Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett: Any other defense is 'easy to learn' after Patriots

Michael Bennett: Any other defense is 'easy to learn' after Patriots

Michael Bennett didn't see much playing time with the New England Patriots, but he still needed to learn the in-depth defensive scheme. 

Following the trade that sent him to the Dallas Cowboys, Bennett needed to learn a new defensive system all over again -- which he now says wasn't too hard.

“It’s all the same really when it comes down to it,” Bennett said, according to The Athletic's Jon Machota. “The scheme is very familiar to something I’m used to. I just came from the place [New England] with the most defenses in the league, so any other defense is pretty much easy to learn.”

While the Patriots run a rather intricate defensive scheme under head coach Bill Belichick, it has resulted in New England being discussed with the 2000's Baltimore Ravens defense as one of the best all-time. 

Even after the trade to Dallas, Bennett, 33, is pondering retirement following the 2019 season. 

The Patriots and Cowboys will meet during Week 12 at Gillette Stadium.

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Bill Belichick endorsed Michael Bennett in talks with Cowboys coach before trade

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Bill Belichick endorsed Michael Bennett in talks with Cowboys coach before trade

The New England Patriots traded Michael Bennett to the Dallas Cowboys last week, and he came with an endorsement from Pats head coach Bill Belichick.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett revealed this week that he got an endorsement of Bennett from Belichick prior to the trade going down.

The Patriots received a 2021 seventh-round draft pick from the Cowboys in exchange for Bennett. That pick could become a 2021 sixth-rounder if Bennett is on Dallas' 53-man roster for at least four games this season.

Bennett was acquired by the Patriots in March as part of a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. He didn't play as many snaps as predicted through the Patriots' first six games. The team's depth and overall defensive scheme were among the reasons for Bennett's decreased snap count. 

The 33-year-old veteran also was suspended for New England's Week 7 game against the New York Jets for conduct detrimental to the team. Bennett, in a statement to ESPN regarding his suspension, noted he had a "philosophical disagreement" with his position coach, Bret Bielema, that led to him being suspended.

Bielema was asked about that disagreement Tuesday.

"I think the part that I love about being a defensive line coach here in New England is working with smart, tough, dependable players, and Mike was that guy," Bielema said. "He was a guy that was in a role that it kind of changed every week, from that first game to last week. The part that he really continued to demonstrate was Mike is a guy that believes in himself and his abilities, and there is definitely no doubt in my mind that those will be successful for him in the future again."

Bennett played fairly well for the Patriots when he saw the field, and there's little doubt he will make a positive impact on the Cowboys defense as Dallas vies for the NFC East title.

Check out the five most impactful trade deadline moves in Pats history>>>

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How Patriots can net a sixth-round pick from Michael Bennett trade, per report

How Patriots can net a sixth-round pick from Michael Bennett trade, per report

Michael Bennett's former employer actually may be rooting for him to succeed in Dallas.

The New England Patriots traded Bennett to the Cowboys on Thursday in exchange for a conditional 2021 seventh-round draft pick, our Phil Perry reported.

ESPN's Todd Archer added further clarification Friday: If Bennett is on Dallas' 53-man roster for at least four games the rest of the way, the Patriots will receive the Cowboys' 2021 sixth-round pick.

Dallas has nine games remaining on its schedule, so it's reasonable to expect Bennett will at least be on the roster for at least half of those.

Then again, the 33-year-old didn't work out in New England, and if the Cowboys can't find a fit for Bennett, they can cut him loose or move him off the active roster knowing they'll only owe the Patriots a seventh-rounder.

Oh, and one of Dallas' remaining nine games is in New England (Week 12), so we'll either see a Bennett revenge game or a strike against the Patriots landing that sixth-round pick.

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