Patriots

Martellus Bennett blasts Packers and team doc on Instagram

Martellus Bennett blasts Packers and team doc on Instagram

Martellus Bennett returned to the Patriots and was back on the practice field Friday then blasted the Green Bay Packers and their team doctor, Dr. Pat McKenzie, on Instagram.

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Bennett, released by the Packers with a "failure to disclose an injury" designation, reportedly has a torn rotator cuff. He said in an Instagram story that the Packers were trying to force him to "play thru a major injury."

Here is a transcript of what Bennett wrote, with the expletives edited:

"The Packers examined my shoulder March 10 and cleared it. They even gave me an xray as well. It got worse during the season, specifically against the cowboys so I asked to have it checked and we checked it. After a few days of contemplating to play with it or get surgery, I chose surgery. Now here we are ...

"They tried to f--- over me. Dr. McKenzie trying to cover his own a--. After trying to persuade me to play thru a major injury and me choosing to get surgery.

"They have access to all my medical records. My shoulder wasn't what it is now at the beginning of the season. I f---ed it playing for the @packers.

"Dr McKenzie didn't make me feel safe and was pushing to play which I thought was weird.  Not that he was getting me to try and play thru but the way he was saying things. I didn't trust him. So I got 3 other opinions from doctors who all said I need to get it fixed. So I decided to do that. And they decided to waive me with some bull---t excuse. Failure disclose. 

"Every week we do a body evaluation sheet in the weight and pretty much every week I circled my shoulder. I just kept playing but it got worse.

"During the bye week I got off anti inflammatories to clean my system and could really feel the pain. So I asked to examine it first day back in. And that's when we found out it was really f---ed up.

They knew.

“They panicked. Thinking that I was trying to go on IR and be on their books next year. When I mentioned that I would possibly retire. So they tried to f— me before they thought I would f— them. This was all about money. All about money. I get it. But don’t lie homie. You knew wtf was up. C.R.E.A.M. [cash rules everything around me].

“I had intentions of playing all 8 games as I mentioned in the post during the bye week, but found out it was worse than I felt after getting it checked out. Now I’m like f— it. I chose my health over the ‘team’. They chose money over me.”

Cardinals reportedly choose Wilks; Flores a logical choice to replace Patricia

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Cardinals reportedly choose Wilks; Flores a logical choice to replace Patricia

The brain drain in New England after this season may not be quite as severe as it once looked like it might be.

According to ESPN, the Cardinals have chosen to hire Panthers assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their next head coach. That would mean that Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, a finalist for the job in Arizona, will shoot to the front of the line of candidates to succeed Matt Patricia as Patriots defensive coordinator. Patricia is expected to be named Lions head coach after Super Bowl LII. 

For the Patriots, holding onto Flores would be a significant boost to their coaching staff in 2018.

The team is also expected to lose Josh McDaniels, who could be named head coach of the Colts after the season. Special teams coach Joe Judge is working on an expiring deal, per ESPN, and could be elsewhere next season as well. Then there's offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who will be 70 later this month and could be interested in going back to the retirement life he enjoyed for two years in 2014 and 2015 before returning last season. 

Flores, 36, has been with the Patriots since 2004. He's served as a scouting assistant, a pro scout, a special teams assistant, a defensive assistant and safeties coach (2012-2015) before taking over linebacker duties. As our Mike Giardi wrote earlier this month, Flores is highly-respected by Patriots players and would make all kinds of sense as the team's next defensive coordinator.

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Patricia family enjoys the moment following final game at Gillette Stadium

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Patricia family enjoys the moment following final game at Gillette Stadium

Matt Patricia was on his back, laying in confetti, his son sitting alongside, soaking up the last few moments of the night. It was well after the Patriots had defeated the Jaguars to claim their shot at Super Bowl LII, and Patricia probably knew it was his last game at Gillette Stadium as Patriots defensive coordinator. 

Every week, in conference calls with reporters, Patricia adheres as strictly to the "on to fill-in-the-blank" as anyone. But on Sunday night, more than two hours after the game had ended, he was very much living in the now.  

"After the game had kind of settled down and everything," Patricia said Monday, "I had my son here at the game, he hasn't really been to a lot of games -- he's been to two -- so that was kind of his second game. He wanted to go play on the field. 

"We played a good game of touch football. He beat me 4-0. He kind of out-ran me there a little bit. He made some good plays on me, I couldn't catch him. Just fun to have him out there running around and just seeing the excitement that he had to be out on the field. Kind of a special little moment for myself and him and my wife."

Patricia is expected to be named the next coach of the Detroit Lions, which will mean a new city, a new chapter for his family after he spent the last 14 years in New England under Bill Belichick. Before that happens, he'll have one more game with the team that gave him his first job in pro football. And maybe a shot at a rematch with his son.

"He's pretty good," Patricia said. "I mean, he's pretty quick. I might have to try to get in better shape before that happens. We'll see. We'll see what happens. I might have to take the physical game to him."

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