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January 25, 2015 at 7:01 PM

Transcript of Michael Bennett’s Sunday media session in Arizona

Seattle Times Photo/Dean Rutz

Seattle Times Photo/Dean Rutz

Here’s the transcript of Michael Bennett’s media session on Sunday in Arizona. Bennett was rocking the cowboy hat in honor of a friend that passed away in his press conference.

(on how the experience has gone so far compared to last year) “It’s all the same. With the media and everything going on, it’s always just everybody talking. I’m ready to just play the game honestly. I wish we could just line up and today could be the game instead of waiting for another week.”

(on last week’s practice week) “I think we had a great week of practice. Obviously, we’re trying to get guys healthy, giving some of the veterans (the ) day off because that’s the most important thing – having (Seahawks running back) Marshawn (Lynch) rush the way he can and just getting out there and understanding what type of offense they have and what type of defense they have and the coaching staff that they have over there.”

(on the support of the Seattle fans at the airport and at the team hotel and what that it means to the team) “It’s really good to see all those fans come out like that, but we’re used to that. It was like instead of having the game in the stadium it was in the street today. It was over 60,000 people, maybe even more, all over the place. Kids were throwing Skittles at the bus. They had all kind of stuff going on.”

(on if he’s finding that the team is handling this experience better the second time around) “Yeah, I think so. With the leadership that we have and all the young guys just see how we handle it. We’re not letting it get too big and just understanding that it’s ultimately just about the game, not too much about hype around it, what hotel we’re staying in, when the family gets in. You’ve just got to let your wife deal with it or whoever you’ve got dealing with it and just come out here and play the game.”

(on if he has to worry about distractions around the game) “No, I’m not worried about distractions. I told my wife I can be a husband next Monday and a father too. This is the most important thing this week is everybody just worried about the game more than anything else like I said. Everything else is for the guys that aren’t playing in the games – the guys that went to the Pro Bowl, the guys that lost in the first round, some lost in the NFC Championship. They get to enjoy the festivities and stuff.”

(on how much the team is riding the wave from last week’s win against Green Bay) “I think after we won that’s pretty much it. You really can’t dwell on the last game, especially when you go into a Super Bowl and you play against an AFC opponent that you haven’t played in a couple years. You really can’t worry about what happened last week. You just move forward and just get ready for this game.”

(on how much the team took from its last game against the Patriots in 2012) “I don’t think we’re really worried about that game. 2012 was a whole other team. They had a whole different team out there. We had a whole bunch of different players, and both teams are made up differently now. The only thing we can take from that is that we played them before and the only thing that’s the same in that is (Patriots defensive tackle) Vince Wilfork and (Patriots quarterback Tom) Brady playing at the same level they’ve been playing at.”

(on how much game planning the team did this week and Seattle head coach saying that they were just polishing) “I think sometimes you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t want to have guys over-thinking out there. You want to watch it and understand what’s going on, but you don’t want to get to the point where you have guys thinking they know what’s going on. When you have two weeks to prepare, they can do whatever they want. You’ve just got to be ready to play the way you’re capable of playing.”

(on if the team went out at all in New York at last year’s Super Bowl) “No, just one night. Other than that we just stayed in and rested the whole week. We understood that you have all offseason to party and do all those things. You can go to Vegas anytime you want if you win a Super Bowl, and you probably can go for free.”

(on the biggest challenge that New England’s offense provides) “I think it’s the up-tempo offense. (Patriots running back) LeGarrette Blount, I played with him for three years in Tampa. He’s an awesome back. (Patriots tight end) Robert (Gronkowski) is a great tight end. Thomas (Brady) is a great quarterback. It’s one of those things where they have a great team, and we have to be ready for the weapons that they have.”

 

(on if playing in Phoenix every year gives the Seahawks an advantage in the Super Bowl) “No, because you play down here every year, but it’s a different team you’re playing. We’re playing the Cardinals, which they don’t have a quarterback. We’re playing New England, which has a great quarterback. It’s one of those things where it’s different.”

 

(on how he feels about this season after being signed to a new contract and how different this year is from last season) “It’s always the same for me. The money situation is always going to take care of itself as long as you’re capable of playing the way that you think you can play. For me, I just love playing the game and just going out there. This is only time you can hit people and curse and kick people, and it’s legal.”

 

(on what it was like for Seattle to see what New England went through last week) “I think it’s all propaganda, just to get a chance to build the game up. It’s all inflating the game right now. It’s like just to make it even more worth it than what it’s really about. It’s really just about us, two great teams, playing. I think a lot of people are shying away from that aspect of it. They have the Patriots, who are arguably one of the best teams of this decade, and we’re starting to try to catch up to where they’re at and what they’ve done in the last 10 years. (New England Head Coach) Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time. I think people are forgetting that. The coaches going and the players playing, it’s too much about the balls. Hopefully, everybody starts to talk about the game again.”

 

(on how good Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas are capable being this week with their injuries) “I think at this point in the season when guys…Injuries don’t really matter right now because when you play through this type of injury in this type of game, we have all offseason to heal, get in the cold tub and do fancy things. Right now, you could just go out there and just play as hard as you can and worry about what happens after.”

 

(on the challenges of playing against Gronkowski and if there’s another player that looks like him on the field) “Yeah, my brother (Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett). I think Gronkowksi’s the second-best tight end. My brother’s first, obviously. He faces the challenges of being 6-7-plus. His body’s pretty good. He’s a good blocker. I think he does great. I think his run-after-catch is second to none. I think he has great hands. He’s just a great player, honestly.”

 

(on if everything New England went through last week will help New England focus for the game) “No, I don’t think we ever talked about that. I think we just know that with the kind of coach that they have and the kind of players that they have and the leadership that they have, I doubt that they’re worried about it. I think you’re more worried about the balls than they are.”

 

(on what the focus will be this week as opposed to the other things going on around the game) “Like I said, it’s just like a big fight. The NFL, they’ve got all their things going on trying to get the viewer ratings up for people to watch the game. For us, it’s just about the game. Last year, you thought it was going to feel different because you’re in the Super Bowl, but honestly it was just like a preseason game. The fans were the same. The game was playing, and it ultimately comes down to just playing football.”

 

(on if that was the mindset of the team coming into this week) “I think that’s always the mindset – try not to make any game bigger than this game. You hear a lot of teams saying this is the next game. This is a championship game, but in this organization, every game is a championship game. We’ve been in this situation 18 times already.”

(on if he feels good that Seattle is not facing the distraction that New England is) “I think they’re not worried about the distraction. I hear Bill say he’s more worried about the task at hand and I heard Thomas say that they’re not worried about that and (New England owner) Robert (Kraft) said the same thing. I think it’s one of those things where they’re not too much worried about it. I think the media’s more worried about it than he is.”

 

(on how close he was last year to not coming back to Seattle after the season) “It was really hard. My brother plays for the Bears and there were a lot of teams that came, but the only teams I took really serious were the Bears and the Seahawks. My brother playing for the Bears played a big focus to me almost going there, but ultimately I came back. ‘Sherm’ (Sherman) called me a lot. The rest of the guys called me, and they said that I was one of the key players of the defense. That made me want to come back.”

 

-SB XLIX-

 

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