|Rams receiver welcomed back in Tennessee|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 08 August 2008 22:44|
Even though he's on the St. Louis Rams now, Titans fans and players were quick to welcome back the man who is only two years removed from being Tennessee's best wide receiver.
Bennett signed a six-year, $30 million contract with the Rams in March 2007 after spending six seasons with the Titans.
The Rams had a trio of practices against the Titans this week. It marked his first time in Tennessee since signing that deal.
``It's nice coming back,'' Bennett said. ``There are still a lot of people I keep in contact with here and it's nice that they still cheer my name even though I don't play for the Titans. It was a good six years, I have some good memories and a lot of friends and it's always nice to come back and relive those but it's also nice to come and compete against guys that I know.''
Many people were surprised when Bennett signed with the Rams, opting to leave a team where he was the No. 1 receiver to go to a team where he'd be no better than No. 3 behind Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.
Bennett didn't provide the type of production the Rams hoped, finishing with 33 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns. Perhaps most frustrating for Bennett was the lack of opportunities because the Rams didn't spend much time in three-receiver sets.
Fewer opportunities combined with nagging hamstring and quadriceps injuries made for a miserable first year in St. Louis.
``It was frustrating,'' Bennett said. ``A lot of that was dictated by our injuries up front and things like that but coming from three years of starting and going to a backup role where I was the third receiver was a big adjustment.''
Bennett was given the opportunity he wanted this offseason when the Rams parted ways with franchise icon Bruce. Bennett stepped into the No. 2 receiver role.
Bennett says he ratcheted up his offseason workouts in an effort to produce at the levels expected of him. So far, those efforts have paid off, according to Rams coach Scott Linehan.
``He has big shoes to fill for us and that's why we brought him to St. Louis,'' Linehan said. ``He has done a very good job for us. He gives us a dimension with his size and things like that in our offense that will really help us I think.''
Also, Bennett and quarterback Marc Bulger seem to be in a better rhythm than at any point last season.
As for filling Bruce's large shoes, Bennett says he can't worry about what happened before him and will focus on being the productive player the Rams gave a large contract to a year ago.
``He's a guy that is going to go to the Hall of Fame and had a ton of good years here and everyone appreciates what he accomplished and what he did,'' Bennett said. ``I'm just going to do all the cliche stuff and just be me and play my own game. If I can contribute to us winning football games, that's all I can ask for.''