FOXBORO -- Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell doesn't want to find himself going toe-to-toe with opponents during pregame warmups on a regular basis, but on Sunday he reacted quickly when he saw Bills safety Robert Blanton take an unexpected shot at quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
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As the two Patriots rookies ran back toward their team's side of the field after a quick jog down the home team's sideline, they passed by Bills players who took exception to just how close the pair was getting to one of their defensive back drills. Blanton, who says he warned Brissett and Mitchell when they passed the Bills drill earlier, threw his shoulder into the third-round pick from North Carolina State.
Immediately after Blanton's bump, Mitchell shoved the veteran defensive back in retaliation. That sparked a quick scuffle involving Bills safety Aaron Williams and multiple Patriots coaches before all involved cooled off.
Mitchell said that his coaches did not speak to him about the incident afterwards, and he did not apologize for defending his teammate.
"At the time, I did what I thought was best," Mitchell said. "Am I right or wrong? I don't know. I just did what I thought was best at that particular time."
Mitchell explained that if he felt it would hurt the team to do what he did again, he wouldn't. If that were the case on another day, maybe he would walk away.
Ideally, he wouldn't be put in position to make that decision a second time.
"Let's just hope we're not in that situation again," he said.
When asked about the incident, tight end Martellus Bennett -- a 6-foot-7, 275-pound veteran -- had a slightly different reaction.
"I wasn't out there," he said. "It would've been different if I was out there. I don't let that [expletive] happen."