Seahawks fans breathed two sighs of relief after the first day of training camp: Michael Bennett showed up and Pete Carroll said he sees no end to his coaching days.
That’s the kind of positive news everyone wanted to hear as the Hawks prepare to make a run at their second NFL title in four years — and keep it going beyond that.
There was some doubt about whether Bennett would report, based on his recent comments over his contract and a report that his agent was in Seattle last week. But he stayed true to what he has said all offseason: He wants to be a great teammate and help the Seahawks win a Super Bowl.
“I just want to get back to Houston, Texas, and play in the Super Bowl in my hometown, and play against my brother (Martellus of the Patriots),” Bennett said. “That’s all I think about, so I’m here to make that happen.
“I just wanted to show up and be a great teammate. No distractions for the team,” he added. “I just want to be a Seahawk for the rest of my life, and that’s just the most important thing.”
Carroll said Kam Chancellor’s ill-fated holdout last year was a lesson to everyone.
“I think there is a real strong message in our locker room. These guys want to be part of this thing; they don’t want to be the one that disrupts it,” Carroll said.
“We went through a real learning process last year with one of our great players and a great competitor with Kam, and I think he has helped people understand what that’s all about. He has been a big inspiration I think to anyone who would think that way.”
Carroll also said Bennett and Chancellor are showing faith that John Schneider will try to take care of them after this season.
Said Carroll: “I think it also shows that they trust that we are going to work like crazy to get deals done and help these guys for their specific situations, which we are going to try to do. We always have.”
Carroll, who turns 65 on Sept. 15, recently got his own new deal, which he called “just the next stop along the way.”
“I know you guys keep wondering, ‘How long is he going to coach?’ I’ve got no end to this. I don’t see it,” he said. “I will go as long as it’s good and we are winning games and all that. I don’t feel any different than I’ve felt before. In fact, I feel better. I’m under my playing weight. I’m in great shape. I am ready to go.”
He said he is not even thinking about retirement.
“I know you guys are wondering if this is what 65 gets you,” he said. “I am jacked up; I’m ready to go. … If you guys are worried about being 65 … look at me. It isn’t that bad. I think it is pretty fun.”
Carroll said he is as excited for this camp as for any he can remember.
“Where we have come from, what we have done, the guys we are working with, the coaches, the continuity, all those types of things (excite me),” Carroll said. “Really inspired by the guys that have been around here and the way they have handled the offseason and approached it.”
Bennett added, “The vibe is great. There’s always a championship vibe right now; everybody wants to get back to the Super Bowl. You know, we had a sour taste in our mouth, losing to Cam (Newton) and the Panthers (in the divisional playoffs last season). We just want to get back to where we’re supposed to be at, and that’s playing for championships every year.”