Patriots look to Ja’Whaun Bentley as a leader on defense

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When Patriots linebacker Ja'whaun Bentley spoke to reporters in June, he was talking about moving his game to the “next level” in the wake of the departures of players like Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy in free agency.

The need for Bentley to move forward has only gotten bigger. Dont’a Hightower’s decision to opt out has taken another experienced member of the defense out of the picture and that leaves Bentley as the longest-tenured member of the team’s linebacking corps.

A leadership role is a somewhat unusual spot for a third-year player to find himself in, but it is one that inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo thinks he’s going to be able handle well this season.

“You lose guys like Hightower and Kyle, . . . Elandon, . . . now Bentley is really the guy as far as mentoring the younger players,” Mayo said, via Tom Curran of NBCSportsBoston.com. “I think he’s done a great job up until this point as far as his leadership ability, taking control of the huddle and all those things. I look forward to continue seeing that growth going forward. Obviously, we don’t have on pads right now. It’s not 100 degrees out there on a summer day, you’re out there tired and all that stuff. But I look forward to seeing that development continue under strenuous situations. But just his role as far as the communicator at the second level and also just his mentorship role with the younger guys.”

Mayo is also confident Bentley will handle the on-field aspects of the job — “physically, this guy is gifted” — and step up to be the kind of leading light the Patriots need on a defense that’s gone through a lot of changes.

9 responses to “Patriots look to Ja’Whaun Bentley as a leader on defense

  1. He will do well. Smart dude who was looking really good in early 2018. Was surprised at his agility for being more of a thumper than a speed lb, but the Bruschi/Mayo/Hightower role is vital because they set everyone else up to make the plays.

    His high IQ is why he was drafted in the 4th rd.

    Way too many dumb people around here not realizing the Pats D has been so loaded, really good young talent was being blocked by experienced talent going to Super Bowls and helping win them.

    I rememember when Mr. February took over from Mayo in 2013
    and never really looked back as the mlb gamecaller. He could seize that spot here now in 2020.

  2. Who is not the question to ask. Given no Hightower, KVN, Roberts, Collins, once the games start the question will be ‘What Ja’whaun-a do?

  3. touchback6 says:

    August 11, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    He will do well. Smart dude who was looking really good in early 2018. Was surprised at his agility for being more of a thumper than a speed lb, but the Bruschi/Mayo/Hightower role is vital because they set everyone else up to make the plays.

    His high IQ is why he was drafted in the 4th rd.

    He was drafted in the 5th round 143rd overall

  4. revren10 says:
    August 11, 2020 at 2:54 pm
    touchback6 says:

    August 11, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    He will do well. Smart dude who was looking really good in early 2018. Was surprised at his agility for being more of a thumper than a speed lb, but the Bruschi/Mayo/Hightower role is vital because they set everyone else up to make the plays.

    His high IQ is why he was drafted in the 4th rd.

    He was drafted in the 5th round 143rd overall

    2 0 Rate This

    ————

    Excuse me, 5th rd. Whopdee
    doo, shame on me for not double checking which mid rd he went in. lmao

    I like BBs mid and late rd picks, thanks very much.

    People apparently were mocking Trey Flowers a d Joe Thuney recently too. It just never ends.

    Mock all Pats good players and postseason performances as if it is what normal humans are supposed to do.

    But, wait! They don’t go to “Pro Bowls”.

    bawahah

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