Chicago Sun-Times

Exciting times for Earl Bennett

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In one week, Bears receiver Earl Bennett will experience a personal and a professional milestone.

On Wednesday, Bennett watched his wife deliver a baby boy, Earl Jr., who was eight pounds, 12 ounces and 22 inches. Then, on Sunday, he'll play in the NFC Championship game at Soldier Field.

"It was real cool, man," Bennett said of his son's birth. "I watched the entire thing. It was interesting, to say the least.

"It was a great moment. But, it's time to go to work. I told my wife, 'Hey, I'm sleeping upstairs, getting ready for this game.' "

Bennett, who has been slowed by an ankle injury, feels "real good" now.

"I got a lot of confidence," he said. "God gave me the talent to play this sport, and I'm looking forward to showcasing my talent and giving him the glory. I'm focused, man.

"Biggest game of my life," Bennett said, noting he'd never been to a bowl game at Vanderbilt.

Earl Jr. was supposed to arrive last week. But his wife was a week overdue, so she was induced on Wednesday.

"She was a little on edge," he said. "But it's been a joyful time.

"It's been fun, man, just looking at him, and seeing some of my image and her's. It's like, 'Wow.' "

Bennett has grown on me this season. He's six-foot, 204 pounds, but he's as tough a receiver as I've seen, and quarterback Jay Cutler obviously loves to throw him the ball. Bennett leads the team with 19 third-down catches.

"I just try to be quarterback friendly, and I try to play the game like I'm 6-6," Bennett said. "Just play hard, like I'm big."

Asked about initiating contact, Bennett said, "It's fun man.

"You got to force contact. Hines Ward, that's who I watched," he said. "I liked his toughness and his passion for the game."

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 21, 2011 2:01 PM.

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