RENTON It took maybe two minutes of his first drill this offseason for Michael Bennett to fume.
The Pro Bowl defensive end showed up as expected Tuesday for the first day of the Seahawks’ minicamp -- because, unlike the organized team activities of the previous two weeks, these minicamp practices are mandatory. And Bennett would rather hold hands with quarterbacks than give away his money to team fines.
His first Seattle practice since the day before January’s playoff loss at Atlanta hadn’t officially started when Bennett was going through a pre-workout pass-rush drill: parrying the arm pads pushed at them by assistant coaches then planting and cutting sharply inside to a make-believe QB. Bennett got to assistant defensive line coach Dwaine Board -- but slipped as he glanced off Board’s pad and fell to the turf. Bennett then extended both arms with palms facing skyward as he gestured toward Board. And he got angry at being on the ground. Then he walked out of the drill.
Teammate Earl Thomas, a strong safety who was with the defensive ends working on his hand-fighting skills, came over to check on Bennett and pat him on the back side. The encouragement didn’t help; Bennett then took off his helmet, placed it on the bottom of an upside-down garbage can and walked off the field and into team headquarters.
He emerged 10 minutes later to rejoin his teammates for practice, presumably with better cleats. He and Board shared a couple words and smiles.
He watched most of the team scrimmaging.
Bennett wasn’t exactly doing nothing while away from the voluntary workouts this spring. He makes his offseason home in Hawaii with his wife and daughters, and that of course is not an easy place to leave when you don’t have to. He has also been traveling the country this offseason talking about social issues, a continuation of an activist effort he accelerated during last season.
Fellow Pro Bowl defensive end Cliff Avril was also on the field for the first time this offseason. Avril was also doing good while away. He was in Haiti for part of his offseason, getting help from former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch building houses on the impoverished island. That was Avril making good on his pledge to donate money for Haiti homes for each sack he had in his career-best 2016 season.