Seahawks’ Michael Bennett: ‘Russell Wilson is definitely an elite quarterback’
The question that everyone has been asking this week isn’t really a question, according to Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett. He believes teammate Russell Wilson is indeed one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.
Bennett took his turn Thursday weighing in on a debate that was raised anew earlier his week when Browns coach Mike Pettine contended that Wilson isn’t in the class of quarterbacks who “can transcend their supporting cast” – naming Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger – and said “he’s certainly played himself into that next tier.”
Bennett, appearing on “Seahawks Weekly” on 710 ESPN Seattle, took a jab at Pettine’s credentials, saying: “Obviously he’s not good at picking quarterbacks.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know what elite is,” Bennett added. “I think Russell Wilson is very elite. He’s been to two Super Bowls; it’s only his fourth year and I don’t think a lot of guys could say that.”
Wilson, who entered the league in 2012, is the only quarterback in NFL history to reach two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. Bennett noted that only a handful of quarterbacks, including Pittsburgh’s Roethlisberger, have had as much success as Wilson has had in his first four seasons.
“There’s a lot of guys with a lot of passing yards that haven’t had any success and don’t even go to the playoffs like Philip Rivers and guys like that, and Drew Brees hasn’t been to the playoffs in two years,” Bennett said. “So Russell Wilson is definitely an elite quarterback and he can lead a team.”
Bennett added: “I think Russell Wilson has done a great job of proving that he is up there with the top-tier players.”
Bennett’s appearance on “Seahawks Weekly” also included a question about what he’d do or change if he were the NFL’s commissioner.
The first thing he mentioned was that he would require any player guilty of domestic violence to volunteer at a women’s shelter “and deal with women and families that have dealt with battered women or abuse and have them go in there and understand what happens when you do that kind of stuff.”
Bennett also said he would make NFL contracts guaranteed and that he would change the rules to make it legal for defensive players to hit quarterbacks “just like everybody else.” Bennett has railed against the way NFL quarterbacks are protected from certain types of hits. He’s been fined three times for illegal hits this year: against Kansas City’s Alex Smith in the preseason, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton in October and Dallas’ Matt Cassel in November.