Michael Bennett and Bradley Sowell booted from Seahawks' practice for fighting

BySheil Kapadia ESPN logo
Sunday, August 21, 2016

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and left tackle Bradley Sowell got into a heated dust-up Sunday that resulted in both players getting pulled from practice.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the fight was the result of Sowell shoving defensive end Josh Shirley to the ground earlier in a one-on-one drill. When Bennett got a turn to face Sowell, the two players mixed it up and ended up on the ground before they were separated.

"He's just fighting for his own a little bit," Carroll said of Bennett. "One of the young guys got knocked around, and he was standing up for him. He's got a lot of pride. He's an incredible competitor, but he's got to make sure he stays poised so he doesn't get himself in trouble. So we had a good illustration of that today."

Bennett and Sowell spent the remainder of practice on the sidelines. Afterwards, they walked off the field together.

Bennett got kicked out of a practice earlier in training camp. He said at the time that he understood the message Carroll was sending to the team.

"There's a lot riding on this season for our whole football team," Carroll said. "And we have to deal with that. We have really high expectations, and that can heighten the passion and intensity and all of that. That's kind of something we're kind of used to out here.

"I think everything about everything is more intense than it's been. It just seems like the focus has been there to get prepared for this season, and I can't say that we don't like it. We just have to manage it well and perform well. So far we need to do better in games. We're getting too many penalties, and we need to make sure that we're doing right. I don't know if that's part of that or not, but we're working on it to make sure that it isn't.

"We're very connected. There's a respect that is here about competing and battling and that you're working to take it as far as you can and still respect the people across from you. And sometimes that line gets crossed a little bit. It's a very competitive world we're in and a very competitive game we play. And these guys care with all their heart. So we have to learn how to deal with that and how to manage that well."

Offensive line coach Tom Cable said the intensity can be a positive as long as it doesn't go too far.

"There's parts of it that are good, but ultimately you don't want either one of them fighting or doing that," Cable said. "And they've got to learn how to manage that because that stuff's going to happen in the game. And if you do it in the game, you're going to get thrown out, and they're going to take your money. So a good lesson for both [Sowell] and Mike. Both guys are wrong, and they've got to learn to do right. And they'll do that."