Titans WR Bennett Focused On Staying Healthy
For the past five seasons the Titans have had a consistent face at the wide receiver position.
Wide receiver Drew Bennett is entering his sixth season in the league and with the Titans, which makes him one of the players with the longest tenures on the squad entering training camp this preseason.
The Titans currently have ten players with two years of experience or less, meaning the majority of the receivers look to Bennett for leadership and direction. Bennett said the attitude that the young talent brings to practice each day doesn’t make the leading role very tough to take on.
“I think we have some good young guys and its real simple to be a leader when you have good young guys,” Bennett said. “They’re guys that want to work hard and get better and that makes it real easy.”
Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher said he likes how Bennett’s success could rub off on the Titans draft picks from the past two years.
“He has a good influence over the young receivers because he’s been there and done that,” Fisher said.
Bennett made the Titans roster in 2001 as an undrafted free agent and soon after became a great success story after signing a multi-year extension in 2004. Of all the receivers drafted in the ’01 NFL Draft, only six players have recorded more receiving yards than the former UCLA quarterback, which makes Bennett a great example for others in that same position to follow.
Bennett said the younger guys on the roster, along with the addition of veteran David Givens, will make for a good mix of talent as the season gets underway.
We’ve got some good free agents, guys that have been on winning teams,” Bennett said. “I think with the younger guys, the novelty of being in the NFL has kind of worn off and they want to win now. I think it’s a good combination. Guys are out here competing and fighting and it’s a good thing.”
Bennett was one of the unfortunate players that were sick with flu-like symptoms over the weekend. He sat out Monday’s evening’s practice but returned Tuesday afternoon to the field. Bennett said even though the virus is tough to handle, he won’t let it effect his practice time.
“It’s nasty,” Bennett said. “I don’t feel real good right now to be honest, but everyone has something. Either it’s a knee or a hip or an achy head or the stomach flu. Everybody’s got something out here so I just have to shut up and work.”
Bennett’s missed session on Sunday isn’t something that’s uncommon for him this preseason. Coach Fisher took a different approach with the wide out’s preseason program. Bennett is currently practicing just one out of two practices each day.
“We’ve taken, I think, an intelligent approach early in camp with Drew,” Fisher said. “Although he wants to go both practices each day, we’re going to try and rest him and keep in on a one day program, at least for another week or so.”
That rest should keep Bennett healthy and the addition of Givens should take attention off of him as well, but most people around the Titans organization believe all that matters when it comes to Bennett’s success is his health.
“A healthy Drew Bennett is really special,” Titans Wide Receivers Coach Ray Sherman said. “Drew brings a great work ethic. He’s smart. The main thing with him is if we can keep him healthy, he’ll have a tremendous year.”
Bennett led the Titans in receptions during 2005 with 58 receptions for 738 yards in only 13 games and enters 2006 healthy and surrounded by more talent than in recent years.
Another tremendous year is just around the corner.