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How much will Martellus Bennett contribute?

Posted Jul 1, 2013

Larry discusses expectations for Martellus Bennett, whether receiver Marquess Wilson will contribute as a rookie and if Eric Weems will play on offense.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

We supposedly have a big talent at tight end right now. How much of a contributor can we expect Martellus Bennett to be?

From Carl M. on Twitter

I fully expect Martellus Bennett to be a major contributor this season both as a receiver and blocker. The Bears haven't had a talent at tight end like Bennett since Greg Olsen, and Bennett is bigger and a better blocker. Bennett struggled to accept a backup role with the Cowboys behind perennial Pro Bowler Jason Witten. But he has matured since he was a young player and he thrived last year with the Giants. Starting all 16 games for the first time in his career, Bennett established personal highs with 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns. With the Bears operating a West Coast offense that's designed to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly, I think Bennett could have an extremely productive season.

How have the rookie receivers looked and do you think Marquess Wilson will contribute this year?

From Mike on Twitter

With a receiving corps led by Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett, it seemingly will be difficult for any Bears rookie to earn playing time this season. With that being said, seventh-round pick Marquess Wilson does have potential as a playmaker after leaving Washington as the school's all-time leading receiver with 3,207 yards. Wilson likely would have been selected much higher in the draft had he not left his college team after accusing coach Mike Leach of abuse. I believe that Wilson needs to add some muscle to his slender frame to have a better chance of becoming a regular NFL receiver.

Will Eric Weems only be used on special teams this year or will we see him on offense as well?

From Rich on Twitter

I didn't mention Eric Weems in my answer to the previous question because he barely contributed on offense last season, catching only two passes for 27 yards. But I think there's a chance he could compete for playing time as a slot receiver. Being small, quick and explosive, Weems seems to possess the traits to excel at the position and he got some reps during the offseason program. But only time will tell. We'll have to wait to see how much he's utilized in training camp and the preseason, and even then we won't know for sure until the regular season begins.

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