"He's a phenomenal coach, one of the best I've been around," Bennett said at the start of the Patriots' playoff run. "Always prepared. Preparation is key. I've been in the league going on my 10th year now, and he's helped me grow as a player tremendously. He's invested in me, and I'm invested in him, and we have a great relationship together."
That "investment" is a Daboll trademark. He has been one of the most well-liked assistant coaches in the NFL -- by players and media -- because of the time he has taken to develop personal connections.
"He's down-to-earth, easy to communicate with," Bennett said. "He's honest and upfront. I can come to him and say anything. We just have a really good relationship. It's a brotherhood."
As for his football acumen, Bennett said: "He's very smart. He has offensive coordinator [experience], he's coached quarterbacks, so he sees the game differently, and he helps us see the game differently. He's awesome."
Daboll, who turns 42 on April 14, began his career working under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick. As he branched out -- always coaching on the offensive side of the ball -- he did so under coaches Eric Mangini, Tony Sparano and Romeo Crennel, all of whom had strong connections to the Bill Parcells/Belichick coaching tree.