Michael Bennett lashes back at Mike Pettine for Russell Wilson comments

By Jesse Reed

Michael Bennett doesn’t appreciate Mike Pettine’s commentary about Russell Wilson’s place among the NFL’s elite.

Pettine had said earlier in the week that Wilson was not one of the top-tier NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.

Speaking with 710 ESPN on Friday, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com, Bennett lashed back at Pettine with some pretty harsh criticism and a staunch defense of Wilson and his accomplishments.

“Obviously he’s not good at picking quarterbacks, . . .” Bennett said. “Maybe he doesn’t know what elite is. I think that Russell Wilson is very elite. He’s been to two Super Bowls. It’s only his fourth year. I don’t think a lot of guys can say that.

“There’s a lot of guys with a lot of passing yards that haven’t had any success and don’t even go to the playoffs, like Philip Rivers and guys like that. Drew Brees hasn’t been to the playoffs in two years. So Russell Wilson is definitely an elite quarterback, and he can lead a team. . . . I think Russell Wilson has done a great job of proving that he is up there at the top tier of players.”

We completely agree with Bennett, here, for the record, regarding Wilson.

The Seahawks’ leading man may not have the statistical numbers throughout his career to compare with the men Pettine views as the game’s elite, but he’s certainly proved the past four games that he’s quite capable of doing so in the future.

Playing without Marshawn Lynch, and now without Jimmy Graham, Wilson has been unreal the past month and is on pace to do something no quarterback in the history of game has ever done at the NFL level.

Since losing in a shootout to the Arizona Cardinals five weeks ago, Wilson has completed 75.4 percent of his passes for 1,171 yards with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions.

And again, he’s doing this without Lynch, Graham and now Thomas Rawls.

This is exactly what you’d expect from a top-tier passer. When his team needed him the most, that’s when Wilson’s game hit stratospheric levels of greatness. On top of his other career accomplishments, there is no doubt Wilson deserves the “elite” label right now, Pettine’s opinion on the matter notwithstanding.