Pete Carroll said Wednesday he and the Seahawks coaching staff are so close to the players in general, and linebacker Aaron Curry in particular, that “you can feel a guy’s disappointment and frustration” in being demoted.
But to hear Curry tell it, he has “complete peace of mind” because “I know that through Jesus Christ my Savior that I know I’m on my way to something so much bigger than anything we can explain.”
So much for being on the same page. The Seahawks and Curry are so far apart that one would have to ride a bullet train all day to reach the other.
About the only question is whether Curry wants to have a Seattle football salvation as much as he wants his Christian salvation. If not, the time is near when the club’s No. 1 draft pick in the 2009 draft, fourth overall, will be cut.
When the Seahawks reduced his contract in March, the club eliminated any guaranteed money after this season. When they demoted him for last week’s game against Arizona, they eliminated almost any possibility that he had trade value, because if they could have dealt him for a draft pick, they would have. And the Seahawks profess to be enamored with his replacement, rookie fourth-rounder K.J. Wright, who started Sunday in the 13-10 win over Arizona.
So the arrows are all pointing toward the door for Curry, touted as the “safest” of all the draft picks in 2009 coming out of Wake Forest because his NFL potential was so clear and obvious.
But the only move made Wednesday was to trot him out for an impromptu press briefing before practice, which was a little surprising since the club usually goes to lengths to avoid awkward public moments. Then again, if he said something untoward, he would only hasten the Seahawks’ decision.
But Curry didn’t much stir the pot. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t weird.
Right now I’m just a second-string outside linebacker,” he said. “I come to work every day to be a better linebacker.”
Composed and polite, Curry stood in front of a couple of dozen reporters and answered every question, even when the PR people tried to cut off the conversation. But it was also plain that Curry seemed a little disconnected.
“I’m feeling blessed, just capitalizing on it,” he said. “My frustration was last week. I was a little caught off guard. So naturally, my response was to be frustrated. I’m at peace right now . . . I don’t even know how to explain it to you.”
Nor did he have much of an explanation about the restructured contract that left him with no guaranteed money after this year.
“How do I explain it?” He said. “It was an interesting proposal. Kinda like everything happens for a reason. You don’t know the reason behind everything. I just took it and ran with it. If I was money-hungry guy, I would have handled the situation differently, but I’m not. I’m about playing football and winning.”
Curry’s faith is a powerful thing, but it isn’t necessary to be a pope to notice the reasons for the Seahawks’ decision: He lacks the instincts and savvy for the position.
CBSSports.com draft analyst Rob Rang sees it when Curry over-runs plays and takes himself out of position of impact. He also thinks Curry is better suited as an inside linebacker in a 4-3 defense as opposed to the strongside ‘backer in the Seahawks’ 4-3.
As for himself, Curry’s one complaint about his Seahawks time is that he has been moved into too many roles.
“The only time all the roles are tough is when they’re in the same game,” he said. “There was a game at the end of last year when I played SAM (strongside) linebacker, off the ball, then on ball, nose tackle, end.
“When all that is one game, it’s a, uh, unique situation. Just playing SAM LB, it’s lot easier than all those other roles.”
Then again, if Curry had excelled, as befitting his great combine workout that had scouts salivating before the draft, the need to try him at different spots would have been unnecessary.
Naturally, Carroll wasn’t saying Curry is near the edge, only that he has a shot at returning.
“What we want to see from him is battle for what he rightfully wants to own,” he said. “Come back and fix things. He’ll get a chance to do that.”
Whether a player “at peace” wants to battle is hard to say. One clue came from his Twitter account, which is normally filled with Bible verse. Responding to a fan’s tweet about the triumph over the Cardinals, in which he played only a little, Curry wrote, “Yes, they won.”
Curry declined to explain his remark.
“No matter how I explain it, it’s already been interpreted,” he said. “To try to explain the tweet, I just don’t think it would do anybody any justice. For me to defend myself or anybody else, it wouldn’t do anyone any justice.”
He’s right that it won’t help matters to defend, but only because the tweet speaks for itself. Curry suddenly finds himself in a no-man’s land regarding teammates and coaches. But the feeling around the Seahawks is more sadness than anger, because Curry is a likable dude who, through no fault of his own, was over-rated, then hired into a system that plays often to his weaknesses.
And he’s right: Things happen for a reason. If he is cut, or traded, the reason will be less than cosmic, and as tangible as knowing how to defend in football so he doesn’t have to defend in cyberspace.