Michael Bennett’s ‘philosophical’ differences fly in the face of his vow upon (late) arrival to Patriots training camp

Andy Hart
October 17, 2019 - 11:38 am
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Michael Bennett is in the midst of a reported 1-week suspension from the Patriots due to “conduct detrimental to the team.”

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When word of the suspension broke earlier this week, Bennett issued a statement through ESPN shedding a tad of light on the situation.

“On Friday, I had a philosophical disagreement with my position coach that has led to my suspension. I apologize to my teammates for any distraction this may have caused."

The general presumption is that Bennett’s “philosophical disagreement” is likely in regards to the veteran defensive lineman’s usage. Bennett has played in just under 36 percent of the Patriots defensive snaps this season, bottoming out with just 11 snaps in last Thursday night’s 35-14 win over the Giants at Gillette Stadium.

Interestingly, the issue comes little more than two months after Bennett was a late arrival to his first training camp in New England, missing the first three days of work due to what he called “a personal issue.”

Following his first summer practice in Foxborough, the veteran pass rusher expressed significant gratitude to Bill Belichick and how the generally hardline coach handled Bennett’s tardiness.

“I was lucky 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,” Bennett said July 28.

He expanded on that thought when asked if he was worried how Belichick might react to his being absent to the opening of training camp.

“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,” Bennett declared. “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.”

Now, just six regular season games later, “whatever he asks me to do” has turned into Bennett being suspended for a “philosophical disagreement” with the Patriots coaching staff.

Related: Demaryius Thomas calls short stay with Patriots a ‘waste of time’