FOXBORO, Mass. — Michael Bennett has immense respect for Tom Brady as a football player.
In fact, Bennett on Tuesday called Brady “the greatest player to play in the NFL.” Since joining the New England Patriots via trade in March, Bennett said, he’s jumped at every opportunity to chat with his new quarterback.
These conversations rarely involve X’s and O’s or their respective NFL accomplishments, however.
Bennett, who walked with Brady to the practice field ahead of Monday’s training camp session, said he and the 42-year-old signal-caller talk about everything but football.
“It’s an opportunity to just talk life,” Bennett said Tuesday. “I think Tom has a lot of experiences that I haven’t experienced, and I have some experiences that he hasn’t experienced. And I think just being fathers and being husbands and talking about life, I think that’s the greatest thing you can do with your teammate is to learn him as an individual.
“You see people from the outside, and you want to get to know them as a person, and I think Tom does a great job of connecting with his teammates every single day. Personally, I think that’s been good for me to be able to come here and have a guy like Tom, just talking about stories and just having a good time.”
Building a connection with Brady and the rest of his Patriots teammates has been a priority for Bennett, who’s playing for his third team in three seasons.
“Football takes care of itself,” the 33-year-old defensive end said. “But building that camaraderie with your teammates, that’s the most important thing for me on this team — to earn everybody’s trust, from the top of the organization, from the media staff, from the training staff, just to let them know what type of individual I am and try to do that every single day.
“I think talking to Tom allows me to do that. … When you’ll get a chance to talk to guys like that and just have that type of time, it’s cool. He takes time to get to know me as an individual, and I love that.”