Bené Benwikere didn’t have the training camp he wanted, but the flare-up from earlier in the week is at least in his rearview.
Benwikere explained the sequence of events that led to tempers boiling over at Sunday’s practice, involving him and tight end Greg Olsen.
“Just hot. Everybody out here talking,” Benwikere said. “I was talking to someone totally separate and someone else said something, said something to them, Greg said something, said something to him. It just went all the way down just talking. It was no hard feelings. We talked about it after (in the locker room). It was nothing crazy like that. It was just hot and ready to get out of Spartanburg.”
Some defensive players took exception to the tight ends chip-blocking in the drill, and one thing led to another as members from both sides trash-talked. Eventually, Benwikere gave up a touchdown catch in a drill, and that’s when he erupted.
Benwikere broke his fibula late in the regular season against Atlanta, and he’s still not even eight months removed from surgery.
After a rough start to camp, he made a few plays on the ball the past two days.
“From a player standpoint of knowing what I’m capable of and being able to come out here and do it, it hasn’t been what I wanted,” he said. “But at the standpoint of coming back from the injury, we did what the trainers and coaches wanted me to do, which was get my reps up and get conditioned. That’s their main focus.
“I think the coaches, and for me, knowing that I’m happy with coming along but I also know that I can do better.”
At times this camp it has seemed like Benwikere is either missing a step or is unsure on that surgically repaired ankle, but he said that wasn’t the case.
Instead he praised the offense, and the quarterbacks especially, for improving their games.
“From my injury last year, our offense has gotten so much better. Cam is looking off more. (Derek Anderson) is using his shoulders. They’re doing a lot more things that last year weren’t so much the case,” Benwikere said. “So I’m a little bit jumpy because I’m ready to go at their first thing and they’re hitting me with something different that I’m not used to. I’m getting that, and that shows the growth and mentality of the football team.
“They’ve sharpened their tools. And yeah I was a little bit late but I have to get on board with that.”