Michael Bennett: Pete Carroll ‘understands the black athlete more than any coach out there’

January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) celebrates with head coach Pete Carroll after the 28-22 victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett made an interesting statement about head coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday morning, appearing on ESPN 710’s “Brock and Salt” show. He also made it clear he will show up for training camp, rather than holding out for the multi-term extension he’s seeking.

Here’s what he had to say about Carroll, per Stephen Cohen of seattlepi.com: “He definitely understands the black athlete more than any coach out there.”

Now, the biggest immediate takeaway here is that this is especially significant because Carroll is, obviously, a Caucasion coach.

Seattle does have a very tight locker room, and Carroll has been known as a player’s coach for a long time. Perhaps what Bennett is expressing as reality for him shows us why Carroll has been so successful at creating that dynamic.

Bennett, who’s been quite outspoken about wanting to get paid, about how quarterbacks get paid way too much money compared to the rest of the players and many other things, clearly has a lot of respect for his coach.

Bennett is in the last year of his current deal with Seattle, which averages $6.5 million per year. That makes him the No. 23-ranked defensive end in the NFL in terms of average salary. Many would argue he belongs in the top 5-10, based on his production. A guy who plays all over the line, he’s racked up 25.5 sacks the past years and deserves to be paid like a top player.

The fact that he’s making a public statement about showing up to camp, even though he’s getting paid far less than he’s worth, shows just how much loyalty he has to Carroll and his teammates.