PITTSFORD – Sean McDermott was not pleased to see Kelvin Benjamin's airing of grievances.
The Buffalo Bills' coach let his top receiver know that Sunday before practice at St. John Fisher College. Benjamin did a Q&A with The Athletic on Friday. In it, he took a shot at Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and shared how he wasn't happy to be drafted by Carolina.
"I mean, I felt like I would've been even more successful if ... I don't know, man ... if I would've ... looking back on it, I should've just been drafted by somebody else," Benjamin said. "I should've never went to Carolina. Truly, I just think Carolina was bad for me. It was a bad fit from the get-go.
"If you would've put me with any other quarterback, let's be real, you know what I'm saying? Any other accurate quarterback like (Aaron) Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben (Roethlisberger) – anybody! – quarterbacks with knowledge, that know how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball. It just felt like I wasn't in that position."
McDermott was frank in his response when asked about his response to those comments.
"There’s a time and a place for things like that. This was not one of them," he said. "We have a lot of respect for our opponents, number one, and everyone in the league. I’ve spoken with Kelvin and that’s not how I want us to handle things like that. We’ll move forward as a team, and I hope we’ve already done that. ... Our focus needs to be on what we're doing."
After practice, Benjamin said he agreed with his head coach.
"That can be a distraction to the team, and I don't want to be no distraction to my team," he said. "I've moved on from that. I said what I had to say, and I'm just focusing on the team right now."
Benjamin said he was angry at the time he did the interview Friday. He said he has not spoken to anyone from the Panthers' organization and doesn't plan to before Carolina comes to Buffalo on Thursday for the first week of the preseason.
2. A pair of receivers miss practice.
Wide receivers Kaelin Clay and Cam Phillips were held out of Sunday's practice after they suffered an injury during Friday night's practice at New Era Field. The team did not disclose the nature of either player's injury. Defensive end Trent Murphy did not practice because of a groin injury.
Offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse was on the practice field after he left New Era Field in an ambulance Friday. The team said Newhouse was dealing with cramping.
3. Mike Love registers a pair of sacks.
Love, an undrafted rookie free agent from South Florida, had a strong practice Sunday. He registered two sacks against the first-team offense. While a spot on the 53-man roster might be a stretch, Love is a good practice squad candidate. Pass rushers are always in demand.
4. McDermott saw "an intensity" in Vontae Davis on Friday night.
Practicing under the lights inside New Era Field was good for Davis, the veteran cornerback.
"The other night, I saw an intensity that I hadn’t seen before, and that’s to be expected to some extent because of the situation that we were in," McDermott said. "For a veteran player like Vontae who’s been in the game before and this being preseason, I did like the way that he ramped up the intensity.
"That said, much like our entire team, there’s still got to be a big movement between what happened two nights ago, and what happens today and in the next couple of days as we move forward through this week.