Jaguars DT Bennett determined to improve effort in NFL

Published Jul. 10, 2015 12:31 a.m. ET

As he prepares for his first NFL training camp, Jacksonville Jaguars rookie defensive tackle Michael Bennett is determined to correct what he views as a major deficiency from his college playing days.

Bennett, who was selected in the sixth round out of Ohio State, said he viewed tape of himself while preparing for the NFL draft and came away dissatisfied with what he saw.

“I didn’t have a good motor in college, at least not all the time,” Bennett said, via the Florida Times-Union. “But the more you watch film and see yourself do that, the more disgusted you get with yourself. Going into the NFL, I knew that was one of the things I really needed to work on.” 

The 6-foot-2, 293-pound Bennett was productive in college, recording 18 sacks during his four seasons in Columbus, but admits his effort level was "pretty inconsistent."  For one thing, the game came easily to him. Bennett played in 11 games as a freshman in 2011 and had no real issues adjusting to the college game.  

Bennett also cited fatigue as another factor for his lack of effort at times, admitting he would give less than maximum effort on certain plays where he felt he couldn't make a difference in order to conserve energy for later in the game. In retrospect, Bennett said he realizes trying to save energy may have been perceived negatively by some NFL scouts as taking plays off. 

Now that he's in the NFL and working to secure his role on the Jaguars, Bennett said he knows there's more at stake and that he can't get by on raw athleticism any longer.

“Now I feel like it’s, ‘Go get the ball at all costs, go get that play, run it down from 40 yards,’ ” he said. “This is your livelihood. That’s what you need to do.”


(h/t Florida Times-Union)

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports