Tag Archives: storytimewithearl

Eyes Wide Open #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett At times, the life of a football player can be stressful and cumbersome. Body fatigue and the long season makes it easy to take a quick nap anywhere, anytime. But, you need to be careful about where you fall asleep. The receivers were cool and typically took care of each other.  Of course when an opportunity presented itself to snap a photo, we took full advantage. From sleeping in the locker room to the bus before a flight, guys typically slept. One of the best moments captured was when I snapped Johnny Knox just moments after he took a photo of another player. Johnny and I laughed …
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Spice Adams Locker Room Shenanigans #StoryTimeWithEarl

My favorite Spice moment was recording him stepping in the locker room. Friday practices were always good days. Coach Lovie Smith called the “Fast Fridays.” You practiced for an hour in shells and helmets. Atomic Dog by George Clinton blasted through the speakers in the locker room. Spice, a member of Omega Psi Phi (Que Dog) heard the song, which is an anthem for the fraternity, and started stepping. This was not your ordinary step you would witness in the yard. This was like the movie Stomp the Yard mixed with You Got Served with a “Spice.” I had the pleasure of being the cameraman. It was never a dull …
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Who Slapped Hunter? #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett The locker room during my tenure in Chicago was special. Vets took care of the younger guys, and the coaches were all respectful (for the most part). Occasionally there were instances or situations that would arise, and this particular time it was a conflict between Hunter and Olin.  Saturday’s were typically walk thru’s that spanned 30-45 min. Special teams would run thru their plays, with offense and defense following. Nothing out of the ordinary on this particular day — just a refresher before the game. All of a sudden, as we were breaking it down to go change and prepare to head downtown, a commotion occurred.    I was positioned …
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Josh Gordon: The Battle Off The Field #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett After being released I found myself in Cleveland. A city with similar die hard fans like Chicago, thirsting for a Super Bowl. I joined a receiver corps that was led by Josh Gordon, who was by far the best athletic specimen I had seen in my life. Gordon’s skills on the field were obvious, but a conversation with him shed light on a turbulent career.  After getting settled and adjusted the first week I found myself outside of the meeting room waiting with Gordon for the coaches. My wife and I had just settled into our home in Houston and that was an icebreaker for me knowing …
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Vanderbilt Hosed in Florida #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett College football on Saturdays is a rich tradition in my family. I grew up watching The Iron Bowl and sided with Auburn just to make my parents’ life harder. My favorite team was the Florida Gators. Steve Spurrier had my heart as a coach. But after not receiving a scholarship from the Gators I found myself in the Swamp as a true freshman ready to light them up. This was a game I had marked on my calendar. New Florida coach Urban Meyers did not know, but I had a bullseye on him for not recruiting me. We wanted to get off to a fast start and …
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Who Got Fired!?! #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett In 2012, we needed to win the season’s final game, and we needed the Packers to defeat the Vikings to get into the playoffs. The latter did not happen so we were eliminated from playoff contention. After landing back in Chicago and finding out the results, Coach Lovie Smith addressed the team and stated we would have exit physicals in the morning. I arrived at the facility in the morning and entered the cafeteria where most players were gathered. I ordered my usual pancakes and bacon and found myself a table. ESPN lit up every TV. So, when a player says, “I don’t listen to the media,” …
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Singing a Different Tune #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett My dreams of being a professional football player became true when the Chicago Bears selected me in the 3rd round. I was eager to get to work and do the preparation needed to be the best receiver in franchise history. My plans of having an immediate impact were halted during the first season. Walking through Halas Hall and seeing all of the history was fascinating and inspiring. Every day at practice was a challenge as I shifted through multiple positions. Although I felt I was ready, the coaching staff, especially Pep Hamilton, thought otherwise. Pep was the quarterback coach and got on to me every day. The …
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Roy Williams Outfit #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett Fashion has always been a part of the NFL. Joe Namath with the fur coat to Deion Sanders with the gold chains and sweet pregame outfits. Now, players like Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins are keeping the tradition going. Though some players can pull certain looks off, there are some who should stay away.   In 2011, we signed Roy Williams to the team. The Odessa product never failed to provide laughter whether it was intentional or not. Roy’s jokes or his unserious nature were constant — his outfits followed suit. Roy never tried to impress with his clothes. Whether it was his old school jeans or …
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Marshall Hide-N-Go-Seek ATL #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett After my 2007 season at Vanderbilt, I decided to forgo my senior year and enter the 2008 NFL Draft. After consulting with various draft analysts and experts, I concluded it was the right time for me to take my talents to the next level. I hired Bus Cook as my agent and we began to discuss training options for the combine. As I prepared for the next phase in life, Bus thought it would be a great idea to train with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall in Atlanta. Since the Broncos were expected to draft a wide receiver, he thought it might be a good look. So, …
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A Broken Thumb, A Ruined Season #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett Johnny Knox had world class speed. We often joked about his leg circumference and how small they were, yet he could outrun just about all of us. On the field, he was a crisp route runner using head nods and intermitting speeds to throw defensive backs off. But, Johnny had one Achilles heel, it was running a slant in cover 2 man. Green Bay always knew that if they ran cover 2 man on us, it would give us problems. Other teams took heed and started to do the same. You slow up the speedy receivers in Devin and Johnny and force them to run out routes …
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