Patriots

Bedard: Michael Bennett, Dont’a Hightower & the Patriots already making sweet music together

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NASHVILLE — You almost felt bad for the Titans.

They didn't know. Nobody knows.

At one point during Wednesday's joint practice against the Titans, the Patriots ran one of their multi-level "games" where a linebacker plays off the rush of a lineman. It's the same stuff New England has been running for years, especially the second half of last season with the amoeba defense.

In this case, Michael Bennett, from his left defensive tackle spot, ran across the face of the Titans center and attracted the attention of both the right guard and the center. That left a gaping hole for linebacker Dont'a Hightower to run through, and get a pressure on the quarterback. He can't be touched during practice. In the game, all bets are off.

Bennett, whom the Patriots acquired from the Eagles, hasn't even been practicing for three weeks (he missed the first two days of camp). How are Bennett, Hightower and the rest of the defense able to work so well so soon?

Hightower told BostonSportsJournal.com that Bennett hit the ground running with his teammates and the 32-year-old loves to talk strategy, from play to play.