dangolka (CBS) — The change at quarterback is drawing a lot of the eye with the New England Patriots, and rightfully so. Going from Tom Brady to Cam Newton is kind of the drastic change in Foxboro.
However there’s one other place that’s present process much more huge reconstruction: Linebacker. The Patriots misplaced each Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins in free company, and after Dont’a Hightower opted out amid COVID-19 considerations, New England now finds themselves with none of its beginning linebackers from final season.
That’s not perfect for a workforce that was imagined to have its protection lead the cost. Hightower has been one of many workforce’s defensive leaders for practically a decade. He was the quarterback of that aspect of the ball, sporting the inexperienced dot on his helmet and receiving performs from the sideline to relay to the remainder of the protection. His loss, together with that of playmakers Van Noy and Collins, is a monumental one not simply on the protection, however the workforce as an entire.
Enter third-year linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley. Buried on the workforce’s depth chart in 2019, Bentley will now be thrust right into a management position that he served for 3 years at Purdue. Chatting with reporters on Wednesday, Bentley stated he’s dealt with inexperienced dot duties earlier than, and is keen to do something and the whole lot Invoice Belichick asks of him in 2020.
“All people has a task to play. If that’s what mine could be, I must try this and do it very properly,” stated Bentley.
That inexperienced dot additionally carries the lofty expectations to guide the linebacking corps.
“I’ve been right here and we have now numerous new guys, so you need to step into no matter position matches you finest. I’m a giant advocate for not forcing a management position — Management finds you” he stated. “It finds you and also you react with that. You by no means drive the management place, you let it occur. I’m a giant fan of that and proper now, with assembly our guys, we’re in a position to join and construct relationships with all people.”
Prefer it not, that management position is Bentley’s in 2020. After showing in simply two video games as a rookie, he performed in all 16 final season (beginning two), and now he’s the elder statesman of a linebacking corps that features rookies Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings.
Bentley has Hightower on his pace dial when questions come up throughout the season, and he added that he’s all the time tried to study a little bit one thing from everybody he’s shared the sector with all through his soccer profession.
“You’re all the time selecting their brains and seeing various things you’ll be able to convey to your sport. That’s been my method since Day 1, whether or not it was school or the professionals, stuff I can steal – so to talk – to convey to my sport,” stated Bentley.
There is no such thing as a changing Hightower, one of the crucial necessary members of the Patriots since he was drafted in 2012. However regardless of all of the changeover on the place, Bentley sounds assured that New England’s linebackers will do their job within the New England protection.
“We have now numerous nice expertise. Shoutout to Jamie and Excessive, all these guys. Clearly you respect the choice that Hightower made, he had no alternative however to try this. However, nonetheless we have now to return in right here and attempt to work,” he stated. “We have now to work, we have now to determine our roles. We have now to maintain pushing ahead.”