Sportress of Blogitude

Michael Bennett still not a big fan of new teammate Jimmy Graham

Michael Bennett

Just because Jimmy Graham now is a member of the Seattle Seahawks does not mean that Michael Bennett has changed his original, unflattering opinion of the tight end. He also denied reports from earlier this offseason that he requested a trade.

Bennett was asked about the Seahawks’ acquisition of Graham during an appearance Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Justin and Gee Show.”

“I still feel the same way,” Bennett said, per the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Just because he’s on my team, I don’t stop feeling that way. Obviously I’m going to be a better teammate to him because he’s on my team; I can’t do the things I was doing to him when we were playing him.”

Bennett then indicated that Graham will be asked to do more with the Seahawks than simply making receptions.

“When he comes to our team, he’s a part of our team, so we have a different philosophy than they had with the Saints. So the things that he was expected to do at the Saints, they’re gonna be different when he comes here. Obviously, we’re a running team, so he’s going to have to block and do all those things.”

The Seahawks defensive lineman did concede his hypercritical stance against Graham’s skills possibly have softened a bit and that some of his earlier antipathy towards his new teammate partly stemmed from the fact he isn’t a fan of the Saints.

Bennett’s original negative assessment of the tight end followed a 2014 playoff game win over the Saints when he called Graham “one of the softest players in the NFL.” He then added, “I think he’s overrated.”

While Bennett’s assertion that Graham is overrated is debatable, the Seahawks surely will welcome his productivity at the tight end position, as the other two tight ends also currently on the roster who played for the team in 2014 — Luke Wilson and Cooper Helfet — combined for 34 receptions for 547 yards and five touchdowns last season. Graham, on the other hand, caught 85 balls for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns, albeit in a more pass-happy Saints offense.

(photo credit: (AP/Jeff Roberson)