Patriots

Bennett adapting just fine to his surroundings in Green Bay

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Bennett adapting just fine to his surroundings in Green Bay

When Martellus Bennett signed with the Packers as a free agent this offseason, he had agreed to a three-year deal worth $21 million in a market smaller than any other he'd been before. 

Green Bay is a long way from Dallas, New York, Chicago and New England. Yet Bennett has no plans of fading into the background with his new club. Instead, the self-proclaimed "chameleon" is fitting right in with his new surroundings. 

He's milked cows. He's traipsed through manure. He's been to a local brewery. (Though he says he doesn't drink beer and only know how it tastes because Rob Gronkowski poured some on his head during the Super Bowl parade in Boston.)

And he's getting along with just about everyone.

"If I don’t like you," Bennett's quoted as saying in a recent Bleacher Report profile, "something’s probably wrong with you. I am who I am."

That's the approach Bennett took during his one season with the Patriots in 2016. He told BR's Tyler Dunne that he knew teammates viewed him as a bit of an oddball at times -- "how many NFL players are inviting you to Comic-Con or breaking down interior design with your wife?" Dunne wrote -- but he was on time for work and felt he provided the team with a spark.

"I just try to create an environment," Bennett said, "where we kick ass but we laugh after we do it. Like ‘Ha ha ha, mother******! … People can say what they want to say about me, but if I was a terrible, horrible person, I wouldn’t be in the NFL for 10 years. People say all kinds of crazy s*** to me. Twitter. In the media. People think I’m a bad teammate, but I’ve never been a bad teammate."

You certainly won't hear that from anyone in the Patriots locker room after Bennett shouldered the load at tight end last season despite dealing with knee and ankle issues for much of the season. Those ailments led to lapses at times, which Bennett admitted, but he performed well enough for Tom Brady to trust him in the most critical moments of the season.

Bennett caught five passes on six targets for 62 yards in Super Bowl LI, and he drew a pass-interference penalty in overtime that put the Patriots on the 2-yard line, which eventually led to James White's game-winning score.

Eagles OT Lane Johnson invites Patriots fans to 'raise hell' at him

Eagles OT Lane Johnson invites Patriots fans to 'raise hell' at him

After Patriots fans seeth about the billboard near Gillette Stadium that celebrates the Eagles' Super Bowl victory, they can direct their anger at a certain Philadelphia offensive tackle when the champs visit Foxboro Thursday night.

In fact, noted Pats troller Lane Johnson welcomes it.

The Eagles lineman, who tried to make a name for himself all offseason with his anti-Pats diatribes ("fear-based organization" etc.), was asked after practice if he expects a less-than-pleasant reception Thursday night in New England. 

"Oh yeah. I hope so. I hope they raise hell," Johnson said. "They can cuss me, they can say whatever they want. At the end of the day, I'm not blocking them, I'm blocking guys on the edge, so it really doesn't matter what they say. I know that I'm not going to be well-liked, this team is not going to be well-liked going there, so it's going to basically bring out our best."

Then, of course, it was on to more trash-talking the Pats. The starters don't expect to be out there long Thursday, giving Johnson plenty of opportunity to hear from Patriots fans from his spot on the sidelines

"I just felt like we weren't even given a chance going into the game. I felt like we were disrespected, and we were by them," he said. "I made plenty of comments about why I said what I said. It's not like I was coming out of the blue just to talk. It's because I felt like I've been disrespected and the team's been disrespected. It's not like I'm coming out here running my mouth because I want to. No other teams really came out and ran their mouth."

After yet another anti-Pats harangue, Johnson then said he's "over it."

"At the end of the day, man, I'm over it. ... It's a totally different year."

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