FOXBORO, Mass. — If there’s been one surprise standout veteran at Patriots training camp, it’s Marcus Benard.
The free agent defensive end was an unheralded future signing in January, but he’s making his name known by dominating in 1-on-1 pass rush drills. Benard has the right mindset when he lines up across from an offensive lineman. Benard said he thinks “Kill” when asked to get after the signal-caller in drills.
“I start sniffing, I start smelling quarterbacks,” Benard said. “My eyes turn red and I’m ready to go.”
Benard hasn’t taken the typical journey to the NFL. He started out at junior college, then moved on to Jackson State before going undrafted. Benard has had trouble staying healthy in the NFL, but when he’s been on the field, he’s been impressive.
“Yeah, I dominated everywhere,” Benard said when asked if he dominated in junior college.
The Patriots didn’t find a third-down pass rusher to fill the void Mark Anderson left when he signed a big free agent deal with the Bills last season. If Benard can stay healthy, he may be dominating in the NFL again.