The Seahawks pride themselves on intense, competitive, edgy practices. Whatever the limits that are tolerated in Seattle, defensive end Michael Bennett has surpassed them enough times to get ejected from practice on multiple occasions this year.
Via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com, Bennett and left tackle Bradley Sowell were removed from practice after an altercation in a one-on-one drill. Apparently, Bennett wasn’t happy that Sowell had shoved defensive lineman Josh Shirley to the ground earlier in the same drill.
“He’s just fighting for his own a little bit,” Carroll later told reporters. “One of the young guys got knocked around, and he was standing up for him. He’s got a lot of pride. He’s an incredible competitor, but he’s got to make sure he stays poised so he doesn’t get himself in trouble. So we had a good illustration of that today.”
The illustration included Bennett going after Sowell twice and throwing Bennett’s helmet. Bennett even turned his ire toward often-angry receiver Doug Baldwin, when Baldwin tried to break things up.
“He’s a passionate guy and we got kind of riled up today,” Carroll told reporters regarding Bennett. “It was awesome those two guys [Bennett and Sowell] walked off the field together and that’s what’s most important, how we respond and get back. . . . We’re very connected and there’s a respect that’s here about competing and battling, and you’re working to take it as far as you can and still respect the person across from you. Sometimes that line gets crossed a little bit and it’s a very competitive whirlwind, very competitive game we play. These guys care with all their heart and we have to learn how to deal and manage with that.”
Carroll senses that the intensity this year is coming from many more players than Bennett.
“I think everything about everything is more intense than it has been,” Carroll said. “It just seems like the focus has been there to push, get prepared for this season and I can’t say that I don’t like it. We just have to manage well and perform well and so far we need to do better in games, we get too many penalties and we need to make sure that we’re doing right. I’m not sure if that’s part of that or not, but we’re working on it to make sure that it isn’t.”
The Seahawks definitely have the talent to contend at a high level. If they can make their skills with a burning desire to win as many games as possible, they’ll win plenty of games — and they may find themselves back in the Super Bowl or close to it, again.