EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Martellus Bennett might be the best wordsmith in the New England Patriots’ locker room. He’s certainly the most entertaining quote, making his stall a must-visit after any Patriots game.
After New England rallied to knock off the New York Jets 22-17 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Bennett was asked whether the Patriots’ offense remained optimistic during a less-than-stellar first half featuring three punts, one missed field goal and just 10 points scored.
“That’s the only way to look at it — you just expect to move the ball,” the Patriots tight end said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, let’s hope.’ We don’t hope to move the ball. We expect to move the ball. Hope don’t get you anywhere.”
Why can the Patriots expect success rather than hope for it?
“Because we work (expletive) hard every (expletive) day,” Bennett said. “We work hard at this (expletive). Those moments, we work in those moments. They get paid millions of dollars to stop us, but we get paid millions of dollars to make plays, and we’re going to make them.”
Well, there you have it.
The Patriots’ offense eventually hit its stride, scoring 22 of the final 29 points to secure a come-from-behind win. The offense was especially proficient in the fourth quarter, during which Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 10 of 16 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Bennett briefly left the game during the third quarter with what appeared to be a leg injury, but he returned just a few plays later after receiving medical attention on the sideline.
“You can never count me out,” Bennett said. “That’s just who I am. I’m just a blue-collar individual. I like to work, work hard and do everything I can, and there’s a difference between being hurt and injured. Everyone in the NFL this time of year is hurting. You’ve just got to find a way to fight through it and make plays.”
Some other highlights from Bennett’s postgame media availability, which also included a fantastic reaction to Brady’s 200th career win:
On the Patriots’ hard-fought victory: “We’ve been the same thing all year. Wherever we go, we bring the fight with us. I always say ‘BYOE’, which is ‘bring your own energy.’ When you come to a place like this, that’s something we’ve got to do.”
On the emotion he showed in the first half: “I’m an animated guy. I make animation, and I’m an animated person. That’s just who I am. I’m always kind of fired up, and I’m always ready to go. I’m just waiting for my opportunities to make the most of them, and when they come, I just try to do everything I can to make a play.”
On tight end Rob Gronkowski’s injury and whether the game plan changed with Gronkowski out: “I’ve been in the league for a long time. It’s Year 9 for me. I’ve started, and me and (Gronkowski), we’re interchangable. We do a lot of things differently, but at the end of the day, I always come in, and everyone treats me like a starter. They respect me, and nothing changes in the game plan or anything if I’m in or Gronk’s out or anything like that. We just run our offense.”
On the MetLife Stadium crowd chanting Brady’s name: “I hear it every single week, no matter where we are, so it’s nothing new to me. No matter if it’s San Francisco, East Coast, West Coast, Northwest, Northeast — they’re just chanting ‘Brady’ everywhere we go. … We’re the Patriots. We travel well.”
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images