Super Bowl experience sweet for Bennett

Michael Bennett is focused on Sunday's game, but a big offseason pay day might be in his future. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Michael Bennett was in the Super Bowl spotlight Monday, and the Seattle Seahawks defensive end seemed to be enjoying it.

"It's just like being in the Willy Wonka chocolate factory right now," Bennett said. "All I see is cameras, lights and chocolate."

No, candy was not being served in the Westin Hotel ballroom. But six Seahawks players were offered to reporters, and one of them was Bennett, who led the team in sacks this season, and could challenge Richard Sherman for the team lead in personality.

Bennett is, after all, the player who described his unique sack dance earlier this week as "two angels dancing while chocolate is coming from the heavens on a nice Sunday morning."

Sweet talk aside, Bennett could be one of the key players in Super Bowl XLVIII. To win, the Seahawks must stop, or at least slow down, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos' prolific offense.

The Seattle secondary gets most of the attention, but the front seven getting pressure on Manning will be critical. Denver allowed only 20 sacks during the regular season, the fewest in the NFL. But the Seahawks had 44, tied for eighth in the league, with Bennett racking up 8.5. He also has 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in two playoff games.

"You just gotta beat your man faster. It's as simple as it gets," Bennett said. "Everybody wants to make football more than what it really is. It's just beat your guy, tackle him, and running the ball better than the other team."

Bennett has a lot on the line personally come Sunday, and not just a championship ring. He's playing for a new contract, and there's no bigger stage than the Super Bowl.

After four seasons in Tampa Bay, the 28-year-old settled for a one-year, $5 million deal with the Seahawks -- the team that originally signed him as an undrafted rookie -- this past offseason. The Buccaneers let Bennett walk, despite a career-high nine sacks in 2012.

"It was frustrating, because as a player you go out there and put everything on the line for the organization, and when it's time to get your just due and you don't get it, you feel a certain type of way," Bennett said. "But at the same time, you have to put everything in God's hands, and God had a plan for me and the plan worked out good."

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been delighted with the addition to his D-line. "Michael's been an exceptional player. He's had a great season for us," Carroll said. "He has tremendous versatility, plays inside and outside, he's got a great motor and great savvy about him. He doesn't always do things in an orthodox manner, but he's very, very savvy."

Bennett's brother, Martellus Bennett, spent a season here in 2012 as the starting tight end for the New York Giants. Martellus, now with the Chicago Bears, displayed a quirky personality as well, such as the time he labeled himself "a black unicorn."

Michael was asked Monday if Martellus had given him any advice.

"My brother, he's a good guy," Michael said. "He supports me and just tells me to keep my head up and not get too focused on the media and the fans and just go out there and play a great game."

When asked if he might be interested in playing in New York one day, Michael played it straight, and smart.

"Um, I don't know," he said, smiling. "I like playing for the Seahawks right now."