While Michael Bennett talked a lot Monday about the reason for his dust-up with Bradley Sowell on Sunday, the Pro Bowl end also had a lot more to say — per usual.
Among the best outtakes, he said Pete Carroll is a great coach because he “understands the moment,” Tony McDaniel brings needed “veteran wisdom,” Frank Clark is a “wild dog” who needs “tuning” and young players need to learn this is a job.
Bennett said Carroll is different than any other coach because he earns the respect and ears of his players with a message that has proven results.
Bennett said he was watching an episode of “Hard Knocks” when Rams coach Jeff Fisher came in all fired up at halftime. Bennett told his wife, “Pete Carroll would be totally different in that moment. That moment right there, he would have come in different — a lot calmer, a lot more motivating but in a different type of way.
“That’s what makes Pete Carroll different from any other coach: He understands the moment. There’s times when you can go too hard on the team and that can change the whole momentum, but he knows exactly how to use his philosophies to the best of his abilities. And I think that’s what makes him such a great coach.”
Bennett said Carroll is a great motivator because he carries stellar credibility.
“When you have a coach that’s really won, he understands his philosophy and people buy in a lot faster because they understand that this guy knows what he’s talking about. There’s a lot of coaches that talk about championships, they talk about being in the moment, but they don’t even know what that moment feels like, they don’t know how to express it or talk about it, so they can’t really hone in on it. I think Coach Carroll does a great job of doing that; he has elevated the mindset of people to understand that there’s more in them and they can be greater.”
Bennett thinks McDaniel, brought back last week after a year away, can help the Hawks be greater, too.
“Tony is part of the reason we went to two Super Bowls, part of the reason we were the No. 1 rushing defense for a while and as high of a defense as we were,” Bennett said. “Tony stepped right back in as the same guy, same player. Tony is one of those guys that comes to work and works really hard — powerful, strong and just a determined player. And I think his veteran wisdom is necessary; it’s needed at this moment because we have so many young guys on the defensive line.”
Among the young guys are rookies Jarran Reed and Quinton Jefferson and second-year rusher Clark.
Bennett said Clark “is like a wild dog in a meat house. We have to get him to hone in on his skills because he has so many skills. He’s so fast, he’s so quick, he’s so explosive, but you have to tune him up … and that’s what he’s doing right now. We’re tuning him up to be efficient, have efficient movement.”
Bennett said there are a lot of talented young guys on the roster, but they need to find a sense of urgency.
“I think what they have to realize is this is a job, and I think they’re starting to realize that,” he said. “It’s not like college; everybody’s not going to be kept around. At the end of the day, it’s going to be who wants it a little bit more.
“I think that’s the kind of mindset you have to keep instilling in the new millennials, the new generation,” Bennett added, “because everything is different now with the Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all that type of stuff. A lot of times with young players, they skipped the process. They just want to be great, but they forget about the steps that it takes to be great. We have to continuously hone in their skills.
“I think in the beginning, a lot of the guys didn’t understand that, but now they’re starting to understand it, from Reed to Jefferson. It’s their livelihood, so we just really want them to understand that.”