Reducing Michael Bennett’s snap count could be pivotal for Eagles

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When the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2013, their collection of depth along the defensive line was just as important as the star-studded Legion of Boom secondary.

Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril combined to make just five starts during the regular season as Chris Clemons and Red Bryant were the starting defensive ends throughout the year. That depth allowed Seattle to utilize Bennett on just 57 percent of the team’s defensive snaps during the season as the Seahawks kept their linemen fresh with a healthy rotation. Even at just 57 percent, Bennett played more snaps than any other Seattle defensive lineman in 2013.

Bennett’s new team – the Philadelphia Eagles – could provide a similar situation for Bennett to succeed in. With Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Timmy Jernigan, Derek Barnett and Chris Long all expected back next season, the Eagles should be able to keep their defensive line fresh and effective by rotating frequently. Bennett’s versatility to play both on the edge and as an interior pass rusher should allow him to supplement at multiple spots.

Per Pro-Football-Reference, Bennett has played on over 80 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps, on average, over the last four seasons in games he’s appeared in. Last year, Bennett was on the field for 931 of Seattle’s 1,098 defensive snaps, which accounts for 84.8 percent of the plays for the season. Bennett continued to play a high volume of snaps despite a plantar fascia injury that slowed him late in the season.

Even with the high usage and injury issues over the last few seasons, Bennett managed to rack up 39 sacks in five years with Seattle and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. With Bennett set to turn 33 in November, limiting his snaps could be the best chance for the Eagles to get a maximum return on their investment.

8 responses to “Reducing Michael Bennett’s snap count could be pivotal for Eagles

  1. Bennett is certainly getting older, but when you plant him in this lineup on limited snaps, the eagles D line just gets even scarier. A lot of people said Chris Long was done when he joined the team a year ago, and that guy made crucial plays all season. Should be interesting.

  2. jmethane says:
    March 9, 2018 at 3:42 am
    Pay THAT much for a guy and reduce his playtime? Yikes


    How much do you think Vinny Curry played? 576 snaps. Bennett is also half the price.

  3. ‘hawks fan here and I think ‘hawks rode this guy into the ground the past 4 years. That Super Bowl winning team we had was bad ass because they had 8 guys they rotated in the d-line and they were always fresh and re-charged. It’s hard to keep the depth but that is one of the major reasons they have their one Super Bowl title.

  4. The key to the Eagles defensive line dominance is the rotation and Jim Schwartz is going to rotate his front 4. Keeps them fresh for the playoffs.

  5. a Major addition to an already stellar lineup! Bennett played his heart out, even without support from players around him. So often Bennett was double team while other players still couldn’t get to the QB. Tom Brady feared Bennett in SB49 more than any other Seattle defensive player. Heck, Bennett got the only pressure on Brady. Great player! Here’s hoping Bennett’s addition makes Philly stronger and helps to bring another SB trophy celebration down Broad Street! Best of luck Philly!

    Seattle fan

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