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February 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Red Bryant: “We knew going into it that we matched up extremely well”

In the latest media appearances for Seattle players in the wake of the Super Bowl, Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane appeared in-studio today on NFL Network’s NFL AM and NFL Total Access..

Here’s a clip.

Bryant, as might be expected of a team captain and a player regarded as one of the most interesting interviews on the team, gave a particularly insightful answer when asked about what it might be like to have to answer questions from the media if Michael Sam were his teammate (and of particular note also is some of his insight into the close-knit nature of the Seattle defensive line and how long it took Cliff Avril to adjust).

Said Bryant: “You’ll definitely have to have knowledge on it. In terms of if he was on my football team, I definitely would prep myself for the questions. I just feel like that’s not really always being authentic because me being a player, I don’t feel like it’s my place to be in other players’ personal life. Quick example: me being a D-lineman in particular and I know [Michael Sam] is a D-end/linebacker, in the D-line room we’re some of the most cutthroat when it comes to language; we get after each other. I remember Cliff Avril, we got him in free agency and he actually told me it took him after being around us and really seeing we weren’t being malicious, it allowed him to start flourishing. He started being comfortable and then he started bagging back. So if I had Mike in my room, I have a raw sense of humor but I don’t know if I could come at him that way because I don’t know what the backlash would be. So when you’re mindful of things like that, it’s hard to get that continuity that you need. We’re in the trenches so I’m talking like a D-lineman; [Brandon Mebane and I] are so close because I know no matter what, he has my back. So when I call him a name, he knows it’s out of love. So it’s going to be a great challenge because those are the makeups that allow a team – in our case – to win the Super Bowl. We talked that language, we got that lingo and so it’s going to be interesting to see.”

Here are a few more quotes and video clips, as provided by the NFL Network, as they talked about life since  becoming Super Bowl champs, the key to winning that game, and more:

On what it’s been like since winning Super Bowl XLVIII: Red Bryant: “I’m kind of a shy person unless you know me and for people to run up on me to actually know who you are and to tell you how proud of you they are, it’s truly been a blessing. You can’t go to the store, you can’t go to restaurants; the hospitality is just unbelievable. I never would have imagined it and hopefully we can keep it going.”

On if they thought they would dominate the way they did in Super Bowl XLVIII: Bryant: “Going into that week, we had an opportunity for two weeks to sit back and you hear everybody say their opinion about the game and how the game would go. But we knew going into it that we matched up extremely well in terms of what they try to do and how we could stop it. I think a lot of people lost sight – Peyton Manning, he’s a phenomenal player, one of the best of our time – but everybody is not going to be at that level. So we knew we had to attack them and he was going to have play against 22 [players] instead of us playing against the one. I think everybody got an example to see how that came to fruition. That’s why in my opinion the game wasn’t as close as a lot of people thought it might be.”

On if the Seahawks defense is one of the best to ever win a Super Bowl: Brandon Mebane: “I’m going to have to say yes. We have talent through the D-line, linebackers, [defensive backs], and we do a lot on the field. We didn’t really get a lot of credit prior to the Super Bowl but we shut down one of the best offenses in NFL history. No question you have to put us up there as far as one of the elite defenses.”

On how Seahawks practices are: Bryant: “Practice is intense. You kind of get an understanding of why coach [Pete] Carroll he’s so infatuated with younger players because when you’re young and you’re fresh out of college, you’ll run through a wall. When you’re fortunate to be in the league over time, you don’t really get up that excited for practice; you’re more in the preparation as far as the film study, knowing your opponent, knowing how to attack them. But coach Carroll, he does a great job; he’s going to have the music going so he’s going to get that work out of you. It really has translated though because the games just seem so much easier. To me personally, practice is harder than the game; you feel like you can get more rest, you can go harder when you play another team because of the tempo and the environment that he’s been able to establish so far in the league.”

On if NFL players are ready for a gay teammate: Mebane: “It’s going to be definitely different in the locker room. That’s just something that you’ll probably have to sit down in a team meeting and coach will explain how you’re going to handle the media that comes in and talks to you…It’s definitely going to be different.”

On if it is more about dealing with the media attention that comes with having a gay teammate or the fact that some people might not be comfortable with a teammate that might not have the same beliefs or lifestyles as them: Mebrane: “Probably will be both. A lot of guys will probably feel uncomfortable but they probably won’t come out and actually say it. In the media, I think they’re going to ask them more questions about his private life than what he does on the field.”

(Here’s a video clip of some of the above conversation).

Also,  on Thursday, Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse will be in-studio on NFL Total Access at 5 p.m.


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