BY Art Thiel 07:36PM 11/09/2015

Thiel: Bennett on O-lines: ‘Nasty guys who stink’

The Seahawks thumped the Cardinals twice in 2014, but with QB Carson Palmer and new RB Chris Johnson, this isn’t the same team. Seattle DE Michael Bennett explains the scene, as only he can.

Bruce Arians worked his players for three days during the bye week. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The Arizona Cardinals were 9-1 the first time they met the Seahawks in 2014. The 6-4 Seahawks won 19-3, beating up on backup QB Drew Stanton. A month later in the desert, the 10-4 Cardinals, down to third-stringer Ryan Lindley, lost to the 10-4 Seahawks, 35-6. So to say the Redbirds have a red-ass for their NFC West rivals understates the case by a liniment tube or two.

For Sunday’s 5:30 p.m. match at the Clink, the Cardinals again have the better record (6-2 vs. 4-4), yet are three-point underdogs partly because of their dubious recent history with the Seahawks.

This time, however, the Cardinals are deploying at QB Carson Palmer, who is, in the view of his former coach at USC, Pete Carroll, “the best I’ve ever seen him in all of the years he’s been out there.”

That’s 13 years. And he’s right. At 35, Palmer has a career-best 84.6 QB rating, a ridiculous, league-leading 9.2 yards per passing attempt and a touchdown percentage at 7.7 percent.

But Seahawks DE Michael Bennett is not one to swoon readily.

“Carson’s a great QB but no matter who it is, we’ve beaten them,” he said Monday after the team returned from their bye week. “Carson being there (gives) them a deep ball. But they’re a running team.”

That’s the big difference this season. The Cardinals hired in free agency nine-year veteran RB Chris Johnson, whose 676 yards rushing are third in the NFL.

“Chris Johnson is an experienced back,” Bennett said. “He can do a lot of things.”

Arizona also signed in free agency LG Mike Iupati, who for years helped lead the 49ers rushing attack.

But that didn’t seem to impress Bennett.

“Every offensive line is the same to me,” he said. “Big, fat, nasty guys who stink.”

There may be a time when it’s hard to get Bennett to say what he really feels. Monday wasn’t one of them. He also offered affection for the man who has helped upgrade the Cardinals the past two seasons, Bruce Arians, who’s been the NFL coach of the year two of the past three years.

“If  I ever got a chance, I’d like to play for him,” he said. “He’s such a good coach and loves the game of football. He’s one of the best. He was in Pittsburgh (2003-11). That’s been been a great 3-4 defense for a long time. They had great players and he knows how to use them.”

Plus, Bennett likes his style, even if that included working his players three times during the bye week while the Seahawks were free to relax the entire time.

“I think it’s the hat,” said Bennett of Arians’s trademark chapeaus. “He got that swag. Reminds me of myself. He answers questions with a lot of enthusiasm. I think he’s a cool guy.”

Bennett will challenge fine

On another topic, Bennett said he plans to appeal the $20,000 fine he received from the NFL for a hit during Seattle’s 13-12 win over the Cowboys when he went for the knees of QB Matt Cassel, who was uninjured. Bennett claims to have argued his way out of three previous fines.

“I got the gift of gab,” he said, grinning. But he still wasn’t pleased with the fine.

“The best place to hit a quarterback is nowhere,” he said. “If you do that, you won’t get paid a lot of money, but you won’t get fined.”

Bennett said he “fell into” Cassel’s knees, but replays showed him moving up from the ground to lunge low.

“I don’t understand the NFL when it comes to fines,” he said. “The things you think are fine-able aren’t, and then that hit (Vikings QB Teddy) Bridgewater took (knocked unconscious Sunday by a late elbow from Rams LB Lamarcus Joyner), he slid, and that’s considered a dirty hit. And Ricardo Lockette’s was a clean hit. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s all about the position the player plays that decides what’s fine-able.”

