Michael Bennett: Malik McDowell has to follow Seahawks’ DL leaders
As he usually does, Michael Bennett had plenty to say Tuesday when he joined John Clayton and Gee Scott on 710 ESPN Seattle. Their conversation touched on several topics aside from Bennett’s endorsement of Colin Kaepernick as a fit in the Seahawks’ locker room and their offense.
Here’s more of what Bennett said:
Humanitarian work. Bennett called this one of the best offseasons of his career. He’s been busy with humanitarian work, which has taken him to Haiti, Guam (for a football camp) and Tokyo. Bennett and Marshawn Lynch went to Haiti to help Cliff Avril build a home for every sack he recorded last season (a career-high 11.5). They also built schools, he said. “Cliff did something that was one of the most genuine humanitarian things a person could do. He brought education to a group of people who where not able to have it. So we were out there building schools and also building homes for every sack that he got. The kids walk 10 to 20 miles to get to school, they only get one meal a day, and it was great to be able to give them an opportunity to be creators and give them an opportunity to have a future.” Bennett said he followed through on his pledge to donate money from his endorsements and jersey sales to charity. He said in March that his endorsement money will go toward helping rebuild minority communities and initiatives that directly affect women of color while half of his jersey-sales proceeds will be go to inner-city garden projects. Bennett’s foundation is hosting a charity dinner/auction on Saturday to raise money to fight childhood obesity, among other causes.
Advice for McDowell. Asked about Malik McDowell, Seattle’s top draft pick, Bennett said it’s on him to silence the questions about his work ethic. Bennett’s advice was to follow the lead of Seattle’s veteran defensive linemen. “I think he has to go out there and try to figure out where does he fit in. I think he has a lot of great leaders around him. Cliff Avril is one of the most proven vets, one of the most respectable guys in the NFL, a guy that does everything possible. So he just has to follow the great leaders and just fall in line and figure out how to be a pro. I think that’s what we all had to do. We all had to find a professional that we thought was the best at his game, and just fall in line and learn from them. That’s just stuff you’ve got to do.” Bennett added about McDowell: “He’ll have to work on his long-arm and working on his get-off and continuously understanding that every play is the last play in the NFL.”
On Quinton Jefferson. When asked about Seattle’s younger defensive linemen, Bennett had this take on Quinton Jefferson, a fifth-round pick last year whose rookie season was cut short by a knee injury that required surgery: “I think Quinton Jefferson has to recover from his surgery. I think ACL, this is his second or third one. So he has to come back and figure out how to get better at his technique and realize that technique is going to have to take him to the next level because injury-wise, he may not be able to have that same speed, that same burst. But technique will always take you a long way. I was always taught that.”