Michael Bennett calls Bill Belichick “a savant” who taught him “a lot of football”

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Michael Bennett spent only 225 days in New England. He played only six games and was suspended for one. The Patriots traded him to the Cowboys days before the trade deadline.

The defensive end, though, has nothing but praise for his former team and Bill Belichick, who he calls “a savant.”

“I learned a lot of football in New England,” Bennett said Wednesday. “As a player, you go into the situation, and you think you know football. Then, you meet somebody who’s above you and knows everything about the game. For me, I learned a lot about football in that situation, learning how to execute at a high level, learning what it takes to develop players. I learned what it feels like to break down a game plan from a different perspective, and I think it was good for me as a player. If I ever want to be a coach, it would be a good situation to take into that.”

The Patriots traded with the Eagles for Bennett in March. Whether it was a poor fit in the Patriots’ scheme or something else, Bennett finished with four tackles and 2.5 sacks in the 130 snaps he played in New England.

Bennett doesn’t know why it didn’t work out with the Patriots or he isn’t saying.

“I’m not the coach,” he said.

But now in his 11th season, Bennett feels no need to show the Patriots anything. He said it’s “never personal in the NFL; it’s always business.”

“I’m at the point where I don’t have to prove myself,” Bennett said. “I think when you go out there and play as hard as you can, simply not for yourself but for your teammates. Every single time I go out there, it’s not really about me. It’s really about the guys I line up next to. There’s a lot of great players in this defense, and you want to just be a great teammate to them, try to do the best you can and stick to the game plan and try to execute at a high level, not for yourself but for your teammates.”

He has found a home in Dallas, with more sacks, quarterback hits and tackles in three games than he had in six with the Patriots. Bennett has three sacks, seven quarterback hits and eight tackles for the Cowboys.

20 responses to “Michael Bennett calls Bill Belichick “a savant” who taught him “a lot of football”

  1. I think there were lots of opportunities Michael, you weren’t listening before – reading during meetings – but you respected Bill and therefore started listening.

  2. What makes BB great is understanding of creating a scheme for the talent he has, not trying to put rounds pegs in square holes ala the Eagles. Pederson adapted 2 games running the ball and won, then with even less talent (jeffrey and Howard out) he went back to passing all over the field and better yet Sanders touched the ball 4 times in the second half or some ridiculously low number.

  3. It’s not exactly a mystery what happened in NE. Go back and watch the tape.

    Bennett never played within their disciplined scheme – he’d burst through the line and, sometimes, make a great play or a sack, other times he’d take himself completely out of the play leaving a big hole in the line.

    Same kind of thing Jamie Collins used to do the first time he was in Foxboro.

  4. I think these two things go together:

    Bennett doesn’t know why it didn’t work out with the Patriots
    “I’m at the point where I don’t have to prove myself,”

  5. Great player, GOAT coach. Same with Chris Long. He didn’t like being a role player, moved on and got another ring. Just how it goes sometimes. Few players have bad things to say about their experience in New England.

  6. It’s crazy to think what Belichick could’ve done with a quarterback like Peyton Manning, and not a game manager like Tammie.

  7. Few players have bad things to say about their experience in New England.
    ————
    It is amazing that even those who get let go tend to all say the same thing. They learned a lot of football from Belichick and probably would jump at the chance to play for him again.

  8. tedmurph put it succinctly and his analogy to Chris Long is an excellent example.

    Long probably is better at accepting a “role” but neither man is fully willing to embrace it.

  9. I think Belichick and and Bennett were totally fine, but Bennett just didn’t see his role the way BB did. It was respectful for BB to agree to a trade with a good team.

  10. “Bizarreslantpass says:
    November 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm
    It’s crazy to think what Belichick could’ve done with a quarterback like Peyton Manning, and not a game manager like Tammie.”

    ————————
    It’s crazy to think there are still sad, lonely people who think someone else could have been as consistently excellent and successful as Tom Brady, who has better career stats than Manning, has won more Super Bowls than any player in history, is a 3x NFL and 4x SB MVP, and is still playing well at age 42.

  11. Bizarreslantpass says:

    November 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    It’s crazy to think what Belichick could’ve done with a quarterback like Peyton Manning, and not a game manager like Tammie.
    _________________

    With a QB like manning he would have set the record for 1 and done in the postseason.

  12. With a QB like manning he would have set the record for 1 and done in the postseason.
    ————————-
    imagine how bad he would have been if he had to tippy toe outside his cozy dome into that cold biting wind for home playoffs too.

  13. He knows all the weaknesses of the Patriots O-Line, especially Newsome (LT) and Karras (C). In the Patriots Superbowl vs Seattle, he wrecked havoc with NE with his inside rushes. Wish it had been possible to get rid of him AFTER the Cowboys game.

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