In a conference call with Detroit reporters and then his regular weekly meeting with Seattle media on Tuesday, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett said he still blames Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Dallas for the JFK assassination, ripped the hotels NFL teams stay at, referenced Golden Tate’s infamous 2010 visit to Top Pot, said Tate looks like “a bird,” said Detroit’s Zach Zenner is the best white running back in the NFL and said Cliff Avril — maybe his best friend on the team — is like the Steve Martin character from the movie “The Jerk.”
In other words, business as usual.
We’ll mostly let Bennett’s words do the taking for him with some select quotes below.
But two things may need explaining.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Pac-12 mailbag: Kliavkoff’s culpability, expansion options, WSU's connections and more
- Analysis: USC and UCLA bolt for Big Ten. So what's next for UW and the rest of the Pac-12?
- Pac-12 survival guide: Five forces that will define the path to salvation, or extinction
- Breanna Stewart makes 'spicy' trade for Sue Bird, drafts Jewell Loyd in WNBA All-Star selection show
- UW faces stark decision in USC-UCLA fallout — leave Pac-12 or be content in declining conference
First, Stafford and JFK.
You may recall that after the Seahawks beat Detroit on Monday night last season, Bennett said “I don’t like Matthew Stafford much. He’s from Dallas. They killed the President. I hold it against him.”
As for his crack about hotels, that came up when Bennett was asked by Detroit reporters the advantages of being at home for the playoffs and said: “Traveling in the NFL sucks because a lot of times you stay in cheap hotels, which I don’t understand because the NFL makes so much money and the accommodations are terrible, but it’s one of those things were traveling is always bad and being able to be at home, you’re familiar with the stadium, you’re familiar with the bed that you sleep in, familiar with the food, you’re familiar with the setting and I think it makes it a lot easier sometimes when you’re playing in those type of games.”
Asked what kind of hotels the Seahawks stay in, Bennett said: “We’re staying in three-star Marriott’s. We don’t even get room service.”
Bennett, though, appeared to have some second thoughts about that latter comment.
As he opened his meeting with Seattle media a few minutes later, Bennett gave a shout out to say Jeremy Young, Seattle’s travel coordinator, saying he is the best in the business and deserves a raise.
Here’s more of the unabridged Bennett (with the questions presented as they were on the transcripts provided by the teams):
On if he has a sack dance planned for Saturday’s game: “No sack dances, they cost me too much now.”
On the Lions improved running game: “I think it’s the running back. There’s not many white running backs in the NFL, but he has to be the best right now. He’s doing such a great job of cutbacks and hitting the hole. He’s a really good back. I know all the stuff he did in college, three straight seasons of 2,000 yards. I don’t care where you at, if you can do that you got amazing talent. And I think he’s just an amazing running back, the things he can do with the ball. He’s got good balance. He can spin. He can catch it out the backfield. I think he fits the offense perfectly.”
On if he is surprised Lions RB Zach Zenner is performing as a white running back: “That surprises me a lot because you don’t see a lot of running backs in the NFL. There’s a couple, but right now he’s really, really good. He does a lot of great things I think. Even in the past protection game he steps up and he does a great job protecting. I’m not surprised that he’s a starter right now because there’s a lot of great things that he’s doing.”
On what’s changed with the defense since S Earl Thomas went down with an injury: “I think with Earl going down, just his talent, I think his talent. You know, defense is playing good, but with him it’s just one of those things where he’s just such a great player and he can do things that a lot of players can’t do and I think you miss those big play opportunities that he can do. Whether it’s making a big hit across the middle for a tight end, or being able to jump a route and take it to the house, I think those are the things you miss on him from defense.”
On how he would describe his game: “I think I’m just an all-around complete defensive end. You know, in a league where everything is based on different stats, you know. There’s not a lot of players. The media doesn’t leave players to want to be complete players in the game right now and right now you’ve got tight ends that only catch the ball and then you’ve got tight ends that only block and then you have defensive ends that only rush or defensive ends that only play the run. But you know, I end up being the complete player being able to play inside, outside, playing the run and pass, so I pride myself on being a complete defensive end.”
On why the playoffs are so different from the regular season: “I think in the regular season you’re just trying to get to second base, in the playoffs you try to get home. In the playoffs everything is about finishing and having a good time and trying to get to that one goal that nobody can get to and that’s the Super Bowl. There’s a lot of people that talk about the Super Bowl and a lot of people that talk about the playoffs, but a lot of people have never been there and for us, it’s one of those things that we’re familiar with. All we’ve got to do is just get the home run.”
On the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field in Seattle during playoff games: “The stadium is amazing. I think we have so many great fans that do a lot of good things for us. I think being at home is always good. Traveling in the NFL sucks because a lot of times you stay in cheap hotels, which I don’t understand because the NFL makes so much money and the accommodations are terrible, but it’s one of those things were traveling is always bad and being able to be at home, you’re familiar with the stadium, you’re familiar with the bed that you sleep in, familiar with the food, you’re familiar with the setting and I think it makes it a lot easier sometimes when you’re playing in those type of games.”
On the type of hotels NFL teams stay in: “We’re staying in three-star Marriott’s. We don’t even get room service.”
On what he thinks of Lions WR Golden Tate’s ability: “I think Golden Tate is just one of those players, you know, he can do so much. Golden Tate is just a great player, he can catch the ball, run the ball, his YAC is just outstanding. He got the weirdest looking body but he can always make plays, I always think he looks like a bird. I can never understand how that body does what it does.”
On if he said Tate’s body looks ‘like a bird’: “Yeah, but he can do so many great things with the ball though.”
On if he misses Tate as a teammate: “Oh yeah, Golden was always a great teammate. Great, fun guy, always popped around, always brought doughnuts. Always appreciated the D-line and it was fun to have him on our team.”
On where Tate would buy doughnuts from: “Top Pot.”
On if he still holds QB Matthew Stafford and Dallas accountable for the assassination of JFK: “Yeah.”
On if there is any issue with the defensive line following DE Frank Clark and DT Jarran Reed’s in-game altercation in Week 17: “No, there’s no issue. I think you just see Frank trying to be a leader and trying to tell him (Reed) that he made a mistake. You know sometimes you make a mistake and you don’t want people to tell you that you made a mistake? That’s what good teammates do, they let you know when you make a good play and they let you know you made a mistake. That’s how you build continuity and that’s how you build accountability. Just want the other young guys to be accountable for what they do. I think that was just good leadership with him, showing him like, ‘Hey man, you messed up. We need you for now, we need you to be in the game. What if this was a big game and you did that? Just because we’re up doesn’t mean you can make mistakes like that,’ and I thought that was very leadership of Frank.”
On what former Lion DE Cliff Avril is like: “A jerk. You’ve seen the movie ‘The Jerk?’ Steve Martin.”