One of the most often quoted sayings in professional sports is “next man up.” This means that when one player is injured, the next in the rotation will step up and try to take their place in the lineup. However, when talking to Seattle Seahawks superstar defensive end Michael Bennett, he reveals there is one man that the Seahawks cannot win without. Bennett said there are a lot of people on the team who want to be the alpha male but Seattle can’t win without quarterback Russell Wilson healthy.

Russell Wilson’s importance to Seattle

Michael Bennett said that Russell Wilson is a “top-five quarterback in the NFL.” Bennett said that everyone on the Seattle Seahawks team supports Wilson, which is a nice sentiment after reports accused Richard Sherman of saying there was a division in the locker room and part of it had to do with the treatment of Wilson compared to other players.

Sherman himself said that the rumors were lies and Wilson said that Sherman was “one of the best teammates” he could have.

Michael Bennett said that Russell Wilson is a great human being and he never hides who he is or acts differently around the other players. According to Bennett, Wilson is a genuine person with great character. He also said that the Seattle Seahawks quarterback is a “great leader,” a “great player,” and someone who always gives back. Bennett said that this is how Wilson is towards everyone on the team, including the defensive stars.

Russell Wilson on the field

The numbers on the field back up what Michael Bennett said as well. In 2016, Wilson ranked 14th in quarterback rating, but in the 2015 season, Wilson ranked at the top of the NFL with an 110.1 rating.

He has thrown for over 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, taking more onto his shoulders after the retirement of running back Marshawn Lynch.

Russell Wilson has also thrown 127 touchdowns in his five seasons in the NFL, and while his numbers took a dip in 2016 in both touchdowns thrown and QB rating, the Seattle Seahawks hope that bringing in a running back like Eddie Lacy will help Wilson in 2017.

Even in a season where Russell wasn’t hitting his normal numbers, he still led the Seahawks to a 10-win season and the NFL playoffs, something the Seahawks have achieved every season since Wilson joined the team in 2012.

Michael Bennett wanted to emphasize how, despite the Seattle Seahawks being built on a great defense, the team “can’t win a game” unless Russell Wilson is out there on the field leading them.