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Thursday, June 14, 2012
BBAO: Earl Bennett in the Eddie Royal role

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Chicago Bears' re-creation of the Denver Broncos' 2008 offense includes the quarterback (Jay Cutler), the primary receiver (Brandon Marshall) and one of the key assistant coaches (Jeremy Bates). But who will play the role of Eddie Royal, the slot receiver who caught 91 passes for the Broncos that season?

Here's an idea, courtesy Jeff Dickerson of Earl Bennett. In fact, Bennett has already reached out to Royal via phone and discussed the possibilities. Here's how Bennett recounted the conversation following a Bears minicamp practice this week:
"I picked his brain about this offense and the role of the slot guy and also playing outside. Both of us play the position pretty much the same way. We both have the same fundamentals, get in and out our routes the same way and have good body control. Eddie is probably a little quicker than I am but there are definitely similarities between the two of us. He's one of the guys I call and ask about the plays and he helps me out with that.' We watch tape and I see what Eddie did right and what Eddie did wrong in the offense when he played. I just want to come out, stay focused, make plays and learn from what he and Brandon Stokley did in this offense."

Bennett predicted the Bears could have "three or four" receivers exceed the 1,000-yard mark this season, an accomplishment that not even that 2008 Broncos offense achieved. But in the middle of June, at least, anything and everything seems possible. Why not?

Continuing around the NFC North: