting to track.
Teammates are only now beginning to see for themselves as the Packers embark on OTAs, the final portion of their offseason. Bennett isn’t known for fitting into his environment, usually standing out with that big personality.
But he spoke of acclimating himself to a new culture, something he has done four times in his career with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and New England Patriots.
“It varies with every team,” Bennett said.
With the Patriots last season, Bennett said he didn’t drive anywhere during training camp. Instead, he “hitchhiked” a 15-minute ride to the practice field with a different teammate each day, getting to know each person away from the field.
In Green Bay, Bennett said the ice-breakers already have begun. He sits at a different table every morning for breakfast, and another table each afternoon for lunch, getting to know as many Packers teammates as he can. He even has stepped outside his normal routine.
“We’ve got some guys that get in the sauna,” Bennett said. “I’m not a huge sauna guy, but I get in there and we freestyle and we rap, and we have great conversations in there. So it’s just each group is a little bit different. It’s just figuring out each guy, and trying to infuse myself into those situations with them, whether it’s talking books with some guys or talking girls with other guys, giving advice on women to other guys. Whatever it may be, there’s enough (to talk about).
“I’ve been fortunate. I’m not the smartest guy in the world but I know a little bit about a lot. I don’t know a lot about anything so I do pretty well around.”