Speaking of Lockette, Carroll confirmed that the wide receiver and special teams ace was to have flown back to Seattle from Dallas Monday, eight days after he was knocked out during a punt return from a blow by Cowboys SS Jeff Heath. His recovery was proceeding normally but he faces “considerable” rehab after surgery that repaired neck ligaments and discs that were damaged, Carroll said.

Bennett chimed in on Lockette too.

“I’ve talked to Ricardo a lot,” he said. “I asked him, ‘Can you have sex?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Well, you doing good then, man.’”

Give Michael Bennett a bye, and the man cannot help himself.


YourThoughts

  • KumaKuma-yay

    Quick edit…. “He’s recovery was proceeding normally…” you know how to fix it.

    • art thiel

      Thanks. Fixed.

      • KumaKuma-yay

        You Da Man, Art!

  • ll9956

    I just hope Bennett and the other Hawks don’t get overconfident just because they beat AZ twice last year. AZ is a different team this year. If the “experts” favor the Hawks because of last year’s games “partly because of [AZ's] dubious recent history with the Seahawks”, that makes no sense to me.

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  • PokeyPuffy

    very tough game this week for a hawks team that has not generated a quality win this year.
    They have a lot to prove and Wilson is down Mexico way instead of in the film room

    • SeaRaays

      Wilson got paid yo…

    • art thiel

      I think vacation has more value at this point than film study.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Completely agree… no one knows but these players how much of a mental grind it is in addition to playing the best athletes in the world…

        • jafabian

          They have a six month off season. They can rest then. And it’s not like baseball where they play six days a week.

      • PokeyPuffy

        Yep i may be trolling on this with pregame angst, but It is hard to ignore the public image Russel has now versus 2 years ago. I.e plucky hardworking upstart to international glam star.

        this may be a transition year for him as he gets more comfy with his $$

  • jafabian

    The Sounders dominated Dallas in 2014 and found an inspired team that wanted nothing more than to beat them in the playoffs this year. That could easily be the same scenario for the Hawks, especially when Arians is using the bye week to work his players instead of jetting to Mexico with a celebrity girlfriend. Sounds like he really wants some payback.

    • art thiel

      Not sure the extra work is better than extra rest. But Arians does want this one bad.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    The one the only Mike Bennett… he is hilarious. I am sure that restaurant he called pretending to be Wilson his 1st year back here will live in crazy antic lore…the front desk clerk whom he fooled into getting Reservations will be telling her grandchildren with great fondness about MB and his shenanigans while he was here. I wonder if that Arians comment was a subliminal to Hawk Mgmt. Enjoy me for these 2+ years as I am planning on taking the money and running(Arizona or Pittsburgh?)next free agency since you wouldn’t renegotiate with me.
    I am glad we get to enjoy him at least the next two seasons baring a trade. Keep up the R rated stand up comedy , Mike.

    • art thiel

      Michael is always creating a market for his services, football or otherwise.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    For Sunday’s 5:30 p.m. match at the Clink, the Cardinals again have the better record (6-2 vs. 4-4), yet are three-point underdogs partly because of their dubious recent history with the Seahawks.

    The key to beating this tough division foe is as usual defense…

    With Lane back maybe the Defense clamps down on games and we reel off a nice streak to win the NFC West….. Hoping it(Lane) is a nice shot of adrenaline for our secondary.

    First of all going 8~0(to close)starting this Sunday with AZ really is too much
    to ask but it would help things alot. Considering they are 2 games
    behind AZ as I type that means if we went 6~2 and AZ went 4~4 we would
    be tied.Lets say we split with AZ then it would come down to
    tiebreakers. Would hate for that to happen…(we) Need to finish ahead of
    the red birds and get home field advantage in that scenario. AZ has a
    hellatious remaining schedule so 4~4 could happen but the only way to
    control our own destiny is to win em one game at a time/finish strong.
    Starting this Sunday at home vs the Cards. Go Hawks!

    • art thiel

      Az schedule so far had no winning teams; now it has no losing teams. Weird.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        An oddity indeed…. the punch card at the all you can eat buffet is filled out. The Red Birds have no easy bird feed available from here on out…..

  • art thiel

    I think AZ has the Seahawks’ full attention and respect.