Michael Bennett’s tenure with the New England Patriots did not go as planned, but it sounds like he’s made peace with that and moved on.
The veteran defensive lineman was unhappy with his role in New England, which led to a one-week suspension and later a trade that sent him to the Dallas Cowboys. Despite the troubled stint, Bennett told ESPN’s Todd Archer that “it’s never personal in the NFL. … It’s always business.”
Bennett clearly was impressed with Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ operation, however, even though he didn’t see the field as much as he would have liked. He spoke extremely highly of Belichick when discussing the head coach with Archer.
“I learned a lot of football in New England,” Bennett told Archer. “I think at the same time as a player you go into the situation and you think you know football, then you meet somebody who’s above you (like Belichick) 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.
“At the end of the day, I just think Bill is a great motivator. I think he understands football from the beginning,” Bennett said. “He’s a historian when it comes to football, plays. He can remember anything when it comes to it. He’s just a savant. I think he just knows how to put people in great positions to make plays, and I think you always go over every single thing about the game, the things that teams do, the chances that they might take, and I think probability plays a lot into the execution of the team.”
Belichick gave his take on Bennett’s role within Dallas’ defense Wednesday afternoon, but it’s rather evident that New England’s unit didn’t need the 34-year-old. They’ve continued to be as dominant as any defense in the league following his departure. Time will tell if that continues when they face his new Cowboys teammates in Week 12.
New England and Dallas kick off from Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images