Louisiana State head football coach Les Miles has been called the Mad Hatter. Alabama’s Nick Saban has been compared to the devil. Now, Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman has been likened to Willy Wonka by his start tight end, Martellus Bennett.
"I think me and Coach Trestman are probably the only two people who understand each other," Bennett said on ESPN 1000's The Jay Cutler Show Tuesday. "I always say Coach Trestman reminds me of the first Willy Wonka. Not the Johnny Depp one. The Johnny Depp one was really cool, but the first one before that, the 1943 version."
The adaptation of the Roald Dahl book Bennett referred to is the 1971 film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" starring Gene Wilder. Depp starred in another adaptation of the movie in 2005.
"He's a genius," Bennett said of Trestman. "A lot of times when you're around really, really smart people, you don't really understand them. I thought Willy Wonka was brilliant. He had all kinds of candy. Who doesn't like chocolate and candies? Everybody wanted a Gobstopper. I just think he's brilliant."
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Trestman, who’s in his first year of coaching the Bears after a stint in the CFL, wasn’t immediately familiar with the movie, offered a lukewarm response to the characterization but expressed his appreciation for all Bennett brings to the team.
“That's just Martellus being Martellus, right? I'm just happy he's here. He's been just a joy to work with. He's been great in our locker room. He loves football and he wants to get better every day, and who could ask for more?" said Trestman.
Through two games, Bennett, who played with the New York Giants last season, has caught 10 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns, which ties him for the most among NFL tight ends and is the second-most touchdown receptions in the league.
Trestman had been an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the NFL from 1985-2004. After serving as the offensive coordinator for North Carolina State from 2006-06, Trestman became the head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.