Michael Bennett appeared in a telephone interview from his Seattle-area home on 750 The Game radio in Portland this week -- and had what may be the most apt description yet of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll from one of his players.
"It's like playing for Willy Wonka," the disruptive, and always glib, defensive end told the station's John Canzano.
"He's crazy. He wants to be young," Bennett said of Carroll. "He just is one of those guys who's always up beat, wants to have a good time, and let's you be yourself."
"You seem like a guy who couldn't play for a stiff," Canzano replied.
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"I did that before. It wasn't fun," Bennett said of his playing days in Tampa Bay. "His name is Greg Schiano.
"I think you lose guys like that. Guys are their own men. To a coach (like that), his whole life is football ... A player, he tries to distance himself from football (in his off time), you know?
Bennett also said he doesn't think the Seahawks' defensive line gets near the recognition it should for how disruptive it is and how it pressures -- if not always sacks -- the quarterback.
"We're overlooked," he said.
"Defensive front and offensive line is where you win championships," Bennett said. "Everyone else is pretty much just running around."
It was noticeable Canzano didn't ask Bennett directly about his unhappiness with his $28.5 million contract for four years. He's one season into and has said this offseason, more than once, that he wants more money -- but not a trade -- from Seattle because the market for defensive linemen has spiked past his year-old deal. He stayed away from voluntary team workouts last month.
"People get mad when players ask for raises ... but they don't understand a team's longevity," Bennett said. "The Seahawks are going to be around for as long as there is an NFL. But a player only has so much time.
"I say for every football year it's 10 regular years. ... Fans, they take the injuries out of it. They see the score. They don't see the pain and the injuries and what guys do to try to get their bodies back up for the game. The cold tub, the hot tub. The broken arms, the broken thumbs. I mean, half the stuff that people play with in the NFL people would be out of work for seven months. But guys go out there, line up and play with a torn MCL. You're like, 'Wow. This is crazy!'"
He talked about being a center fielder in baseball while growing up in Texas, and a discus and shot-put thrower in track. He talked about a dinner and auction May 29 at El Gaucho in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue for the Seattle Ocean Health Fest his Bennett Foundation is helping put on to promote to families healthy and active lifestyles.
"It's super-important to me," Bennett said. "It's my life, to help people."
He also compared playing in Seattle to Tampa Bay.
"Yeah, it's different. In Seattle, the stadium's always packed. It's like playing in the Olympics," he said.
Bennett also said the Buccaneers believe in building a team through trades over developing young players.
"In Seattle, it's just the opposite," he said. "If Tampa did that, they'd have more success."
He's technically Michael Bennett Jr, and said everyone from his family and hometown of Alief, Texas know, him as "Little Mike."
Asked by Canzano if there will ever be a Michael Bennett III, junior replied: "Yeah. I try to work on it every, single night."
You could almost hear his wry smile through the phone.
The entire interview is at the bottom of this link. As usual with Bennett, it's worth listening to.
SEAHAWKS OTA SCHEDULE
The team announced this yesterday:
These sessions are closed to the public.
KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS BACK AND HEALTHY?
The promising, speedy linebacker who missed the final six regular-season game and all of the playoffs last season as a rookie because of a shoulder injury, went on social media last night to proclaim he'll be ready for those above OTAs:
He came back to team workouts late last month.