On January 14th, after a scuffle during the Atlanta Falcons’ victory formation against the Seattle Seahawks, Shannon Sharpe directed a certain tweet towards Michael Bennett, regarding his post-snap actions:
Put my helmet directly on his knee. https://t.co/9cdQmy0jBq— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) January 15, 2017
Bennett didn’t take too kindly to this message of intentional injury (obviously) and finally had his chance to respond in person this week. Sharpe and the always lovely Skip Bayless act as co-hosts on the show Undisputed.
A very similar format to ESPN First Take, the crew travels for Super Bowl Week and has many different athletes and media personalities on air with them. Bennett was lucky(?) enough to get on the show yesterday, responding to Sharpe’s tweet in person:
Sharpe’s point on the matter was that, when facing victory formation, defensive players don’t need to be hyper-aggressive and take cheap shots at offensive linemen and quarterbacks.
Bennett responded by simply stating that if there’s even a second left on the clock, he’s going to try to get the ball back and into his quarterback’s hands.
I can understand both sides of this argument to certain extents. Sharpe may be onto something, but his tweet was out of line. Bennett’s will to win in any way possible is admirable, but you have to pick your battles. Taking shots just to take shots when the quarterback is quickly taking a knee isn’t your best bet at victory.
Something like this, though, is totally fine with me:
When visiting the San Diego (am I even allowed to say that anymore?) Chargers in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks were facing a victory formation that would eventually lead to a game-icing field goal try. Phillip Rivers received the snap and figured he’d run a few seconds off of the clock before taking a knee. Kam Chancellor deemed this to be madness, bent the edge as well as a strong safety can against a victory formation, and hammered Rivers into the ground.
In retrospect, Kam should’ve gone for the ball instead of the kill shot, but it was a perfectly legal hit that Rivers was, to be perfectly honest, asking for.
Again, I’m not really concerned with Michael Bennett’s post-snap antics. The dude is arguably the best 4-3 defensive end in the NFL and we have absolutely no right to question his motives. His desire to win has been a major contributor to Seattle’s run of dominance over the last four years and I doubt it will be subsiding anytime soon.