Yahoo Sports- See, Bennett and Graham have some history, with Bennett calling Graham “soft” and “overrated” and saying that he didn’t like Graham “as a person or as a player.”
The fact that they are now teammates apparently has not changed much in Bennett’s mind.
"I still feel the same way. I mean, just because he's on my team I don't stop feeling that way," Bennett said.
"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 said. "When he comes to our team, he's a part of our team. We have a different philosophy than they have with the Saints so the things that he was expected to do [with] the Saints are going to 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.
"I don't feel as harsh as I did at the time because he's my teammate now, but at the time he was on the opposite team, a team that we played that was pretty good and we battled with them a couple times, and I didn't really like that team."
It was once said that all we have in this world is our balls and our word. Well, I'll be damned if Michael Bennett is going to sacrifice half his possessions for a soft, overrated tight end. There simply isn't any other way to feel about these statements than to respect Bennett. Far too often in sports we are forced to retract our opinions on certain players. Hell, a couple months ago I would have been telling you that Graham was the biggest matchup nightmare in the NFL and a once in a lifetime offensive talent, now I find myself agreeing with Michael Bennett. Look at Yankees' fans over the years. A fan base that rued the existence of legendary Red Sox such as Johnny Damon, Kevin Youkilis, and Jacob Ellsbury was forced to embrace those players just a season later.
This is the beauty of football. There are two sides to the ball. A defensive player doesn't necessarily have to get along with an offensive player. Look how many fights and scuffles feature the likes of two teammates during the dog days of training camp. That competitive spirit and lack of respect can actually make the team better in the long run. As supporters of any team, we should be love these comments by Bennett. He basically said what our allegiance as fans has never allowed us to say, and it's of no detriment to his team.
As a Saints fan, only time will tell whether the trade of Jimmy Graham was the right move. However, that doesn't change the fact that Bennett is pretty spot on. Graham has never shown a proclivity to blocking. His least impressive games have come against physical defenses that push him around. I'm not saying that Jimmy isn't one of the best tight ends in the game, but just because he's Bennett's teammate now doesn't mean he is without flaw. I hope Jimmy doesn't plan on walking into the Seattle and having his defensive teammates wax poetic about his presence. He's got a lot of work to do to earn that locker room's respect. It's refreshing to see a player stick his guns and say exactly that.
P.S. I can't get past the irony of a Seahawks player making me feel better about the loss of Jimmy Graham.