Defensive end Michael Bennett, Seattle's leading sack man and wry
humorist, and head coach Pete Carroll understand the difficulty in
slowing down the quick strikes thrown by Manning.
"We would love to affect him," Carroll told reporters after Monday's
practice about upsetting the timing of Manning, who set single
season records for touchdown passes and passing yardage.
"That's going to call for everything we can think of. Every style of
pressure, every rush we can manage, the coverage change-ups, the
disguises, the looks. All of that to keep him from being so
Bennett, who joined the Seahawks as a free agent after four seasons
in Tampa Bay, may be Seattle's best bet after using his skills to
register 8.5 sacks in the regular season.
"You just got to beat your man faster," Bennett said about negating
Manning's quick release. "Every game you have to affect the
quarterback and this is the Super Bowl so you have to affect Peyton
Manning. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league and he's
the least sacked quarterback.
"It's a big game for the D-line to go out there and get to him,
whether it's sacking him, hitting him or making him hurry to throw
Carroll, who prides himself on getting the best out of each
individual player, has given Bennett some leeway to freelance on the
"Michael's been an exceptional player. He's had a great season for
us," the coach said. "He has tremendous versatility. He plays inside
and outside. He's got a great motor and great savvy about him.
"He doesn't always do things in an orthodox manner. He has great
feel for the game and makes great decisions in the game, so we give
him a little latitude in that regard so that he can make the plays
that he's capable of making."
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Bennett said the brilliance of Seattle's secondary can give pass
rushers time to get to the quarterback by sticking close to Denver's
"Those guys are so good they make us look good," he said about the
vaunted secondary, which led the NFL in interceptions this season
Bennett praised teammates Richard Sherman as the NFL's best
cornerback, Earl Thomas as the leading safety and strong safety Kam
Chancellor as the hardest hitter.
"Kam, he's been the best player on our defense the whole season,"
said Bennett. "He hits better than some of the linebackers in the
NFL that are supposed to be ferocious. I think Kam is by far the
most ferocious hitter in the NFL."
Bennett said he was not fussed to check forecasts for Sunday's game
at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, which will host the first outdoor,
cold-weather Super Bowl.
"I don't think we'll feel the snow. We're ready for the snow. We're
ready to play on rocks," said Bennett, whose younger brother
Martellus is a tight end for the Chicago Bears.
Bennett said he was not interested in New York night life, just
happy to be able to enjoy a nap back in his hotel room away from his
three kids, though a good dinner sounded appealing.
Back in Seattle, Bennett has been known to use the name of Seahawks
quarterback Russell Wilson to make a dinner reservation in a pinch,
a strategy he did not think would work in Manhattan.
"I'm doing it as Barack Obama here in New York City; that's the only
way you can get a seat down here."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)
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