FOXBORO, Mass. — Martellus Bennett was ready for everything that came before a touchdown pass from Tom Brady, but he had no idea what he was in for after his first scoring play with the New England Patriots quarterback.
Brady is known for his brutal headbutts after touchdowns. The Wall Street Journal covered it well in a 2014 feature, and Willie McGinest, Brady’s former teammate-turned-NFL Media analyst, said it started way back in 2001 when the quarterback became a starter and would headbutt the Patriots’ linemen before games.
Brady even chipped a tooth headbutting wide receiver Brandon LaFell in Super Bowl XLIX.
“I was not prepared for that! I was like oh (expletive),” Bennett told NESN.com on Thursday. “I told him, I was like, ‘Bro, you might need to stop on that one.’ I did not expect that. When he hit me twice, ooh goddamn! He was like, ‘Yeah!’ Boom. ‘Yeah!’ Boom. ‘All right, all right.’ He caught me off guard.”
Bennett caught three touchdowns in Brady’s first game back from a four-game suspension, so he felt the QB’s wrath multiple times.
There were questions about Brady and Bennett’s chemistry entering the game since the QB was out for the first four games of the season and his training camp and preseason reps were split with Jimmy Garoppolo. But by being targeted eight times and catching six passes for 67 yards with three scores, Bennett proved that his work over the offseason to develop Brady’s trust paid off.
“From Day 1 when I got here, it was just showing that he could trust me,” Bennett said. “(He) gives you little cues, this or that, makes sure I’m picking up on every single thing, so I’m where he wants me to be and I’m getting there on time. That was the biggest thing, just the foundation that we built in the offseason of trust and continuing to build on that. I think that’s going to continue to grow for us both as we get more game experience and more live experience together, but I think it’s something we started establishing in the summer.”
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images