As they prepare for the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, personnel news hasn’t been great for the Seahawks.
Starting TE Gerald Everett was placed Wednesday on the reserve/COVID-19 list; former WR Josh Gordon, cleared by the NFL to play, spurned Seattle for Kansas City, and former Seahawks star CB Richard Sherman came out of his self-imposed isolation to join QB Tom Brady, at his request, in seeking another Super Bowl title at Tampa Bay.
Boy, lose a couple of football games, and people treat the joint like it’s Chernobyl.
The biggest controversy is around Sherman, although Carroll can’t be pleased that he may be without Everett Sunday after becoming the first Seahawk to test positive during the pandemic.
If Everett gets back-to-back negative tests with 24 hours, and is vaccinated and asymptomatic, the new NFL protocols say he could play Sunday. If he’s not vaccinated, he has a 10-day minimum quarantine ahead of him. No one saying anything about his jab status, although Everett did tweet he would “be back soon,” whatever that means.
Regarding Sherman, the easy narrative is that he would have helped solve the Seattle personnel crisis du jour at cornerback.
As you may have read, Seahawks defenders are sniping at each other and the coaches over the hash made of pass coverage in consecutive losses to Tennessee and Minnesota, which has the Seahawks staring at the first three-game losing streak in the Russell Wilson era.
No one at Renton HQ is admitting to panic; when asked about the team vibe, Carroll said, “Real serious.” Which certainly relieves those worried that the Seahawks were sashaying through a field of marigolds ahead of joining up with Winnie The Pooh.
Carroll even denied there was contentiousness, despite on-the-record comments Sunday from CBs Tre Flowers and D.J. describing the Seahawks as being out-schemed.
“There’s stuff that we are going to continue to get better at,” he said. “I didn’t see any unusual problems in any regards to communications that held us back. One of the things that we do with our players is that we adapt to the guy. If the guy can do stuff differently than the other guy, then we try to coach them to that. Not everybody gets coached exactly the same with the same demands because, physically, they are not the same players and their makeup may not be the same.
“A guy could misinterpret; he hears us talking to one guy and then he thinks, me too. That hasn’t happened in years, and I don’t think that happened now. I think it was just a game of frustrations.”
Chances are the addition of Sherman, 33, to Seattle’s roster would add to the frustrations and subtract playing time from younger players who need to get better faster.
The overriding factor in Seattle is that, despite the desperation at the position — newcomers Sidney Jones and Bless Austin could see their first action Sunday at Santa Clara — Carroll knows Sherman and his situation better than any outsider, including Brady and coach Bruce Arians. He chose to pass.
“Maybe because we know so much, have so much information, and are so familiar, someone else who doesn’t, might be a different decision for them to make,” he said. “The other side of it, I would say that it would have worked to our advantage if we were willing to do something.”
Which can be taken to mean that Sherman would have contributed more quickly in Seattle, given his stellar seven-year tenure here that ended in 2017. But given the spectacular nature of his notorious night on July 13 that nearly injured numerous people, required a response from several police units, and rocked Seattle well beyond its sports fans, a lot of people here would want much more accountability before deciding to cheer him again.
Without re-hashing the entire sordid episode, let’s hear once more from Raymond Moss, father of Sherman’s wife, Ashley, as the ex-Seahawks hero, drunk, tried to break down the front door of Moss’s Sammamish home that held Ashley and the kids.
“The family began to yell in fear,” Moss told police. “I used pepper spray on Sherman’s face through the partially opened door as he was still banging and attempting to gain entry. I told him to stop. I armed myself with my handgun at this time fearing for the safety of myself and my family.”
The passage of time and the arrival of football season tends to fog the memory, but this was no family squabble over whose turn it was to pick up the dinner tab. There were five charges, all misdemeanors: Two domestic violence counts — criminal trespass in the second degree and malicious mischief in the third degree — along with resisting arrest, driving while under the influence and reckless endangerment of roadway workers.
Sherman pleaded not guilty, and posted on social media that he was “deeply remorseful.” Trial awaits.
But that was the last public word from Sherman until Wednesday, after he left his Maple Valley home, flew to Tampa, took a physical exam and signed a one-year deal for up to $2.2 million and went out to the practice field to patch an injury hole in the defense of the defending champs.
At his Tampa press conference, Sherman addressed the episode breezily.
“There’s always a silver lining to everything,” Sherman said. “Obviously it was an unfortunate situation and regrettable, but it led to some positive changes, some help, some therapy, some tools that I didn’t have before to address some things that you kind of let stack up in your mind.”
Whatever Carroll knows likely will never come out publicly, but what may come out in court proceedings — there’s a hearing Friday that he’s not obligated to attend — could be further distracting. Almost surely, Sherman in returning to his high platform in Seattle would have to explain to followers his actions, treatment and therapy that have nothing to do with football.
In Tampa, they don’t care. And if it doesn’t work out there, better to do it across the country than in the place where he was a legend.
Asked about the signing, Carroll said he hadn’t spoken to Sherman about it, but was in occasional contact for awhile prior to training camp.
“We were always watching Richard, and had the thought in mind that maybe there was a possibility down the road,” he said. “I talked to him seriously about that prior to camp. But we wish him the best. I’m glad he got the chance to come back and hope for the very best for him.”
After the loss in Minnesota, Flowers talked with reporters before getting on the bus about his spotty performance. He referenced the shadow of No. 25, adding sardonically, “Y’all want me to be Sherman.”
Surely, Arians wants Sherman to be Sherman. Carroll wants Flowers to be his best self. Some of the rest of us would like Sherman to be transparent about what steps he’s taken to no longer be a threat to himself, his family and others.