Kelvin Benjamin's Panthers comments irk McDermott

Just one day after Kelvin Benjamin took shots at the Carolina Panthers, the Buffalo Bills wide receiver now knows his current head coach isn't pleased with the comments.

"There's a time and a place -- I'm not saying specific to what comments were made -- there's a time and place for things like that," Sean McDermott said Sunday, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. "This was not one of them. We have a lot of respect for our opponents, No. 1, and everyone in the league. I've spoken with Kelvin and that's not how I want us to handle things like that. So we'll move forward as a team and I'm hoping we've already done that."

Benjamin's comments, which questioned his use in Carolina before the Panthers traded him to the Bills during the 2017 regular season and criticized quarterback Cam Newton, surfaced Saturday in an article in The Athletic.

The Panthers used a first-round pick (28th overall) on Benjamin in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he totaled 184 catches for 2,641 yards and 19 touchdowns in 40 games with Carolina before being shipped to Buffalo.

Still, Benjamin picked a bad time to voice displeasure over his former team, as he isn't alone coming from Carolina.

McDermott spent six seasons as the Panthers defensive coordinator before becoming the Bills head coach in January 2017, and there are long-time friendships on both sides among the coaching staffs.

Adding to the issue of Benjamin's comments is the Bills host the Panthers on Thursday night.

"That's a part of it, but the bigger part of it is our focus needs to be on what we're doing," McDermott said. "Like I said, we respect what they do, every opponent -- everyone in the league for that matter -- but the bigger part is our focus needs to be on us and our approach to training camp."

Newton, for his part, appeared to be uninterested in any beef through an Saturday night Instagram story, but it looks like the former MVP has extra motivation now for the 2018 season.

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