Bennett is both the hacker and the entertainer, but he is also something else, something that gets hidden because of those two: He is one of the great minds on the Seahawks.

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RENTON — Michael Bennett is in his seventh NFL season, and even now he makes playing football look like an act of desperation.

Some players glide across the field, but Bennett looks as if he’s hacking his way there. He is governed by recklessness, not aesthetics, and watching him illuminates the blunt difficulty of his position. Even his uniform functions as the perfect costume for the way he plays.

“I told him his swag is not up to par as far as his pants hanging down and his jersey being untucked,” safety Earl Thomas once said. “But I told him, ‘Man, when you’re playing the way you are, swag doesn’t matter.’ ”

It is a striking contrast to Bennett’s personality. He once rode a police bicycle on the field after a playoff game. He pretended to be Russell Wilson on the phone to score dinner reservations. He took over the DJ booth at practice, openly complained about his contract and celebrates big plays with a sack dance he described as “two angels dancing while chocolate is coming from the heavens on a nice Sunday morning.”

“He talks a lot of trash in meetings and things like that, but he’s always paying attention,” said defensive end Cliff Avril, one of Bennett’s closest friends on the team. “He’s a heck of a teammate. He’s always going to keep it real. Sometimes coaches hate it, but he speaks his mind.”

Bennett is both the hacker and the entertainer, but he is also something else, something that gets hidden because of those two: He is one of the great minds on the Seahawks.

“As silly as he is sometimes,” Seahawks defensive-line coach Travis Jones says, “he is a very intelligent player.”

Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane likens him to a defensive coordinator. Coach Pete Carroll likens him to cornerback Richard Sherman.

“They see things that other people don’t see, and they can anticipate what other people don’t pick up on, and they’re able to take advantage,” Carroll said. “Some guys can see it coming, but they don’t know what to do.

“It’s not guessing. They don’t guess. They react quicker and more readily than other players do.”

Bennett can be clairvoyant on the field. He often tells teammates what play is coming, and he can look at formations and know what he needs to do.

He rarely goes anywhere without his iPad. He is so attached to it that Jones sometimes has to tell him to put it away. He is looking for something, anything, that he can take from opponents.

“I study so much that I know exactly what’s going to happen,” he says. “That’s how much film I’m watching.”

Offensive linemen reveal clues with their body — their eyes, their knees, their foot placement can all tell a story — but a player has to pick them up during the week and during a game. (The Seahawks help matters by having their scout team offensive linemen mimic opposing players’ ticks and tendencies.)

“He’s so good at reading guys’ body language,” Avril said. “Out of the five offensive linemen, one of them is going to tell you something, and he’s good at reading that in a 10-second span.”

Bennett’s knowledge shortens his reaction time. It’s why he looks so quick shooting between two offensive linemen when the ball is snapped. He thinks he knows what’s coming and has the confidence to react.

Sometimes that gets him in trouble; he had a bunch of penalties last year when he tried to jump the snap. But what can look like a gamble is often a calculated and aggressive play within the boundaries of his assignment.

“He’s doing the same job AND being disruptive,” Jones said.

Bennett has expressed displeasure with his current contract, and he thought about holding out “until the last minute.” Bennett signed a four-year, $28.5 million contract, which includes $16 million guaranteed, in March 2014.

But he showed up for training camp and said that wouldn’t affect how hard he played. It’s all part of what makes Bennett successful — the outspoken personality, the rugged play, the thoughtful mind.

“When you’ve got Mike Bennett on the field,” Mebane said, “you better get it before he gets it, because he’s going to steal it from you.”