After his short-lived stint with the Patriots, Michael Bennett has found a home and Dallas and recently compared the complexity of New England’s defense to others among the league.
Michael Bennett was brought into New England last offseason to help fill the void that was left in the pass rush with the departure of New England’s top pass rusher for several years in Trey Flowers. Along with Bennett, the Patriots also brought in Jamie Collins and Chase Winovich. New England may have over compensated for the loss of Flowers, but their pass rush has excelled this year and Bennett found himself falling down the depth chart and was given a different role than he was promised when he signed with the team.
After a team-mandated suspension, Bennett voiced his frustration with his role on the team and
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did not seem overly eager to be on the team, so he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Bennett has now spent a few weeks with the Cowboys where he has shown flashes of his former self in his days with the Seahawks and Eagles where he a dominant pass rusher. He was asked about the Cowboys’ defensive scheme and responded with “It’s all the same really when it comes down to it. The scheme is very familiar with something I’m used to. I just came from a place (New England) with the most defenses in the league, so every other defense is pretty much easy to learn”.
Bennett’s lack of reps on the field very well could have had a correlation with his struggles to learn the defense. People say that the New England Patriots’ organization is not for everyone. It takes more than just talent. Belichick is very vocal about his preference of smart football players over talented football players. Not to say that Bennett is not a smart guy, but he is on a rather long list of guys that struggled to buy in and take the time learn the playbook in his time with the Patriots. Another notable player that suffered the same fate was Chad Ochocinco. One of the quickest, most physically gifted receivers of the early 2000’s was brought onto New England in 2011 and many expected the Brady/Ochocinco duo to be one of the most lethal combinations in football at the time. To put it lightly, the partnership was a bit of a letdown. Ochocinco only caught 15 passes in his 15 games with the team and his time as a Patriot was a very forgettable part of his career.
Michael Bennett is a very talented football player, he was just not able to make it work in New England for whatever reason. He seems to have found a home in Dallas and as New England fans, we should hold no ill will towards Bennett for his time with New England. The New England Patriots are just not for everybody.