Michael Bennett on Patriots Trade: Bill Belichick Is the 'Yoda of Football'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett looks on prior to the NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Defensive end Michael Bennett had high praise for New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Monday after the Pats acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to ESPN.com's William C. Rhoden, Bennett said the following during an appearance at Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium: "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."

New England is expected to send a 2020 fifth-round pick to Philadelphia for Bennett and a 2020 seventh-round pick when the trade becomes official Wednesday.

Bennett added that he is "excited" about the change of scenery and noted, "The Patriots are a team that people love to hate because they always win. The opportunity to learn from that and be in that environment is good."

The 33-year-old is coming off a strong season with the Eagles that saw him register 34 tackles and nine sacks, which was the second-highest total of his career. He spent just one season in Philly after being acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks last offseason.

In Bennett, the Pats are picking up a player who has been one of the NFL's best and most consistent pass-rushers over the past five seasons, per Pro Football Focus:

Pro Football Focus @PFF

Michael Bennett is heading to New England (per @Jeff_McLane) – a man who ranks third among edge defenders in total pressures (including the postseason) since 2014 https://t.co/Rm5jlGripf

Bennett said Monday that the Patriots had been trying to acquire him for quite some time: "The Patriots have been trying to trade for me for two years. Last year they tried to get me, the year before they tried to get me."

During his five years in Seattle, Bennett was named a Pro Bowler three times, reached the Super Bowl twice and won a championship.

In his Super Bowl loss, Bennett witnessed Belichick's coaching excellence firsthand. He and the rest of the Seahawks were also victims of a questionable coaching decision from Pete Carroll that saw quarterback Russell Wilson get intercepted at the goal line on a potential game-winning drive rather than running it in with Marshawn Lynch.

Belichick is a six-time Super Bowl champion who has brought New England to the Super Bowl nine times, including each of the past three seasons and four of the past five.

The Patriots have lost some key players in free agency thus far, including pass-rusher Trey Flowers and cornerback Justin Coleman, who are both set to sign with the Detroit Lions. Belichick seemingly always has a plan to make up for the losses, however.

Bennett figures to step in for Flowers and be the anchor of the New England pass rush, and considering how little it took to land him in a trade, Belichick could be in line to receive a significant return on his investment in 2019.


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