Bret Bielema speaks on time working with Michael Bennett following him being traded last week

Ryan Hannable
October 29, 2019 - 11:14 am

The Michael Bennett era in New England did not go as planned.

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The veteran was traded to the Cowboys last week after he grew frustrated with his role that included a season-low 11 snaps in his final game against the Giants. Following that game he was suspended a week for what Bennett called a "philosophical difference" with his positional coach, Bret Bielema.

When Bennett returned, he still had the same attitude about wanting to play and that led to him being traded a few days later.

Bielema was asked the "philosophical difference" Tuesday on a conference call, which first had him give a bit of a chuckle.

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

Despite playing 130 snaps with the Patriots, Bennett was fairly productive. He totaled five tackles, four quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks.

Even with how things ended, Bielema was very complimentary of Bennett.

“Very intelligent player. Very talented player. Someone who understands the league and has obviously been able to build a great career out of it," he said. "His time here was great. He was able to obviously help us win. The ending is what everybody focuses on, but I think the parts that were fun working with Mike were just to hear his knowledge, to see his skill set and understand that now he’s in a situation that he feels good about. Whatever the circumstances that surround (it), it’s just a matter of what played out in front of us. It was a great benefit to be around him and an enjoyable time for me as a coach.”

Bennett and his new team, the Cowboys, will come to Gillette Stadium Nov. 24.

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