ATLANTA It’s happened just about every playoff season the Seahawks have had -- except the only one that ended with a win, in the Super Bowl.
A player explodes in the locker room at a member of the media minutes after his season just ended. It’s understandable. Not appropriate or commendable, but understandable. This is a sport where emotion, testosterone and sacrifice are expended so rawly and extensively, and players absolutely put their long-term health at risk to win.
It happened again Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.
Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett berated a Seattle television reporter at his locker for asking questions after the Seahawks’ season ended in the divisional playoffs with a 36-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Asked about why he and the Seahawks were not able to get “a lot of pressure” on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who completed 26 of 37 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns while getting sacked three times and hit eight times in 39 drop backs, Bennett erupted much like he did last January following the playoff loss at Carolina.
"We got a lot of pressure. He threw the ball really fast (unintelligible),” Bennett began. “Obviously, you don’t know football, so there was some s*** that happened. He threw the ball pretty fast. He did his thing. We rushed as good as we could.”
I was interviewing Richard Sherman across the room and could not see the next sequence, but Bennett then snapped.
"Don’t point a finger that we didn’t do anything. We did. (unintelligible)! Don’t do that! Get out of my face, now!” he yelled at the TV reporter. “Don’t tell me I didn’t do my job, m***** ******. Get the **** out of my face! … Like I said, get out of my face! Don’t play with me! Don’t play with me! I just put my heart on the ******* field, don’t ******* play with me! Get the **** out of my face, then. Try me again and see what happens. ... I played as hard as we could. We ******* lost the game.
“Whatch you do? Whatch you do with your life, ****** *******?”
Bennett, who made the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season despite missing five games because of arthroscopic knee surgery in November, was his usual, fiery self on the field, too. He finished with one sack, one hit on Ryan, two tackles for losses and three tackles in all.
At one point he was jawing at Falcons and officials following a third-down stop.
Coach Pete Carroll said Bennett “got tackled or something” and “nicked” but that all was fine with the star to whom the Seahawks gave a three-year contract extension last month worth up to $31.5 million with $17.5 million guaranteed.