Chicago Bears Training Camp Preview: Tight Ends

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Camp Battle to Watch

Dec 8, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Matthew Mulligan (88) tries to jump over Cleveland Browns defensive back

Joe Haden

(23) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Backup TE

It’s going to be a free-for-all for the second tight end spot.  Martellus Bennett is the clear cut starter and should get just enough reps to stay fresh.  Behind him, the Bears need a good blocker, but also someone who could be a threat to catch a couple of passes.  Heading into this post, I had Mulligan as the front runner for the #2 tight end spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeron Mastrud made some noise.  Dante Rosario will have to work to get another invitation back.

There’s also a possibility that the backup tight end isn’t on the roster yet.  Phil Emery has been known to tinker right down to the 11th hour.

Camp Question

If something were to happen to Bennett, who would step in to fill the tight end role in the Bears’ passing attack?  From where I’m sitting, they don’t have anyone on their roster to fill the pass catching TE role besides Bennett.  Fendi Onobun was supposed to be that threat to challenge the seam, but there was one small problem: he is a pass-catching tight end who can’t catch.

Roster Projection

Bennett, Mulligan

Bennett is a lock.  The preseason will be particularly important to figure out his #2.  I think the Bears might only keep two tight ends because they will most likely keep fullback Tony Fiammetta, a spot that had previous gone to an H-back on other rosters.  In my opinion, whoever blocks the best will get the last spot.

Final Word

Martellus Bennett is just starting to realize his potential and his arrow is pointing up.  He will be expected to have another big season.