Newly-acquired defensive end Michael Bennett spoke glowingly of his excitement in joining the Patriots franchise and being coached by Bill Belichick.
Speaking to the media for the first time since learning he’d been traded to the New England Patriots, defensive end Michael Bennett talked at length about his initial impressions in joining the AFC superpower.
“The Patriots are a team that people love to hate because they always win,” Bennett told reporters during an appearance at Princeton University. “The opportunity to learn from that and be in that environment is good. I’m excited about it.”
He also drew a notable – if slightly unconventional – comparison between Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and a beloved cultural figure in the Star Wars cinematic universe.
“From a football perspective there’s a respect for Belichick. I consider him the Yoda of football when it comes to the ins and outs of what’s happening around how to prepare for a game.”
Yoda, of course, is the small green Jedi warrior famous for his seemingly infinite wisdom, knowledge of the mystical Force, and curious way of constructing sentences. While the two figures may not look much alike, it’s an apt comparison when you consider how both are considered masters of their respective disciplines.
Bennett is scheduled to take a physical with team personnel at a facility in Boston on Tuesday. Assuming everything checks out, he will officially become a member of the franchise when the new league year begins on Wednesday.
The Patriots have been trying to obtain Bennett’s services for a couple of years now. They reportedly made the Seattle Seahawks a generous offer that trumped the Philadelphia Eagles’ offer this time last year, but they were just a bit too late. The Seahawks ended up shipping Bennett to the City of Brotherly Love, where he played all 16 games last season.
Bennett initially came into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009 with Seattle. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before returning to the Seahawks and earning three Pro Bowl nominations during his time there.
His acquisition by New England will presumably help soften the blow of the Patriots losing marquee pass rusher Trey Flowers to the Detroit Lions in free agency. Flowers is rumored to have agreed to a five-year contract worth in excess of $80 million.
There is speculation that Bennett’s arrival in Foxborough could be a factor in convincing his brother Martellus to come out of retirement and rejoin the Patriots in 2019. Especially with Rob Gronkowski’s future still in doubt, the team has a real need at tight end.
Michael Bennett was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of playing alongside his brother this season.
“I’d love to play with my brother but I don’t want to be the force that forces my brother to play because I’m playing on the team,” he told the media. “I want him to play purely because he wants to play. The game is played a lot better when you truly want to play because you want to play. It’s important, if he decides to come back, that’s the first thing he should think about. As a brother that’s my ultimate goal to see him happy, and whatever happiness looks for him, that’s what I wanted.”