Michael Bennett's reason for skipping OTAs: 'I like to be a parent'

Along with posting daily schedules for players, the digital monitors at the Seattle Seahawks' practice facility also flash Pete Carroll's core coaching principles.

One of them reads: "Practice is everything."

And while the team got excellent participation during its spring program, one player who was missing until last week's mandatory minicamp was veteran defensive end Michael Bennett.

Bennett was asked why he chooses not to attend OTAs.

"I like to be a parent," Bennett said. "I've got daughters. I'm a coach. I'm a teacher at the school. I do stuff in the community. I try to balance my football life with my actual reality. So to find that great balance as a human being, I feel like it's important for athletes to find that. I think a lot of times athletes have a problem when they retire because they build their identity around the sport, and so when the sport is gone, you are lost.

"So along the way, you've got to transition yourself to be able to live in civilization. So find different things that you can be a part of. Find out who you are. So that's why I do what I do."

Bennett, who lives in Hawaii with his family, played at a high level last season, despite missing five games due to injury. He had five sacks and finished first on the team with 14 tackles for loss.

At the end of the year, the Seahawks restructured Bennett's deal and extended him through the 2020 season. He, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark will lead Seattle's pass rush once again in 2017.

"I train harder than anybody in the NFL, so I'm not worried about being in shape or being the best player I can be," Bennett said. "What I am worried about is how good of a parent I can be, how much better of a husband I can be. So those are things that I focus on when it's the offseason."