Michael Bennett is too smart to give any ammunition to Bill Belichick.
Needless to say, Bennett said there is no revenge on his mind — it’s business as usual as the Cowboys look to move to 7-4 on the season, via Todd Archer of ESPN.
“It’s never personal in the NFL,” Bennett said Wednesday. “It’s always business.”
Bennett had a rough tenure in New England. As a three-time Pro Bowl selection and former Super Bowl champion, the veteran defensive end was traded to the Patriots with high expectations. However, he started just one game during his six appearances with New England, mustering just five total tackles and 2.5 sacks.
In fact, Bennett appeared in just 133 of a possible 374 snaps (35.6 percent) as a member of the Patriots.
The beginning of the end for Bennett in New England came after an argument with a position coach on a football-related issue. The argument resulted in a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team — which eventually led to the Patriots trading Bennett to the Cowboys for a sixth-round draft selection.
Even with that recent history in mind, Bennett took the high road and complimented his former head coach — Belichick — on what a great football mind he is. He even went so far as to say that he learned a lot from Belichick during his short time in New England.
“I learned a lot of football in New England,” Bennett said. “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.”
Michael Bennett Compliments Tom Brady
The 34-year-old defensive end also made sure to single out some praise for his former teammate Tom Brady. Bennett called Brady one of the best leaders in the NFL.
“I think he does a great job of bringing guys together and also just hanging with everybody. I think that makes the team feel really good, when you grow up and you look at a guy and he has everything in the league and at the same time he’s down-to-earth. I think that’s what makes Brady one of the best leaders in the NFL.”
He also made sure to clarify that he has no added motivation in sacking Brady this week.
“No,” he said. “Same motivation.”
Bill Belichick Praises Michael Bennett
Needless to say, Belichick also took the high road when it came to commenting on Bennett’s return to New England. The veteran head coach complimented Bennett on his impact in Dallas, saying that he brings third down pass rushing to the Cowboys.
“I think he’s probably given the Cowboys what they wanted from him, some inside pass-rush production on third down in passing situations,” Belichick said. “He’s done that throughout his career.”
While this may just be another game for the Patriots, I don’t buy Bennett’s remarks. He’s definitely motivated to prove something to the Patriots after they sent him packing for a bag of peanuts.