Former Buc Michael Bennett and Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Getty Images
Former Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett was always a media favorite in the locker room during his time in Tampa Bay.
Mainly because he was a terrific quote, and never afraid to speak his mind.
On Wednesday, under the shadows of the big mouse ears at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, home to the practices for the 2017 Pro Bowl, PewterReport.com caught up with Bennett who said he was still unhappy that he and the team parted ways in 2012.
“I was upset too,” Bennett said. “You go for a long time, and you play for an organization, and you think you will be there forever. I never wanted to leave Tampa. I thought I would retire a Buccaneer, but then I end up here (Seattle). I guess the Glazers didn’t think I was good enough to come back so… hopefully one day I will get to watch Gerald retire as a Buccaneer and me retire as a Seahawk, and get to see Gerald win a championship. That would be fun.”
Michael Bennett – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
Bennett joined the Seahawks as a free agent when he team failed to meet the money he was asking for. Sources have told PewterReport.com that the impasse was less than $500,000 per season, and some in the organization felt he was damaged goods, with a bad shoulder.
And while Bennett has dealt with shoulder issues while in Seattle, he also has produced 30.5 sacks, two Pro Bowls and helped Seattle win a Super Bowl in the four seasons since he left Tampa Bay.
Any anger over the divorce appeared to be over for Bennett on Wednesday however, as the former Aggie was all smiles admiring his former team from a distance.
“I see a great young team with a lot of great players,” Bennett said. “Obviously a lot of Pro Bowl players. I mean look at Jameis Winston, some of the plays he made this year. He is such a great quarterback. And then you have a good running game, and then you have the defense, one of the best in the league. Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David; I could name so many.”
While the anger has subsided, you could still tell Bennett will always wonder, what if?
“I didn’t do too bad for myself (playing for Seattle), but I could have done the same thing for Tampa!” Bennett said. “They just needed to give that young team time. You look at the Pro Bowl now and there are eight players from that team right now playing in this game. It is crazy. They did a great job of scouting, except doing a good job of keeping them together.”
As he was wrapping up the interview he was reminded that the Bucs dealt the Seahawks a loss last season at Raymond James. The mostly always jovial Bennett fired off a typical Bennett response grinning.
“Yeah but I didn’t play. That’s why.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Dominick screw up. Sorry that was last post.
Still gets me every time i see him make a good play- one of the dumbest face palms ive seen the Bucs ever make was letting Bennett walk.
Not many of us were in favor of him going. At the time 500k difference was more like a million in today’s world. I too wish you could have stayed a Buc.
One could make up a pretty decent chunk of a championship roster with all of the players the Bucs let go who went on to play on SB teams over the last decade.
Thanks to are former GM we let him walk. We had drafted another DL in the 2nd round and the GM tried to prove he had found a STUD with the pick can’t even remember his name.
He was ALWAYS in the trainers room more than on the field! He was a COMPLETE BUST!
Also the yr we let Bennett leave he led the team in SACKS.
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