Bennett: 'I love being a part of this team, this organization and this city'


Bennett: 'I love being a part of this team, this organization and this city'

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett met with reporters on Thursday while wearing a "Football Marty" hooded sweatshirt and a hat with a cartoon image of his face emblazoned on the front. 

Ever the business man, Bennett is trying to sell, sell, sell.

"It's called micro-branding," he said. "You focus on the area that you're in and then eventually people tell other people about it, then you branch out and do a little bit more so I started a little thing called Football Marty."

He's sold some gear, he explained, but it sounds like the stuff hasn't exactly been flying off the shelves. 

"I'm moving some. Not as much as I would like to," he said. "It's hard being a one-year guy in the market. A lot of people don't know if they want to invest in you because they don't know if you're going to be here next year or not. But I like the coolest stuff. So if you want to invest in cool, you want to invest in me."

Will the Patriots be looking to invest in Bennett? With the playoffs approaching, and with Bennett appearing to round into form physically after dealing with an ankle injury for most of the season, that's one question that faces the team as it looks at its long-term roster configuration. 

Bennett is in the last year of his contract and is scheduled to hit unrestricted free-agency in March. He'll turn 30 this offseason, and could command a deal that looks something like the one tight end Greg Olsen got from the Panthers headed into his 30-year-old campaign.

Asked if he could see himself in New England for the 2017 season and beyond, Bennett made it clear just how much he's enjoyed playing with the Patriots.

"I love it here," he said. "We’ll figure it out when it’s time to figure it out, but my family loves it here, I love being a part of this team, this organization and this city. When it comes around, it comes around. I ain't really tripping, like I said. I save my money pretty good. I’ve got a good, diverse portfolio, so I’m not really tripping right now."

The Patriots, of course, have provided Bennett an opportunity to do something he hasn't done since when he was with the Cowboys in 2009: Make the postseason. While he's used colorful means to describe all the winning he's done with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick this season, he's taking a more subdued approach to playoff football this week.

"I'm not very excited," he said. "It’s the bye week right now so I’m just chilling. I just save my energy, build up as it goes on. There’s no reason to have a lot of highs and lows this week, so I’m just trying to have good focus in practice and get better this week, take some time off and see what I can do to contribute and make the team better for the next game. We don’t know who we’re playing, so it’s hard to get excited about ghosts. But for overall, I’m just chilling.”

Dont'a Hightower off PUP, returns to Patriots practice


Dont'a Hightower off PUP, returns to Patriots practice

FOXBORO -- On Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, Dont’a Hightower was in uniform and practicing with his teammates for the first time since training camp began last month. Hightower's participation means he has been removed from the physically unable to perform list. 

In full pads, wearing Alabama crimson underneath his Patriots jersey, Hightower took part in drills with on-the-line players early in the practice. Members of the media were able to watch only a few minutes of the workout following warm-ups. 

The players Hightower worked in with comes as little surprise as he has been used at the end of the line in certain packages in the past. With David Harris now in the mix at linebacker, and with Rob Ninkovich retired, it could free up Hightower to play more on the end of the line. 

Nate Solder, Deatrich Wise and LaAdrian Waddle were all back on the practice field for the Patriots Tuesday as well. Solder has yet to play this preseason, while Wise suffered a head injury in the team’s preseason-opener against the Jaguars. Waddle sustained a head injury last week.

Missing from the session were Rex Burkhead as well as Malcolm Mitchell, Matthew Slater, Shea McClellin, Tony Garcia, Matt Lengel, Derek Rivers and Andrew Jelks (non-football injury list).  

Burkhead seemed to finish Saturday's game in Houston without incident. He spoke to reporters on Monday, and there were no indications he was dealing with any physical limitations. Mitchell seemed to tweak something in his knee on his first play against the Texans, but he stayed in the game and caught two passes for 13 yards. 

Patriots documentary 'Do Your Job Part 2' debuts Sept. 3


Patriots documentary 'Do Your Job Part 2' debuts Sept. 3

The Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title in 2014 brought with it an NFL Films' documentary titled "Do Your Job", named for the Belichickian mantra that continues to fuel New England's unprecedented run of success.


So, naturally, title No. 5 has spawned "Do Your Job, Part 2," which features interviews with Bill Belichick and other members of the coaching staff and recaps another championship run - that included the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history - the 28-3 deficit the Pats wiped out against the Falcons in February. The hour-long special will premiere on NBC Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Academy-award nominated actor Edward Norton, a Boston native, is the narrator. 

The special re-airs on NFL Network on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m., followed by the "America's Game" episode that focuses on the 2016 Pats at 9 and the "NFL's Top 10", which will count down Tom Brady's 10 best games, at 10.

The Patriots open the regular season Thursday, Sept. 7, at Gillette Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. They'll raise their fifth Super Bowl championship banner in ceremonies before the game.