FOXBORO — The New England Patriots have showcased a 3-4 defensive front throughout the opening weeks of training camp.
Newly acquired and first-year Patriot Michael Bennett was a fixture as a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, playing on the edge of a 4-3 front. Despite the change, Bennett said he is looking forward to the new challenge.
“I think it’s all the same,” Bennett said. “I’ve played in all different defenses. It’s just about your attitude really, and trying to make the best of each position and finding out how to dominate that position.
“It takes a little time,” he added, “but once you figure it out, it’s the best part of it. I think, later in your career, being in the same position and doing the same things doesn’t allow you to grow, so when you get into a position with a team that’s pushing you to do different things and becoming uncomfortable in it, it kind of allows you to grow in your own craft.”
“I think this is a good opportunity for me to grow in my own craft, learning new defenses, learning new terminology, learning new players — it’s fun. I think it’s easy when you’re in the same defense for a long period of time to be great, but then to go to another defense and do it again. That’s a great challenge and I look forward to those types of challenges, especially now.”
Bennett said going up against a center or guard in a 3-4 as opposed to going up against a tackle like that in a 4-3 does not change his approach.
“I just try to beat the person in front of me the best way I can,” Bennett said. “I just try to out-will him every single time, and just let him know that I’m going to try to be the best every single time. I don’t think it really changes, you just beat the person in front of you. That’s really what football comes down to, just beating the person in front of you and getting to the quarterback.”
Bennett says the adjustment is going just fine so far.
“Did you just see me out there right now?,” Bennett said. “I’ve never been in a defense where I didn’t play good, so I feel like I’m just going to go out there and just do the best I can really.”
Patriots’ center David Andrews agrees. Andrews has been going up against Bennett when the first-team offense lines up against the first-team defense.
“Mike’s (Bennett) been a great addition,” Andrews said. “He does a lot of things well, can do a lot of different things. Anytime you get a chance to compete with a guy like that, one — you like it, it’s fun. You kind of throw your stuff out there and see what you’ve got against someone who’s been a great pass rusher in this league for a while.
“I’m excited to see what he can do and he’s been a great teammate,” Andrews added.
The Patriots go against the Tennessee Titans in joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday prior to Saturday night’s preseason game.