GREEN BAY - When the Green Bay Packers returned to the locker room Thursday after their first practice of the 2017 season, a crowd of reporters filled the floor space that once functioned as tight end Martellus Bennett’s bed.
Bennett, the team’s splashy free-agent signing, arrived in Green Bay late Tuesday evening after driving up from his home in Chicago. The rest of his teammates already had checked into their dorm rooms at St. Norbert College, and Bennett quickly realized he was locked out.
So Bennett drove to Lambeau Field, entered the facility through the players’ parking lot and curled up in the locker room to try to get some sleep — but not before posting on Instagram and wondering if the stadium had ghosts.
“It’s kind of weird sleeping in a corporate environment, you never get too comfortable,” Bennett said Thursday after donning a cheesehead for his session with reporters. “I like to Winnie the Pooh it, which is just sleep in like a hoodie, and nothing else like Winnie the Pooh, but I can’t do that here because if I Winnie the Pooh’d it here in my locker, it’s just weird. So I couldn’t get too comfortable to get too much sleep.”
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Asked about the cheesehead, Bennett said, "“I usually like the metaphorical cheese that goes in my pocket, but the cheese that goes on my head works as well. ... I’ve had this for a while. Sometimes I wear it around the building just to let the guys know that I’m part of the culture. I like it, though.”
As for any Lambeau Field ghosts, Bennett said there weren’t too many around. But he believes there are ghosts everywhere, and Lambeau Field is no exception.
“And skeletons,” he added, “mostly in everyone’s closets.”
But any encounters of the third kind were tolerated willingly. After all, the reason Bennett arrived late was because he wanted to tuck his daughter into bed before leaving the house.
“He loves driving home from Chicago or waking up at 3:30 and driving for workouts and OTAs,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “ … The thing I respect a ton about Marty is he always says he's a father first. He loves being there for Jett, putting her to bed, and he doesn't mind driving nights. But the thing about Marty that we're learning and I think you guys will all learn (is) he's always prepared. I mean he's ready to go, if he's gone three hours of sleep, up all night drawing pictures, watching Nickelodeon, or if he's gotten seven-eight hours of sleep. I'm not worried about Marty or his preparation at all.”
One night on the floor shouldn’t be much of an issue.