John Feinstein on why Gruden had to name RG3 starter
Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch may dominate the headlines, but the strength of the Seattle Seahawks comes from the defensive side of the ball. The Seattle defense ranks top in the league against the pass and No. 7 at stopping the opposition's run game.
Backup defensive end Michael Bennett is a big part of that, and after this playoff run, Bennett will be an unrestricted free agent. On the season, Bennett registered 8.5 sacks, but what's even more impressive was the fifth-year man out of Texas A&M was able to pressure the quarterback from a variety of positions. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked about the advantage of Bennett's play in an SI.com piece:
He had shown versatility that he could play inside and outside, but I didn’t appreciate how constant he is effort-wise. I didn’t have that sense about him watching him on film, but he is a relentless football player. You love guys like that — he’s going to get everything out of every play.
Bennett does not have the pedigree of Redskins free agent outside linebacker Brian Orkapo -- Bennett was an undrafted free agent signed by Tampa in 2009 -- but he should cost less too. Orakpo has a history of injuries as well, while Bennett has not missed a game the last three years.
The Seahawks play a 4-3 style defense while the Redskins play a 3-4, but Bennett's versatility could alow him to play at various spots along Washington's defensive line. At 6'4", 274 lbs. Bennett has the size to line up at any position on the line, including nose tackle. Further, with his background in the Tampa system, it's possible Redskins GM Bruce Allen may already be familiar with the hardworking 28-year-old.
Beyond Bennett, the talented Seahawks roster has a number of players the Redskins will be watching.
Clinton McDonald, another backup defensive lineman, registered 5.5 sacks this season from the defensive tackle position. He could be an asset to a Washington defense looking to rebound from an abysmal 2013 season, and at a reasonable price. The Redskins roster requires significant upgrades at many positions, so players that will help without a huge price tag will be of much importance.