Michael Bennett: Frank Clark could be one of the best Seahawks ever

May 5, 2016, 12:18 PM
Michael Bennett sees his job in training camp  as being a leader and to "occasionally, whoop some o...
Michael Bennett sees his job in training camp as being a leader and to "occasionally, whoop some offensive linemen’s ass." (AP)
LISTEN: Michael Bennett has high praise for Frank Clark

Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett thinks quite highly of Frank Clark, and so does the entire Seahawks organization. So highly, in fact, that the Pro Bowler told “Justin and Gee” Tuesday that Seattle’s offseason moves have been made to help the second-year defensive lineman someday sit among the all-time greats.

“All this is really for Frank, teaching Frank how to become the next great player,” Bennett said. “I think he has the opportunity to be one of the best Seahawks to ever come through there.”

Related: John Schneider on the Seahawks’ draft picks, rookie free agents

The Seahawks lost two key pieces of their vaunted front seven to free agency this offseason, with linebacker Bruce Irvin signing with Oakland and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane leaving for San Diego. Seattle drafted two defensive linemen (Jarran Reed in the second round and Quinton Jefferson in the fifth) to help fill the gaps. But it will be Clark who Bennett expects will be thrust into a larger role and put together more production after the University of Michigan alum collected 15 tackles and three sacks during his rookie season.

“Guys who are getting three sacks are getting $100 million these last couple years, so I think he’s going to get seven-plus sacks,” he said. “I think he’s going to be super, super good this year.”

One of the biggest reasons Bennett expects Clark to take a second-season leap is the return of veteran defensive end Chris Clemons. Bennett believes Clemons will “put us over the top” with his rushing ability and as a mentor to Clark.

“I think it’s a great move by the organization and a classy move, too, because he’s going to be that guy who really helps Frank really get over the top of how to rush on the right side, how to change it, how to help him,” Bennett said. “… Last year I helped (Clark) on the inside, now Chris is going to take that and teach him how to do it on the right side.”

Other highlights from the conversation:

On hating when rookie D-linemen don’t know about the greats, such as John Randall, Deacon Jones or Alan Page: “How could you play defensive lineman if you don’t even know who these guys are? So for them to understand the game and be passionate about it, love it and be a historian so you can understand what it takes to be a special player.”

Advice for keeping an edge after the draft: “A lot of times guys get drafted and they get comfortable but to have that chip on your shoulder, it just keeps driving you the whole time while you’re in the NFL and I think that’s what makes you a really good player if you can take that and put it behind you. I think a lot of guys can do that but most guys can’t.”

On his ever-shrinking shoulder pads (here’s a picture): “Everybody in the NFL, every player, every coach, every referee, Roger Goodell, they all want to know what type of pads I got. I tell them it’s a secret, I can’t tell you.”

On lobbying Cassius Marsh to give Clemons back the No. 91: “All we’ve got to do is get everybody on Twitter to tell Cassius Marsh to take off 91 and give it back to Chris Clemons. I don’t know why Cassius Marsh wants 91 when Chris Clemons has made a lot of plays in that number. If you have Twitter, Instagram, I want you to guys to tweet Cassius Marsh and tell Cassius Marsh to take No. 91 off and build his own number.”

On being unable to watch the Super Bowl: “I hate seeing Cam Newton in the Super Bowl. Like, I couldn’t even watch it because I knew we were supposed to be there. I just grind and keep grinding because I want to get back to that spot and win the game again and again. There’s nothing better than being a champion and that’s my whole motivation.”

On his offseason appearance on the TV show “Hawaii 5-0:”  “I’ve always been a TV star, so that’s really nothing new … You don’t got to worry about me being a TV celebrity, all I want to be is a Kardashian.”

On whether he will be at training camp: “Why would I not be there?”

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