New Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett has bashed Greg Schiano, his new defensive coordinator, more than once

With the Patriots agreeing to acquire Michael Bennett in a trade with the Eagles on Friday, an awkward reunion between Bennett and a former coach he has bashed more than once since their days together is looming in Foxborough. It turns out, Bennett has a history of taking shots at Greg Schiano, who is entering his first season as the Patriots' defensive coordinator.

After losing top defensive assistant Brian Flores to the Dolphins a year after losing defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to the Lions, the Patriots went out and hired Schiano immediately after the Super Bowl. Schiano, who most recently worked as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, did some of his best work as the coach of Rutgers from 2001-11, and did his worst work as the coach of the Buccaneers, posting an 11-21 record before he got fired after the 2013 season.

One month after hiring Schiano, the Patriots agreed to add Bennett in a trade with the Eagles a year after they failed to bring him from Seattle to New England. Bennett's arrival is important for a number of reasons. For one, he's an incredibly versatile and productive defensive lineman who should instantly make the Patriots better. Two, with Trey Flowers hitting free agency, the Patriots just got some insurance in the event they lose him. Three, it could lead to the return of Bennett's brother, tight end Martellus Bennett.

Four, things could get awkward between the Patriots' newest defensive player and their top defensive coach. 

It was in Tampa Bay in 2012 that Bennett played under Schiano. He did not seem to enjoy his time with Schiano and his reported "autocratic" style of coaching.

"I think he just wants to flex his power," Bennett told's Michael Silver in 2013, after he had left Tampa Bay for Seattle. "He has small [man's] syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there's not much respect for him in that locker room."

Funnily enough, Bennett also compared Schiano to Bill Belichick, his new head coach, but not in a good way. 

"He's trying to be Belichick. Yeah, some people think Belichick's an [expletive], but he's a legend," Bennett said. "When this guy acts that way, it's a whole different deal."

Two years later, Bennett criticized Schiano again. According to Bucs Nation, SB Nation's Buccaneers-specific site, when a radio host told Bennett in 2015 that he seems like a guy "who couldn't play for a stiff," Bennett responded by saying he "did that before."

"It wasn't fun," Bennett said. "His name is Greg Schiano."

Bennett will be playing under Schiano again as soon as the trade is finalized. There's no doubt the Patriots knew about Bennett's comments before they agreed acquire him. And there's no doubt that it won't take much -- if anything at all -- to mend the situation. Awkwardness could ensue, but if that's the worst thing that happens, Bennett, Schiano and the Patriots will survive. Knowing the Patriots, they'll thrive with Bennett because they almost always get the most out of their players.

Put another way: Bennett's previous comments shouldn't have been the reason why the Patriots passed up a chance to add a player of his caliber. Bennett is coming off a nine-sack season in Philadelphia that also saw him rack up 15 tackles for a loss. He has recorded 63 sacks in his 10-year career while maintaining a strong presence against the run.

Furthermore, while Schiano is the defensive coordinator, Belichick should remain heavily involved in coaching the defense. Belichick will almost assuredly turn this into a total non-issue. Arguably the greatest coach of all time shouldn't have any problems garnering the respect of Bennett or curtailing Schiano's tendencies that made him so unpopular with the Buccaneers.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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