RENTON Michael Bennett is not like everyone else. But, heck, you already knew that.
The Seahawks’ Pro Bowl defensive end is not surprised the NFL did not fine him for his actions last weekend at the end of Seattle’s loss at Jacksonville.
“No,” Bennett told me following Friday’s practice for Sunday’s mammoth home game against the Los Angeles Rams for the NFC West lead if not title.
“I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Bennett lunged at the snap of Jaguars’ center Brandon Linder on a kneel-down play as Jacksonville was running off the final seconds of its 30-24 victory last Sunday. He and coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks were competing through the final play, trying against all odds to disrupt the Jaguars’ snap and get a turnover so Seattle’s offense could get one last chance to win the game.
Then, well after the play ended, Bennett did this:
Carroll said he wasn’t surprised at Bennett avoiding a fine, either.
“Yeah. He did what I said he did,” Carroll said. “That’s what happened there and they got tangled up a little bit.”
Then the coach added with a wry grin: “Not everybody avoided fines.”
The coach got docked $10,000 by the league for violating rule 3, section 37, article 1 of NFL rule book: "During any timeout...representatives of either team are prohibited from entering the field" unless substitutes, team attendants, trainers or a coach to check on injured player.
Carroll didn’t just “enter the field” at the end of the game in Jacksonville. He marched out 25-plus yards to the center of it, just about in the middle of the Jaguars’ logo at midfield, before officials ushered him back to Seattle’s sideline. He said he did that to calm down his players from fighting.
The energetic, 66-year-old coach said it was the first time in his career he’s done that.
All NFL fines for game conduct goes to the league’s charity fund.
Carroll wasn’t surprised he is now required to contribute. He calculated the likelihood of a fine as he walked onto that field in Florida.
“No, that was part of the knowing on the way out there,” he said. “Just something that needed to be done at the time.”
“Really, when you think about it, in the big picture, the money goes to a good cause,” Carroll quipped. “This time of year, giving is everything.”
What made Carroll go onto the field?
As you can see in the above video, Bennett’s play sparked a fight that included Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson throwing a punch at the helmet of Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette. Richardson was ejected, and Friday the league fined him $9,115. Fournette got fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Then with 48 seconds remaining in the game Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson got ejected for fighting after another kneel-down play by the Jaguars. The NFL fined Jefferson $9,115 for that.
Jefferson got pelted with beer and other liquid--and he says a vile comment about his mother--as he was going off the field into the tunnel leading to Seattle’s locker room. He charged the stands and grabbed a railing as if he was going to pull himself into the group of fans throwing beer and insults before a Seahawks staffer pulled him down and took him into the locker room.
It was unknown from the league as of Friday night if Jefferson got fined for charging the stands.
The league fined Fournette $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Right tackle Germain Ifedi got fined $24,309 for “verbally abusing an official” in the first quarter following a holding penalty against him the league’s most penalized player this season did not care for much, at all.
He didn’t care for the fine he got Friday much, either.
“No comment,” Ifedi said at his locker following practice. “No comment.”
He did say he still has “no idea” what he said to warrant the allegation of “verbal abuse” to the official, and that he didn’t get an explanation.
“Can’t speak on it. I got to find out what it’s all about,” he said, adding he may appeal once he learns more about his fine.
Ifedi has been flagged 17 times in 13 games, with 13 of those penalties accepted. That’s the most in the league, by far.
Carroll said he believes in the idea players get a reputation for penalties and it affects officials throwing more flags on those guys than maybe on others.
“Absolutely. Everybody is human. Human nature,” Carroll said. “It’s hard to avoid that. That is a factor in all of this.
“I’m not saying that there is anybody on our team that is of that, but in the past we have. We have had guys in the past that have been pretty notable about penalties and stuff. So I think that definitely exists, yeah.”
Ifedi said if he has a reputation for penalties that precedes him and leads to more calls against him, that’s news to him.
“I don’t know. I never thought of it that way,” Ifedi said. “If so, you’ve just got to be that much more right.
“If that is the case, that is something. But you’ve just got to keep doing right. The goal is to do right. If it is, you just have to be that much more right, because people are watching you, waiting for you to do something out of hand. But I don’t go in there believing anyone is targeting me, or anything.”