FOXBORO, Mass. — The tight ends took center stage Thursday at Gillette Stadium, as Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett both addressed the media.
Gronkowski and Bennett are two of the more entertaining figures in the New England Patriots’ locker room, and both had plenty to say.
— Bennett addressed the exuberant but poorly executed celebration he broke out during the first quarter of Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns.
After catching the first of his three touchdowns, Bennett attempted to spike the ball — a la Gronkowski — only to have it slip out of his hand and go flying out of the back of the end zone.
But hey, as least it made for a great photo, courtesy of USA Today Sports photographer Scott Galvin:
“The form looked great,” Bennett said. “The picture looked great. I’m like, ‘Man, if they just hold this still, it would look great.’ The ball just slipped out of my hand.
“I usually don’t spike. I’m not a big celebration guy. But in that moment, I was just like, ‘Spike this thing.’ I came back from being hurt (earlier in the game), and I thought it was good. I don’t know what happened, honestly. It was like trying to grip a pumpkin.”
“I saw it,” Gronkowski said. “It happens. It was pretty funny that it slipped like that, but I’ve got to give him credit for the windup. Did you see the windup he had? A+ there.”
— Gronkowski and Bennett both recalled crossing paths at a gym shortly before the Patriots traded for Bennett in March. The two also met on the hardwood once, and Bennett’s multi-sport skills apparently were on full display.
“We shot around one time, and you can definitely see that he’s got some hoop skills,” Gronkowski said. “I mean, it was nothing serious, it was just a game of PIG and stuff, but you can definitely tell he’s got those basketball skills, for sure.”
That he does. Bennett enjoyed a prolific basketball career before ditching the sport to focus on football. He even declared for the 2005 NBA Draft out of high school before withdrawing and playing two seasons of hoops at Texas A&M.
“He tells us all the time,” Gronkowski said. “He would have been the No. 1 pick.”
— Bennett also gave reporters a brief geometry lesson when describing how happy he is to be playing for the Patriots.
“I feel like it’s good,” he said. “There are several different aspects to it — mindset, where you are mentally and different things like that. I’ve felt at home here from Day 1. It’s a place where I feel like I belong. So it’s been fun. I’ve been enjoying it and just trying to go out there and win games with my teammates.
“I just know right now in the mental space that I’m in and the emotional space, the tranquility, the ultimate balance, being an equilateral triangle — not an isosceles — in life is pretty good for me right now.
OK, Marty. Explain that one a little more.
“Just having balance,” he continued. “Whether it’s home, on the field, all the aspirations in your life, everybody’s different. Some people may be spiritual, mixed with work and family, and some people may be whatever. Everyone has to find what that balance is for them, and once you discover that balance, that’s when you are able to always be aware and live in the now.”
Bennett leads all Patriots pass-catchers in receiving yards (314) and receiving touchdowns (four) entering Sunday’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images