Michael Bennett’s Comments On QBs Make Sense


Michael Bennett is just one in a seemingly endless chain of outspoken (and awesome) Seattle Seahawks. He’s a punishing defensive end on the field and a source of entertainment off it, perhaps most notably taking a police bicycle on a televised cruise around the field in the moments after the ‘Hawks clinched last year’s NFC championship. He’s a fan favorite for good reason: he’s awesome.

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Bennett’s been in the headlines lately, and not because of any particular thing he’s done on the field. Nor has it been for anything as light and playful as we’d hope. Bennett’s been making waves due to recent comments he made on the Brock and Salk Show. He said some things that some people got kind of upset about, though it’s questionable whether or not his remarks were truly incendiary.

In an interview with Brock and Salk yesterday, Bennett was given the opportunity to talk about quarterbacks. Being a defensive end and all, it’s obvious that Bennett likes to attack quarterbacks. But he took this habit off the field, slamming the most visible position in professional sports on everything from contracts to toughness. You can listen to the whole thing here, if you will.

As you’d expect, it’s a fun segment. Bennett isn’t holding much back, and delivers quote after quote after quote. Here, have a highlight:

"“Quarterback is the only position in the NFL where you could be mediocre and get paid. At every other position, you can’t be mediocre. If I was Ryan Tannehill and the most games I ever won was seven, how could you get a $100 million for that? I guess that’s the value of the position.”"

That’s a pretty bold statement, coming from an NFL player! Maybe some folks don’t like when a guy with Bennett’s job and profile comes out and says something like that. Too bad this comment is basically right on the money.

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Michael Bennett is a better DE than Ryan Tannehill is a QB. Bennett is making a fraction of what Tannehill makes. Some would argue that Tennehill is better than just “mediocre,” but plenty more would argue that yeah, he’s mediocre. Bennett is agreed to be better than mediocre. And he’s absolutely right to chalk the difference up to “the value of the position.”

Football is a lopsided game because so much power is concentrated in the quarterback position. It’s an uncomfortable reality, but one that’s absolutely built into the sport. It makes sense why so much attention (and money) is paid to the quarterback – they’re the stars of the show by design. But not all quarterbacks are created equal, and Bennett spoke out about how even the bad ones dominate headlines:

"“And then it’s like, you’re sitting at home and there’s breaking news and it says that Brian Hoyer is the quarterback of the Texans. I’m like, who cares? That’s not breaking news. It’s really not breaking news.”"

Do you care than Brian Hoyer is the quarterback of the Texans? I don’t, and neither does Michael Bennett. He correctly identifies this as non-breaking news, and laments the media’s haste to jump all over it as though it were a “big story.” The QB obsession makes sense – to some degree. But not to this degree.

His next subject is QB toughness. Sam Bradford got hit in the legs a few days ago and people were upset about it. Bennett is upset because everyone gets hit in the legs, and even name-drops Tom Brady as one of the good guys. Huh?

"“Then quarterbacks get protected more than any other player. I mean, he gets hit in his knees and he’s about to cry. They hit me in my legs.’ Everybody gets hit in their legs. Every play somebody tries to hit me in my legs. So what makes him different? What makes his life better than mine? I’ve got kids. I’ve got stuff I like to do on the weekend. But because he gets hit in his legs, he gets a flag. He gets up with a sad face like the world just ended because he got hit. I mean, you got hit in an NFL game. Who cares? Get back up and be like, ‘Good job. I respect Tom Brady because when Tom Brady gets hit, he gets up and is like, ‘Good job. Good hit.’ He gets back in the huddle and he holds his own like a man.”"

“You got hit in an NFL game. Who cares?” Build a statue of this man. CenturyLink Field needs a larger-than-life Michael Bennett statue with motion sensors that repeat lines from this interview whenever someone walks past. Also it should be animatronic, and it should be able to detect Patriots number 12 jerseys, and it should be programmed to identify and tackle them.

It’s definitely abnormal to see an NFL player openly critiquing other NFL players, especially at such a systematically high level. But Bennett said a lot of things, and he was right about… all of them, really. It’s hard to fault a guy for nailing it, even if nobody in a similar position has been willing to say the same things up until now. He’s right, and he had a good time telling the world that he’s right. And the world had a good time listening.

This interview isn’t going to cause Michael Bennett’s salary to rise, nor will it cause Ryan Tannehill’s to fall. Brian Hoyer is still going to get more media coverage than he probably ought to. But we got to enjoy hearing a professional athlete speak the uncensored truth – something that’s jarringly rare in this day and age. Which makes all of us the true winners.

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