Martellus Bennett shows forethought and substance on matters that matter


Martellus Bennett shows forethought and substance on matters that matter

FOXBORO – Martellus Bennett’s candor is on full display in an ESPN The Magazine profile the publication is pushing on Wednesday.

The Patriots tight end and his brother Michael Bennett of the Seahawks spent portions of three days with ESPN senior writer Mina Kimes and the results were illuminating.

The primary takeaway? Neither of the Bennett Brothers is talking just to hear himself talk. There’s forethought and substance on matters that matter. And there’s also a crafted effort to be quirky, irreverent and thought-provoking.

While there are parts of the interview that are trite and formulaic (do any of these stories not start in a damn restaurant and the ESPN party line of the Patriots being a latter-day Kremlin is adhered to), it’s miles better done than most.

Probably because the Bennetts were good interview subjects.

I won’t pilfer the quotes because the thing deserves a click but I did ask Bennett if the Patriots tried to muzzle him.

“When I came here nobody asked me to be anybody else besides myself,” he said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things they give me – the freedom to be who I am. I think they understand I’m smarter than I look. Overall, they just let me be me and I think overall that’s the biggest thing with making progress and getting to know everybody. When you’re able to be yourself, everybody gets to know how authentic you are and understand who you are as a person. It’s not – one day I’m this person, the next day I’m that person. I don’t want to be like Nurse Jackie (from the Showtime series of the same name).”

As for players having the responsibility to find their voice, Bennett said, “At the end of the day, everybody has to stand for something. Nowadays a lot of guys don’t have morals or stand for anything. Wherever the dollar takes them or whatever brand it is that represents them, they do whatever that brand tells them even if they believe in something different. The way me and my brother have always been is to speak our minds in what we believe in. We speak our minds and stand for something. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

“Whatever I believe in I speak on and I’m very honest,” he continued. “That’s who I am. I learned from guys like Muhammad Ali, Shaq and those guys growing up. Those guys were able to make a difference in the world. Whether it’s penning a letter called “Dear Black Boy” that was on The Players’ Tribunewe believe in these things. We believe we can make a difference. We’ve been given a position of power where a lot of people look up to us, a lot of kids so you have to stand for something otherwise the kids will eat up commercials, eat McDonalds and they think they can eat McDonalds every day for lunch and make it to the NFL That’s not what it is, we all eat healthy. So that’s what we should be telling them. That’s what we’re doing.”

Strange segue to fast food but point taken just the same.

Lastly, I asked Bennett if he perceived more players taking sociological issues more seriously.

“I think it’s flipping over,” he explained. “With everything going on in the world I think it’s starting to transition. History repeats itself. There’s a lot of athletes stepping up to the plate whether it’s Carmelo Anthony, Michael Bennett, whoever it may be, a lot of guys are stepping up and saying something.”

There is a difference between merely “saying something” and saying something useful.

There are plenty of athletes (and media members and Americans) who feel compelled to jump on the reaction train and offer the most knee-bucklingly obvious observations just to be “heard.”

In Bennett’s case – and you should read his Players’ Tribune piece – you have a person who’s articulating a viewpoint that we should feel obliged to consider. Because it’s not just shooting off at the lip. There’s substance.

Tom E. Curran can be followed on Twitter: @tomecurran

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement after 10 years in the NFL.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram to make it official.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Thursday, it was reported the Patriots reached out to Woodhead for a possible reunion. 

The last two seasons have been challenging for him, as he dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2016 with the Chargers and 2017 with the Ravens.

Woodhead finishes his career with 2,238 yards rushing, 2,698 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving touchdowns.


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

1:20 - Despite throwing a depleted roster out there, the Celtics were able to get back in the win column vs. the Magic. Michael Holley and Tommy Heinsohn break down the win.

6:17 - Finally, the Patriots have done something! On Friday night it was reported that New England signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn as well as running back Jeremy Hill. Tom Curran, Alex Giaimo and Ben Volin discuss the impact these additions will have on the team.

11:05 - While the Celtics were able to pull out the win on Friday, the team did announce that Marcus Smart is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing thumb surgery. A. Sherrod Blakely expresses his optimism on Smart’s return for the playoffs.