New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett missed the first three practices but he finally attended training camp Sunday morning.
“I just had a family issue that I had to go take care of. I was lucky; 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,” Bennett said after his first practice. “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 had an excused absence and pointed out how appreciative he is of Bill Belichick’s understanding.
“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,” said Bennett. “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.”
The Patriots rely on Michael Bennett to help provide disruption on defense after Trey Flowers signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency.
Bennett had nine sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles last season and has totaled 63 in his 10-year career. He is looking forward to a new beginning with the Patriots, a franchise he said he has long admired.
“I think the opportunity to build teams, that’s what’s the best part of the game. I love winning, but I also love to build a great relationship with new people and the opportunity to be put in new positions and try new things,” he said.
“The opportunity to have that growth; I’ve been comfortable in Seattle over there. Now it’s time for me to take another step in something I can improve in, whatever they ask me to do, things I’m not used to do doing, and I want to improve on that.”