“Word is Michael Bennett is none too happy with being a backup,” Collinsworth said during the broadcast, via PhillyVoice. “Eight and a half sacks. He brings over three straight Pro Bowls. You can understand.”
BGN alumnus Jimmy Kempski put together a post debunking Collinsworth’s claim. In addition to pointing out that Bennett played the third most snaps (and only one fewer snap than Brandon Graham) of any Eagles defensive lineman in Week 1, Kempski also added this note:
Bennett was unavailable for comment, but according to a league source, he communicated to the Eagles that those comments came as a surprise to him, and that they were not true at all.
So, matter resolved.
Eagles reporter Ed Kracz noted Bennett looking unhappy during Philadelphia’s Week 2 game against the Buccaneers.
Michael Bennett not happing coming out of game on third and long. Has a few words with DL coach Chris Wilson #Eagles— Ed Kracz (@kracze) September 16, 2018
As it turns out, Bennett played 21 fewer snaps in Week 2 than he did in Week 1. Percentage-wise, he dropped from 64% to 41%.
Going down to 41% is a big drop off from playing 84.7% of the Seahawks’ total defensive snaps in 2017.
Of course, Bennett was never going to see that kind of playing time in Philadelphia. The Eagles heavily rotate their defensive linemen. The aforementioned Graham played the most snaps of any Eagles d-line member in 2017 and he was still only at 64.6%.
Playing in a rotation could seemingly help keep Bennett, who turns 33 in November, more fresh over the course of the season. But even still he might not like the idea of playing much less often.
If Bennett IS unhappy with his role, he’s not talking about it. Apparently he’s no longer talking to reporters at all.
Tried talking to Michael Bennett in locker room and he said he was done talking to media. I asked him why and he said I’ve been talking for 10 years, I don’t want to do it anymore. #Eagles— Ed Kracz (@kracze) September 18, 2018
So, there’s that.
Maybe this is all a non-issue. Even if Bennett isn’t satisfied with his playing time, he doesn’t have much of a choice to do anything about it. The Eagles are going to continue to rotate their players under Schwartz. And as long as Bennett continues to prove to be a valuable contributor to the Eagles’ defense, the team will live with his potentially disgruntled attitude.
Still, this could be something to file away. It’s certainly fair to question Collinsworth’s source but something clearly motivated him to say what he said. NFL insider Adam Schefter didn’t downplay the notion Bennett could be unhappy.
“I don’t know any specifics but if an announcer makes a comment like that, they don’t say something like that randomly, its usually based off knowledge, if Collinsworth said it, I’m buying it” - @AdamSchefter on M. Bennett being upset at playing time #flyeaglesfly— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) September 19, 2018
In other Michael Bennett news, his court date was pushed back once again.
Michael Bennett's court date for injury to elderly charge in Houston has been moved from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17. "We are waiting for the state to decide how they want to proceed. Dismissal or trial," said his attorney, Rusty Hardin. "Both sides still investigating and sharing info."— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) September 18, 2018