Former New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett cashed in on winning the Super Bowl by signing a nice deal with the Green Bay Packers. He recently joined the NFL Network to share his rankings of quarterbacks that he’s played with. He gives mentions to former Cowboys QB Tony Romo and Giants QB Eli Manning, but ranks former Bears QB Jay Cutler in third place.
That’s an interesting discussion since they’re all his former quarterbacks.
What isn’t interesting to me is that he ranked Patriots QB Tom Brady second and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers first. I’m not sure what people expected; he’s playing with Rodgers now, of course he’s going to put Rodgers first. It’d be weird if he didn’t.
Instead, I think it’s more valuable to look at how Bennett described both Brady and Rodgers because it reveals the differences in their playing styles.
"With playing with Tom, it was a lot of coaching -- like little things," Bennett said. "Like the way he wanted you to get your head around quicker because he wants to get the ball out of his hands a little bit faster. So usually if I'm running a deep over route and I'm catching it 17 yards on the number on the other side, with Tom, he might throw it in between the 'backers. So if there's a little opening, he's ready to let it go right there. Just trying to see the game how he sees the game.
"And with Aaron, his ball is a little bit different. He's a little more athletic, and he can whip things a little bit different, you know. So he doesn't have to set his feet all the way to throw the ball 80 yards or anything like that. But me and him, it's all the same thing. Like, my body language is totally different for him."
"Tom is arguably the greatest to ever play the game,” Bennett continued. “A great teacher, a great teammate, great person," Bennett said. "But I just learned a lot about football just from him. He taught me so much more. I'm a way better player this year than last year after leaving the Patriots. I thought I grew as a player a lot just learning how to play and being in a role."
So to summarize, Brady wants to get rid of the ball quickly to move down the field and operates the offense on a tight schedule so if he sees a window open down the field, the receiver had better see the same opening. It’s a tightly constricted and well-oiled offense.
It seems like the Packers offense relies more on Rodgers’s athleticism as the quarterback can buy time for plays to develop down the field and he doesn’t have to set up his throwing motion in any consistent fashion before throwing the ball. It’s more of a backyard style of play.
Both can clearly work and both quarterbacks are well suited for their respective styles of offense- and the offenses are clearly developed with their skills in mind.
Bennett was a fantastic tight end for the Patriots in 2016 and did everything that the team asked of him. It will be fun to watch him produce with another great quarterback for a team that the Patriots can’t face unless it’s in the Super Bowl.