New England Patriots

Michael Bennett speaks to reporters after practice for the New England Patriots at minicamp on June 4, 2019 in Foxborough, Mass. (Matt Dolloff/WBZ-FM)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

FOXBOROUGH — Michael Bennett just illustrated how impressively long the Patriots have reigned in the NFL.

The new Patriots defensive end certainly has the talent to succeed in the defense. He might have to be an anchor for a group that just lost Trey Flowers. He told reporters after minicamp practice on Tuesday in Foxborough how much he’d love to be considered in that same class.

But for Bennett, that legacy goes back much longer than Flowers. Bennett, who was just 16 years old when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl, hearkens all the way back to the beginnings of the Patriots dynasty to draw inspiration.

“I used to love watching Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, just so many great players here. I just liked watching them and the opportunity to get the chance to play here, follow those guys, is just amazing,” Bennett said. “There’s always been a lot of great D-linemen, whether it’s Vince [Wilfork] … just happy to be here.”

Dec 30, 2018; Landover, MD: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett celebrates while leaving the field after the Eagles' game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Eagles won 24-0. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec 30, 2018; Landover, MD: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett celebrates while leaving the field after the Eagles’ game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Eagles won 24-0. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Bennett also invoked names like Ty Law, Tedy Bruschi, and Willie McGinest. But it’s Seymour who he says was one of his favorite players growing up. His playing style could remind you of the Patriots great and possibly future Pro Football Hall of Famer.

“To think that I get to walk in the locker room that [Seymour] played in, to think that I get to sit in the same place, is just an honor for me to even think about that,” Bennett continued.

Well, Bennett has a long way to go to match Seymour’s accomplishments. He’s only signed for two seasons, let alone approaching three out of four Super Bowl championships. But the 33-year-old showed last season (30 quarterback hits) that he can still be a productive pass rusher. If he contributes even a fraction of what Seymour did, he’ll be quite a valuable pickup for the defending champions.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.