Patriots

Michael Bennett appreciates Belichick for time away: Sees you 'as a human being, not just a number'

Michael Bennett appreciates Belichick for time away: Sees you 'as a human being, not just a number'

FOXBORO -- Michael Bennett didn't look like a player who flew into town this morning, traveling from where he makes his home in Hawaii.

He matched up with two of New England's best offensive linemen in one-on-one periods and more than held his own. In 11-on-11 work, he looked quick off the ball, throwing his 275-pound body (and tiny shoulder pads) across the line of scrimmage with abandon.

Fresh off a plane, Bennett was also fresh off of three days away from Patriots training camp practices. Dealing with what he termed a family issue, he stayed away from Gillette Stadium until Sunday, jumping right into the team's second fully-padded practice.

In meeting with the reporters for the first time this summer, Bennett went out of his way to thank Bill Belichick for allowing him the time off he needed.

"I was lucky," Bennett said. "Coach Belichick – it's nice when you have a coach that sees you as a human, sees you as a human being, not just a number, and you're able to go talk to him, tell him what's going on, and you're able to go take care of it. That just makes you want to play harder for a coach. When he believes in you, and lets you take care of your family first."

He added: "I think everybody's always concerned about how their boss is going to take into consideration if something happens back home, but when you have a boss who respects you as a man, it's easy to go out there and play for him like that. I think for me, that's easy to look him in the eye and whatever he asks me to do, I'll do it simply because I know he respects me as a human being and I respect that."

Bennett insisted he was working out in the days he wasn't with the team and so he didn't need much time to get up to speed. Based on how he played -- even though he was matched up with players who had been on the field for three days -- it'd be hard to say he wasn't ready to go. He showed noticeable burst in the one-on-one session, locking horns with starters Marcus Cannon and later Shaq Mason.

Bennett was asked if it was important to him that he arrive and hit the ground running after time away.

"I mean, I just flew here this morning, so I just came right to practice," he said. "It's important – just the game. You want to prove to your teammates that you love the game. I grew up and this game has been a part of my life for over 20 years, so every time I step on the field and I've got teammates who believe in me, I just want to come out and show them that in every single moment, I'm going to try to go as hard as I can.

"When you're on a new team and you have to build new relationships, the only type of way to build new relationships is to show everyone the type of work ethic you've got, what you believe in, and how you carry yourself. Then, the relationship grows from there, especially when you've been in the league for a long time and you have to come to a new team. It's always good, you know you've got great leadership all over, and I'm just trying to learn from these guys."

He'll have ample opportunity to do just that now that he's in town and with one seemingly strong practice under his belt.

Postcard from Camp, Day 4: Bennett shines in first Patriots practice>>>

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Tom Brady 'proud' of ex-teammate Jimmy Garoppolo's success with 49ers

Tom Brady 'proud' of ex-teammate Jimmy Garoppolo's success with 49ers

Tom Brady is admiring ex-Patriots teammate Jimmy Garoppolo's success with the 49ers from afar.

Despite suffering his first loss of the season on Monday night vs. the Seahawks, the former Pats backup quarterback is thriving as San Francisco's starting QB. Garoppolo, like Brady, has his team off to an 8-1 start and pegged as a favorite to compete in Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Brady talked about Garoppolo's early success on Monday during his weekly Westwood One interview with Jim Gray.

"He's done a great job. The point of playing football is to win, so when your team's winning and you're the quarterback, you're doing your job," Brady told Gray. "I'm certainly proud of everything that he's accomplished. He was a really great guy for me to get to know and to see on a daily basis.

"I think the great thing to see if players who take advantage of their opportunity. He had an organization that put a lot on the line to get him, and he's taken advantage of that opportunity. I know he had a tough injury last year, but he showed a lot of mental toughness in coming back from a tough injury and is playing great football."

Garoppolo was drafted by the Patriots in 2014 and served as Brady's backup until he was traded to the 49ers in 2017. The Eastern Illinois product got the chance to showcase his talents in two starts during the 2016 season, going 2-0 with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Since then, the 28-year-old has overcome a devastating knee injury and become the leader of an NFC powerhouse that looks like it'll be in the mix for years to come. Not a bad deal for the man once thought of as Brady's potential successor.

As for Brady and the Patriots, they'll look to bounce back from their Week 10 loss to the Ravens on Sunday when they face off against the Eagles. If all goes according to plan, a February reunion for Brady and Garoppolo in Miami could be in the works.

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Rob Gronkowski reunites with David Ortiz, calls him his 'new trainer'

Rob Gronkowski reunites with David Ortiz, calls him his 'new trainer'

Two of Boston's most beloved sports figures in the city's history did some reuniting on Monday.

Rob Gronkowski and David Ortiz joined forces for an Instagram video that certainly will add to the speculation about a possible comeback for the retired Patriots tight end.

“Big Papi’s my new trainer,” Gronkowski says in the video while flexing. “We are reunited.”

Watch below:

Don't get too excited though, Patriots fans. Gronk has pretty much already shut down the idea of a comeback this season and is preoccupied with some new television responsibilities. He has, however, left the door open to return to the gridiron one day.

If Gronk does decide to help out the Pats' current tight end situation, he has until Nov. 30 to make up his mind.

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