Martellus Bennett, Elandon Roberts Earn Bill Belichick’s Praise After Patriots’ Win


CLEVELAND — Tom Brady stole headlines in his return to the Patriots in their Week 5 win over the Browns, but New England head coach Bill Belichick saved his praise for two other standouts.

Belichick was asked about Martellus Bennett after the tight end, who the Patriots acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bears this offseason, caught six passes for 67 yards with three touchdowns.

“He made some big plays for us,” Belichick said following the Patriots’ 33-13 win Sunday. “He and Rob (Gronkowski) both had big plays, got the ball in the end zone, made a tough catch right there on the goal line, made a good effort to get in the end zone on the play down the sideline where he jumped over a guy in the end zone. All of our guys made some good effort plays. I thought we competed well today.”

Linebacker Elandon Roberts also earned acclaim from Belichick. The rookie linebacker shared snaps with starter Dont’a Hightower, who’s nursing a knee injury, after the Patriots got out to a big lead. Roberts led the team with seven combined tackles, was a standout in the run game and allowed two catches for just 6 yards on three targets.

“He’s worked really hard and gets better every week,” Belichick said about the Houston product. “He and (defensive tackle) Woody Hamilton both played a decent amount defensively. We’ll see how it looks on film. They’re a couple of young guys who came in and played and showed up. Everybody just keeps working to get better, and when they get an opportunity, they show up and make the most of it.”

Hamilton was signed off the Patriots’ practice squad Saturday and recorded three tackles as New England beefed up its defensive line while facing a team that came into Week 5 averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Roberts and Hamilton helped the Patriots limit the Browns to 27 yards on 22 carries for 1.2 yards per attempt. Browns starting running back Isaiah Crowell had 13 carries for just 22 yards in the Patriots’ win.

Roberts was thought to be a candidate for release with Brady and Rob Ninkovich coming off four-game suspensions this week. Roberts isn’t a special teams contributor, but he showed why he deserves a spot on the roster Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images

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