Michael Bennett hasn’t played a game for the Patriots yet, but that doesn’t stop Doug Pederson from thinking the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end will have a better time in New England.
Bennett amassed nine sacks last season, a number that likely would have been higher had he started all 16 games for the Eagles. But he now has a chance to up that number as he’ll be the Patriots’ starting defensive end after he was traded to the team from Philly earlier this month.
And Philadelphia’s head coach is excited to see what his former play will do with his new team come the 2019 season.
“I’m excited for Michael because, one, it gives him a chance to play and really be a starter,” Pederson said, via WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable. “That’s what he wanted to do. They’re getting a great person as well. He’s a good teammate. He’s obviously dynamic on the football field. He’s got a lot of gas left in the tank. It’ll be exciting to watch him.”
Pederson added Bennett knew he’d be in a rotational role when he was traded from the Seattle Seahawks, and playing in Foxboro will give him the opportunity to go back to the starting role he’s more accustomed to during his career.
“His whole career he’s been a starter. When he came to us, the expectation, and we’ve always been open and honest, we rotate a lot of guys up front on the d-line,” Pederson said. “He was inside. He was outside. We obviously added Malik Jackson to take some of that pressure off of him always coming inside. And now this gives him an opportunity to play.”
It’s likely Bennett will see a lot of playing time seeing as Trey Flowers signed a five-year deal in free agency with the Detroit Lions.