To date, Thompson has signed three free agents, two of which were street free agents, meaning they were cut by their previous team (Lance Kendricks and Davon House). The single signing that has broken the mold for Thompson has been that of Martellus Bennett. The bruising tight end replaces the one-year wonder Jared Cook, who signed with the Raiders last week. The Bennett signing actually improves the tight end position (along with Kendricks, of course) while adding another dimension to the offense. Martellus and his brother Michael (a defensive end for the Seahawks) have been known for their outspoken nature and their tenacious, “just win, baby” (Al Davis, anyone?) mentality. If you need any proof of that, just take a look at this video. The man just wants to win, and that’s a welcomed attitude in Green Bay.
In truth, Bennett’s attitude is remarkably similar to that of Mike Daniels, the Packers’ best defensive lineman. Together, they will be driving forces behind the Packers this season. Daniels can fuel the defense while Bennett provides a spark (more like a kick in the ass) that the offense has needed badly. It’s routine to see Daniels picking a fight on the field. He’s not out there to make a friend, he’s out there to punch teams in the mouth and win a football game. He’s a man that would make Ron Swanson proud, he’s an old fashioned style of football player. For as much as the Green Bay defense has struggled in recent years, they would’ve been in even worse shape without Daniels and his infectious attitude. The man fights to win and refuses to quit. It’s an impact that is impossible to quantify but is absolutely vital to a defense.
In recent years (aka the past two) it has been increasingly common to see Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy spouting off on the sidelines. You can see their passion for the game radiating from them, but the offense needs a bit more. Martellus Bennett just became the offenses’ Mike Daniels. A fight-to-win player whose energy and passion will help fuel the team.
All of this being said, you may still be thinking, “so what?” Here’s the deal. The Packers have looked downright soft at times the past couple years. A defense that has struggled to stop a nose-bleed and an offense that has floundered when facing a smash-mouth defense. Martellus Bennett, along with being a pro-bowl caliber tight end, is anything but soft. Bennett and Daniels may not be captains, and they may not be the most politically correct off the field, but they help instill a drive to win that could prove large for the Packers.
Now, Green Bay still has several holes to fill prior to the 2017 season, but they may have managed to fill two with Bennett. Every team needs a few guys with a brawler’s mentality and an insatiable need for victory, Martellus and Mike are just that.