With guys like outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman in the locker room – there is always a sound byte waiting to be uttered.
But this utterance, the winner from Championship Week, comes to us from Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
Bennett, when asked what makes Eddie Lacy a unique running back, responded by poking fun at Lacy’s weight (and the weight of the reporter posing the question, in the same breath).
“He’s kind of like you, man [the reporter] … he’s a bit … just a bit overweight.”
Though he did go on to praise Lacy and his running style – saying that any running back from a Nick Saban program is destined for greatness – the dig was still prevalent.
Lacy, like Rodgers, was limited in practice this week – nursing a sore knee; but he will be sorely missed if he is unable to run at full speed Sunday.
Bennett’s comments may not incite any smoldering flames in the locker room, but … they definitely should. The Green Bay Packers pride themselves on shutting out the comments and opinions of the outside world, but you would be hard pressed to find a player who really didn’t let unflattering comments get in their head, even for the smallest second.
If this is true of Lacy and the Packers, they should let this one run its course.
Though the comment was fleeting, it speaks to a bigger issue facing the Packers Sunday afternoon: they do not truly have the respect of the Seattle Seahawks.
Corey Linsley, Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy will be key figures in Sunday’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Raymond T. Rivard photograph
In fact, they might not have the respect of the rest of the NFL world right now.
In every poll, ranking, debate – the Packers are “dead men walking” heading into CenturyLink Field. No one gives the Packers much of a chance against this #1-ranked defense, much less one without a 100 percent healthy Aaron Rodgers under center.
Of the two weekend matchups, most experts agree that Seattle will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.
Well – why don’t the Packers just stay at home then.
It’s clear that the Seahawks feel the same way. They are overly confident of their “rightful” place, back in the big game.
The atmosphere in Seattle is calm, cool, collected. The players, coaches, fans all voiced their desire to see the Packers pull out a win over the “destined” Cowboys.
They believed the Packers to be cutting loose the Cowboys, the team that served as the biggest threat to Seattle.
Bennett’s comments were not intended to be hurtful, though they were insensitive. He is known to be an entertainer during an interview, and I am sure that he was merely playing to the crowd.
But the bigger issue remains that the Packers are being written off in Seattle – and elsewhere.
Lacy, at 5-11 and 230 pounds is a force in open space. No man wants a piece of him with a full head of steam. Coming off of early training camp rumors his rookie year [that he was overweight], Lacy put up unbelievable numbers and won Rookie of the Year honors.
After a slow start to 2014, he picked up over 1,100-yards for the second straight year and has set franchise records for yards and touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. He isn’t overweight.
He isn’t “just a bit overweight …”
He’s an 18-wheeler and he should be incensed on Sunday.
The last time the Seahawks had something to say about the Packers, it was before the week one meeting, the season opener.
Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley during the first half at Soldier Field back in September. Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Well, it was a long night for the Packers offense – but it had nothing to do with mammoth nose tackle Brandon Mebane pushing Linsley around. In fact, it was after that Seattle outing that Packers coaches remarked that Linsley might be the center that they have been seeking.
Bennett, the team’s sack leader (with 7.5 sacks on the season), has been productive. In the first game, he was responsible for a sack and a fumble.
The offensive line for the Packers wasn’t even close to as cohesive as it has been, and the defensive line for the Seahawks dominated the line of scrimmage.
I expect that things will be different in Seattle this weekend. I suspect that Bennett will need to get some rest the night before in order to consistently penetrate what McCarthy calls, “the best group of O-lineman” that he has experienced in his time in Green Bay, and in the Aaron Rodgers era.
They, as a group, are building on something special.
Not unlike T.J. Lang‘s previous comments about always sticking up for his guys (in reference to his personal foul in the divisional matchup), I believe these ticky-tack comments will not sit well with the boys responsible for keeping Aaron Rodgers upright in the pocket and creating holes for the reigning Rookie of the Year.
With any luck, they will have all the ammunition that they need to put Bennett on his backside, one time after another.