Michael Bennett explains why he loves playing with Patriots' Dont'a Hightower

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

Michael Bennett is settling in nicely with the New England Patriots, and he's learning a lot from one linebacker in particular.

"Oh, man. I love playing with Dont'a Hightower," Bennett told reporters after Tuesday's training camp practice at Gillette Stadium. 

"I just think he's a very unique person in the NFL, as far as being able to play linebacker and rushing. He's just a really good player, so working with him and talking to him, and figuring it out has just been fun. Like I said, as a new guy, I've got the chance to play with some great linebackers, and he's one of the one's I feel like is one of the great ones, so it's a great opportunity to play with him."

Bennett has played with some great linebackers in his career -- especially with the Seattle Seahawks -- and the group in New England is quite impressive as well. Hightower leads a deep and talented Patriots linebacker corps that includes Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts and Ja'Whaun Bentley.

Bennett was acquired by the Patriots in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles back in March. The 33-year-old veteran should have an important role for the Patriots on a defensive line that tallied the second-fewest sacks in the league last season. The d-line also lost a few key players in free agency after the Patriots' Super Bowl LIII victory, including defensive end Trey Flowers and defensive tackle Malcom Brown

The veteran defensive end played quite well for the Eagles in 2018, tallying nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 16 games. There's reason to believe Bennett has enough left in the tank to give the Patriots a real pass-rushing threat during the 2019 campaign, and he seems to be enjoying the atmosphere around the team so far. 

"I was excited to work with Belichick and the rest of the guys on defense," Bennett told reporters. "Obviously, they've got a great pedigree, all of the great defensive linemen that have been here before me, so it's just a lot. Like I said before, just being in that locker room and seeing all the guys' jerseys. Growing up, Richard Seymour was my favorite player, him and John Abraham, so being here is just really unique, and the opportunity to play a lot of different fronts and do a lot of different things with a lot of these young guys is fun."

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Michael Bennett explains why he loves playing with Patriots' Dont'a Hightower originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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