Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Michael Bennett — No takeaways from one-week…

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Michael Bennett is Patriots' best trade chip, but...

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett addressed reporters Wednesday for the first time since returning from a weeklong team suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

“It’s America. You can voice your opinion about how you feel about certain situations. That’s what I did,” Bennett said of what he previously described as a “philosophical disagreement” with defensive line coach Bret Bielema.

Asked what he took away from the suspension, as he missed the team’s 33-0 win over the New York Jets, Bennett said, “I didn’t take away nothing. I got suspended. Lost money. What am I supposed to take away from that? There’s no love lost. It’s just how it is.”

Bennett played just 11 of 50 defensive snaps in the Week 6 win over the New York Giants. The next day, he had the disagreement with Bielema, which sources said came in front of other players.

Bennett’s playing time has declined sharply since he started the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers and was on the field for a season-high 39 snaps.

“Just playing is always one thing,” Bennett said when asked whether it has been hard to be himself with the Patriots, “but not playing is always another thing.”

The NFL’s trade deadline is Tuesday.

“It is what it is, man,” Bennett said when asked whether he’s happy in New England. “It’s up to the team [about the possibility of being traded], how they feel about it. I like playing here.”

The Patriots (7-0) host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and Bennett is expecting to play, which he relayed is his regular approach.

“It’s always an adjustment when you’re not playing, just getting used to it,” Bennett said of adjusting to playing fewer snaps. “But we’re winning, and that’s the most important thing for me as a teammate. But I think as an individual, you always want to play more and make some more plays. So it’s always that great balance between both.”

Bennett has 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 pass defended in six games. In that six-game span, he had been on the field for 133 of 374 defensive snaps (35.6%).

“Just be myself. You can’t really bite your tongue,” Bennett said of his mindset. “Nobody else bites your tongue in the league. Everybody says how they feel. Just say how I feel and move on from it. We’re just all human. We all go through our own situations. You can have conversations and move on from it, and that’s how I feel about it.”

Bennett said he wasn’t sure whether he was on good terms with the coaching staff.

“I don’t know,” he said. “You have to ask them.”

Earlier in the day, when Bennett’s suspension was brought up, coach Bill Belichick said the team has other things to concern itself with.

“We’re on to this week. We’ve moved past a lot of things this week,” Belichick said. “We’re on to the Browns.”

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