By Brady Henderson
Training camp must feel much easier for Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who for the past three years has spent the month of August practicing in the stifling humidity of Tampa, Fla. as a member of the Buccaneers.
“People were losing 10 pounds at practice sometimes. I’ve seen that. Here I’ve got to put on a sweater just to drop some weight,” Bennett told “Bob and Groz” on Tuesday, a mid-70s day on the shores of Lake Washington.
Bennett’s move to the opposite corner of the country meant more than a change in climate. It also meant playing for Pete Carroll, who’s on the opposite end of the coaching-style spectrum than his Buccaneers counterpart, Greg Schiano.
“The coaches are very different,” Bennett said.
To say the least. Schiano, entering his second season with Tampa Bay, is an authoritarian who is so attentive to detail that he insists the meeting rooms at team hotels be kept at a specific temperature. Carroll, on the other hand, likes to throw around a football before practice, sometimes moving to the beat of the rap music that blasts over the loudspeakers.
“Coach Schiano’s more hard-nosed, a military-type guy,” Bennett said, “and Coach Carroll’s so laid back that he gives guys chances to not [have to] be on their back but still coaches them at the same time.”
It’s not as though Carroll demands less effort from his players. He just has a very different way of going about it than Schiano, whose ways wore thin on some Bucs last season, according to Bennett.
“I think a lot of players, they’re adults, too, and when you treat them like kids they get offended by that, you know what I mean? Players, they’ve got their mortgages, they’ve got their kids, they’ve got wives, they’ve got families, they’ve got [responsibilities]. So they know it’s their job and they know when they make mistakes,” he said.
“It’s the coaches’ job to keep them honest, but when the coach is just too much on them I think the players rebel because they can be like, ‘Why is he on me like this? It’s my fifth year in the league. I know more than him.’ It just becomes a big conflict, I think.”
It’s fair to assume this factored at least to some degree into Bennett’s decision to leave Tampa Bay in free agency and sign a one-year deal with Seattle. If so, we can add Carroll’s laid-back approach to the list of reasons why his team has an increasingly strong pull with NFL players.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.