From his rap about having “Jerry Jone (sic) money, iPhone money” his rookie year to hosting the controversial “Black Olympics” thing with his cousin, Marty B is a prime product of the irreverent-but-always-connected Generation Y. (Or is it Generation Z? I don’t know. I can never keep up.)
You know the generation I am talking about. They crave constant attention. They think the world is one big video game and even if you get blown to Hell, you still have seven more lives anyways. They upload videos from their iPhone, “sext” during Math class, think the Simpsons are real (and old school), are so over Facebook and MySpace, Tweet their every movement (even the bowel variety), and refuse to leave home.
At 6’7″, 248 pounds, Martellus Bennett is a physical specimen to be admired. A sculptor could not carve a more Greek godlike physique. He was considered a steal when the Cowboys took him in the second round of the 2008 draft.
The marvelous stat site, pro-football-reference.com, on their page dedicated to the Cowboys’ backup Tight End, has this to say about him: “Marty B stormed onto the scene in 2008 with the Dallas Cowboys as a second round draft pick. Look for him to have a breakout season in 2009 as he combines with Jason Witten to form the best TE duo in the NFL. Together they are known as ‘Beans and Rice’!”
Most Cowboys beat writers and national observers anticipated Marty B having a breakout season in 2009. He would give the Cowboys a dimension no one else had. They would be able to go into a two-tight end set, and you wouldn’t know if it was going to be a power running play or a pass play. With his speed and size, you could split him out wide and defensive coordinators would not know whether to put a small-but-quick cornerback on him or a big, slow-footed linebacker. Match-up problems would abound.
Those predictions never materialized. After a solid rookie season, Marty B had a subpar, disappointing Sophomore year. He caught 15 passes for 159 yards and not a single touchdown. The team had to be disappointed in his lack of production, but no one said so during the season
Then came Jerry Jones’s final news conference of the season, his statement of the team going forward. He was asked whether Martellus Bennett might show the kind of improvement next year that linebacker Anthony Spencer showed this year…
“There’s a big difference in the ‘down to business’ of those two guys,” Jerry answered. “Spencer has been down to business since he walked in the door. Bennett can get down to business. I know that he can. …We all see what a tremendous weapon he is and can be. His blocking is really as impressive as his ability to be a big target for [Tony] Romo.
“I’m confident he sees that. He’s extremely smart. He can get it; I think focus would be the word. He will get a lot more tweets if he’s a big-time ballplayer than he will just off of his creative ability.”
Pardon me for having a flashback to my years as a middle school teacher, but that sounded like the same sort of speech I gave at least a hundred kids during that four year span. It sounded like the sort of things I would tell parents during parent-teacher conferences.
Me: “Your child is extremely bright, but I just cannot get him to focus.”
Them: “We don’t know what else to do. He won’t focus at home either. He can’t sit still. We tried Ritalin, but that just puts him in a comatose state.”
Jerry sounds like a frustrated teacher or parent trying to deal with an ADHD kid. He sees a world of physical and mental potential trapped in a flighty, adolescent, social networking junkie persona.
The fact that Jones would call him out by name is certainly a warning shot across Jupiter Crunch’s Twitter page. I do not think Jerry minds Martellus having “Jerry Jone (sic) money, iPhone money.” He just won’t let him steal it.
With the emergence of third Tight End John Phillips, a sixth round pick who made a handful of key catches and at least as many key blocks in 2009, Marty B may find himself a tradable commodity if he cannot convince Jones that becoming an impact football player in the NFL is at least as important to him as making his next hilarious YouTube video or really kick-ass Tweet.