New Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett led all NFL tight ends with 90 receptions in 2014, breaking Mike Ditka’s 50-year-old Chicago Bears franchise record. However, the Bears went 5-11 that season, and Bennett has some choice words about why.
“We just lacked leadership,” Bennett said during ESPN’s E:60 story, The Brothers Bennett, that aired Wednesday night. “They had leaders that looked like the way they wanted leaders to look. You can’t appoint leaders, because some people that you want to be a leader is not the guy that’s the leader and everyone in the locker room knows that this is not the leader. But this is what you want the face of the team to look like.”
Bennett was specifically asked if Chicago quarterback and captain Jay Cutler was a leader.
“He was to the coaches who said he was a leader and the captain,” he responded. “I voted for myself, so I don’t know who voted from him.”
That 2014 season got off to a rough start for Bennett. Before he was named to the Pro Bowl, Bennett was suspended for 6 days by the organization after scuffling with the Bears’ 2014 first round pick, cornerback Kyle Fuller, in practice.
“Kyle grabbed me by my face mask and he tried to hurt my neck or whatever. So, I got up, I calmly walked to him, I picked him up by his neck and I slammed him and I told him, ‘I could be punching you right now but I don’t want to. And then I let him go. And that was it,” Bennett said.
“And then Brandon Marshall was talking to me and he was like, ‘We need him!’ And I was like, ‘You need me to! He could’ve broke my neck!’ And then Brandon was like, ‘Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.’ And then I was like, ‘Brandon, do you wanna talk, or do you wanna fight?’ And then he was like, ‘I’m a 6-time Pro Bowler.’ And I said, ‘Brandon, 6-time Pro Bowlers can get knocked out, too.”
While Bennett was suspended, top Bears executives reached him by phone.
“I said, ‘He could’ve broke my neck. And then what would’ve happened?’ And he said, ‘Well your neck would just been broken.’ I said ‘F*** you.’ And I hung up the phone. How you expect me to react? At some point, I gotta set the tone,” Bennett said.
“I grew up fighting. That’s the difference between me and a lot of mother******* on the team: I fight to win. You got a bunch of bitches on the roster. They don’t fight to win, they just want to push and shove.
“You can’t win with that. You don’t need linebackers that use forks and knives, you want linebackers that eat with they hands. You know what I’m saying? I don’t want mother******* that worry about how their shoes look. Come out and play. We just had a bunch of bitches on the roster. That’s why we didn’t win games. And coaches like the bitches.”
Chicago traded Bennett to New England on March 16.