- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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Asked if Graham was a pretty good player, Bennett deadpanned: “I don’t give a [expletive].”
Graham was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month on Thursday, marking the first time a tight end had received such an honor in either conference since 1986 when the NFL started the award. Graham hauled in 27 passes for 458 yards and six touchdowns in his team’s first four games, and according to ESPN Stats & Information is one TD away from tying the league record for touchdown catches by a tight end over a team’s first five games.
Antonio Gates (2010) and Mike Ditka (1963) currently share that record.
“A lot of guys play my position. I think (Graham) does a phenomenal job for the Saints, but I’m not in competition with him,” Bennett said. “We have different roles on our team. He’s the No. 1 target over there and I have different job from him. We’re different athletes. I think a lot of times people try to compare us but we do a lot of things differently. He does a good job going up for the jump ball, and making plays for them. He’s the No. 1 choice over there. I’m a team guy. Whatever I’ve got to do, if I have to block a little bit more, whatever it is, I’ll do that.”
Bennett appears to assume more responsibilities as a blocker in Chicago’s system than Graham in the scheme of the Saints, but the Bears have definitely incorporated him heavily in the passing game. Bennett is currently tied for fourth in the NFL among tight ends for touchdown receptions (3), tied for sixth in receptions (20) and eighth among players at his position with 225 receiving yards.
Bennett led the Bears with eight receptions last week in the loss to the Lions, and gained 90 yards.
“Everybody impacts differently. I don’t compare myself to (Graham). I don’t care what he does for his team. My role on my team, I make a different impact on this team. I have a different job,” Bennett said. “I don’t care if I catch 10 balls or two balls. As long as I make an impact, in the run game or whether it’s helping out in pass protection, whatever it may be. Just like everything else in life. Everybody makes an impact doing different things. Some of us make charitable donations, other people donate their time. There’s no wrong way to make an impact. There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.”