Michael Bennett was the first Seahawks teammate to come to Russell Wilson’s defense in the wake of last month’s ESPN The Magazine article that detailed, among other things, perceived resentment in Seattle’s locker room towards the team’s star quarterback.
Bennett did it again Wednesday when he joined “Brock and Salk” on 710 ESPN Seattle – this time with an expletive as well as references to Capri Suns and Lunchables to help make his point.
Bennett took issue with Seth Wickersham’s ESPN story, which set out to answer why the Seahawks made cornerback Richard Sherman available for a trade this offseason. In doing so, Wickersham uncovered what he described as feelings among some of Seattle’s defensive players that Wilson is treated like a favorite son in the organization, seemingly exempt from coach Pete Carroll’s criticism.
“That’s a sh— story,” Bennett said.
Part of his point: that’s the well-established reality with quarterbacks. Even in youth football, apparently.
“Everybody knows quarterbacks are treated different,” he said. “Even when I was a quarterback when I was like 7 or 6, I was treated good. I used to get more snack boxes, I used to get more Capri Suns than the other players.”
Asked what kind of quarterback he was, Bennett cited Randall Cunningham as a comp.
“But back then I used to get treated better than the rest of the players,” he continued. “I got more Lunchables than the next guy. But that’s just the story. Quarterbacks are treated better in the NFL simply because they are the organization. If you go on a team and another player, if the receiver is the highest player on your organization, you’re not a winning team. If the quarterback is the best player, the most predominant player that everybody knows, most likely you’re a playoff team.”
Asked if the relationship between Wilson and Seattle’s defensive players is healthy, Bennett said, “Yeah, I think so.” He elaborated with comments that were along the lines of what wide receiver Doug Baldwin said last week about how NFL locker rooms are never completely harmonious. He also volunteered what he considers Wilson’s place to be among the game’s top quarterbacks.
“On a team with competitive people, there’s going to be issues that are going to happen,” Bennett said. “There’s just a lot of alpha males running around. But everybody supports Russell Wilson. We cannot win a game without Russell Wilson. Russell Wilson is a top-five quarterback in the NFL. We cannot win a game without a guy like that.”
Brock Huard has talked at length about the importance of NFL quarterbacks being able to relate to their teammates, something he said is a challenge for Wilson and many others at that position. He asked Bennett how Wilson best relates to his teammates.
“Russell relates best to me by just being himself,” Bennett said. “I think as a human being you accept the person for who they are. You don’t try to change them, you don’t want to make them who you want to make them, who you want them to be. A person that reveals themself for who they are is what you accept them to be. Russell has revealed himself to me as a great person with great character, a person that gives back and a great leader – also a great player.”