EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Michael Bennett launched into an impassioned rant against the critics who doubted his team’s ability to win Super Bowl XLVIII, insisting those critics should "feel stupid."
The Seattle Seahawks felt slighted by experts and former players in the lead-up to Sunday’s 43-8 blowout victory over the Denver Broncos, with several players describing the collective "chip on our shoulder."
As Bennett spoke to reporters less than an hour after the game at MetLife Stadium, the defensive end had an emphatic message for the doubters and described how the perceived flak had provided inspiration for the Seahawks to shut down Peyton Manning and Denver's first-ranked offense.
"There is a lot of people who feel stupid right now," Bennett said. "They come out there and doubt the guys we have to be able to play the way we play.
"They doubted us and I didn't really appreciate that. That is what analysts do, they handle it, but they really made us mad by saying we didn't have the guys to play and we would get blown out.
And he wasn't done.
"It is so funny man," he continued, "they all disrespected us. We have been disrespected our whole life. Our team is a whole bunch of misfits – a bunch of guys that nobody wanted. They said we couldn't play and we couldn't make it. And so-called analysts that don't know who the best players are.”
Seattle's defense was annoyed by suggestions that their physical style of football often overstepped the mark, while the team's receiving corps was fired up by suggestions they were not at an elite level.
[Photos: Best images of Super Bowl XLVIII]
Those doubts were made to look irrelevant as the Seahawks stormed into an early lead on Sunday night and never let the advantage slip, cruising to one of the most convincing Super Bowl wins in recent memory.
Bennett's contract with the Seahawks expired at the end of the season, but reports have suggested he is likely to return. He was adamant that even after claiming the franchise's first title, the team was in no mood to stop improving, especially the dominant defense upon which victory was built.
"I don’t even know in the NFL how all of us get in the same team; it is just unfair," Bennett said. "We are still coming. We never went into a game thinking we couldn't win. We always played the type of defense we play and there is no offense that can play with us.
"Our guys went out there and did what we always do and we definitely got that chip on our shoulders. That chip is going to continue to be on this team forever."
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