Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can Martellus Turn It Around This Year?

Last offseason had a lot of us believing that Martellus Bennett was the secret weapon in the Cowboys offensive attack. In the preseason it really looked like the Cowboys were going to have a role for him in the passing game. But in the early part of the season it became apparent that Martellus was not ready for an increased role in the passing game.

He seemed clueless when it came to pre-snap alignment on a ridiculously high number of his offensive snaps. There were incorrect routes run in games and even a few dropped passes. The worst thing that happened to Martellus was that he lost the confidence of his coaches and his quarterback. As the season wore on it became obvious that he was no longer a significant player in the passing game.

On the plus side for Martellus he did do an excellent job blocking in the running game. I have to give him credit for continuing to give a strong effort blocking while he was slowly phased out of the passing game. John Phillips started getting some looks in passing situations late in the season. Again, to the credit of Martellus, he didn't go crying to the media.

I'm not going to lie. I'm no fan of Martellus and his antics. I watched him act like a complete fool while the rest of the team was stretching and warming up for a training camp practice last season. He didn't seem very serious about his job. Having fun is one thing, but acting like an immature fool while the rest of the team is working is unacceptable. I was really hoping the Cowboys would trade him during the draft.

The only way things are going to change for Marty B is if he has a new attitude and a new level of maturity this offseason. He has all the natural physical tools to be not only a good player, but a great player. It all boils down to desire and maybe intelligence for Martellus. I don't want to insult his intelligence but when a guy can't even line up before the snap without his quarterback or a teammate telling him where to go it is embarrassing. His lack of preparation and focus is flat out unprofessional.

Either he hasn't cared enough to learn the offense or he doesn't have the mental capacity to learn it. In his second season he actually seemed to regress in his level of play and mental preparation. But the great thing about sports is that you have a chance to redefine yourself every season. If he comes out this season and plays well then all will be forgiven. We'll all talk about how he just needed time mature because he came into the league so young.

But if he goes through another season like last year I think we can come to the conclusion that he is what he is. I hope he turns the corner but I honestly believe the coaches should put their stock in John Phillips. I'm not saying Martellus shouldn't play. He still needs to be the #2 tight end because he is a big part of the running game. But John Phillips should be the second tight end option in the passing game until Martellus earns the right to get some passes. That would come from proving he knows the offense and is ready to take his job seriously.

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