Pete Carroll bumpin' Notorious B.I.G. throughout the meeting room as the entire roster files in for a noon meeting.
Michael Bennett producing gems for quotes.
Doug Baldwin zinging Jim Harbaugh.
Just another playoff-bye-week day for the NFC's top seed.
Be the first to know.
No one covers what is happening in our community better than we do. And with a digital subscription, you'll never miss a local story.
Today is the first of two practice days before the NFC West-champion Seahawks get Friday through Sunday off to watch which team it is they will host Jan. 10 in the divisional round.
But Bennett and Baldwin were in game-ready mode, quote wise.
Baldwin, the former Stanford wide receiver who played there for Harbaugh, went undrafted in 2011 before becoming a Super Bowl-winning, $13-million starter for Seattle. He was asked this morning his thoughts on his former coach leaving the San Francisco 49ers returning to college football on Tuesday with a mega contract to coach Michigan.
"I wish him the best of luck," Baldwin said, "and go Buckeyes."
Baldwin was so frosty with what he has since called the military-like style with which Harbaugh coaches that he described last January before the NFC championship game against Harbaugh's 49ers how close he was to quitting Stanford.
“My junior year, I was actually going to transfer Vanderbilt," Baldwin said Jan. 16. "I had the transfer papers already filled out on my behalf, and I was very close. Basically it came down to whether my mother was going to let me do it or not. She said no and that I had to stick through it. And I eventually came to the realization that I needed to stick through it as well. I was very close though.
"All of you guys know that Jim Harbaugh and I did not have the best of relationships while I was at Stanford, but all of that stuff is settled now," Baldwin said 11 1/2 months ago. "I was immature, I was a young athlete who thought I knew everything so we clashed at times, and I was dealing with injuries so that kind of held and prevented me from performing how I wanted to on the field. So a lot of things went into it.”
Some else of what Baldwin said today is here, starting with his happiness over his former Stanford team winning a something called the Foster Farms (or was it just the Chicken?) Bowl last night over Maryland:
The rest of Baldwin's audio is here, starting with what changed for him after the Seahawks traded Percy Harvin to the Jets in October (namely, way more targets and catches):
The always-glib Bennett, who last week said Marshawn Lynch was running so hard the last time anyone in this country had seen anything like it was the Underground Railroad, talked about how comfortable the Seahawks are in this playoff-bye setting. They had this same bye week at this time last year en route to two postseason victories at home and then winning February's Super Bowl in New Jersey. But his best stuff came after this video, which also includes Bennett's New Year's resolution. I think he was joking on that--at least I hope he was:
On his Seahawks having the league's top-ranked defense for the second consecutive season, and becoming the first unit since Minnesota's "Purple People Eaters" of 1969-71 to lead the league in fewest points allowed three consecutive years, Bennett said: "Ninety percent of the NFL is scared to tackle--and a lot of our guys are in that (other) 10 percent."
Bennett wasn't totally impressed like the rest of us with the tumbling interception teammate and fellow defensive lineman Jordan Hill had to change last weekend's win over St. Louis that clinched the division for Seattle.
"When I catch the ball I usually score," the defensive end said, a reference to last season's grab of a sack-fumble out of the air and return for a score against New Orleans. "He got tackled.
"I have offensive skills."
While talking about how the team's unity strengthened in the middle of the season, which is what he, Pete Carroll and most Seahawks credit for turning the team from 3-3 to 12-4, Bennett was asked when specifically that change occurred.
"I don't know the exact date," Bennett said. "I didn't write it down."
Bennett on the Seahawks allowing just six points per game during their ongoing, six-game winning streak: "When we give up six points we are like 'Damn, we gave up SIX POINTS?!"
I asked him if, as a defensive player, he feels today's NFL is set up against defenses and overwhelmingly for offenses. Bennett loved that one.
"I think the league is a fantasy football league. You take the play that Suh did, he actually stepped on (Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers') foot. He gets fined because it's a quarterback," Bennett said of the NFL fining Detroit defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh $70,000 for his stunt last weekend but changing its mind about suspending him for this weekend's playoff game at Dallas. "I mean, as a defensive linemen, people are always stepping on you.
"People are hitting you in the head. There is always something happening to you. But nobody cares, because you are a defensive lineman; who cares about defensive linemen and offensive linemen?
"So it is a thing where it is a fantasy football league, and it's driven like that, statistically. The things that they do -- 'Oh, you can't hit the quarterback here. You can't put your hand on a receiver.' ... It's hard to play defense. But we figured a way out, and we continue to play at a high level.
Bennett wasn't done on that. He then referenced league royalty.
"If I get knocked on the ground, the referee just steps over me and says, 'Oh, it's part of the game.' But if Peyton Manning falls on the ground, the referee helps him off the ground," Bennett said. "I thought everybody was equal. But that's a lie."
You can hear more of the entertaining Bennett here: