Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said there is a noticeable difference in the energy and chemistry in this year's training camp as opposed to a year ago, when Kam Chancellor was holding out and Earl Thomas was recovering from off-season surgery.
Count Richard Sherman as the latest veteran Seahawk to say that this year’s training camp has a different feel than last season’s — and in the best possible way.
Through four days, the Seahawks have been pretty much Team Tranquil (other than a few dust-ups between offensive and defensive linemen in one-on-one drills, which are pretty much par for the course in training camp, anyway) with everyone having reported on time and no holdouts, ala Kam Chancellor’s of a year ago.
“It’s everything,’’ said Sherman. “It’s everything. I mean Kam being here, Mike B (Michael Bennett) being here, even with the contract that he’s dealing with, it’s fantastic. That’s why you can see the energy difference from last year, you can see the guys moving different. There’s more chemistry, there’s more unity, there’s more continuity, as you say it.
“Our guys are just ready. Guys are season ready. We could play tomorrow if we had to, at least with the first unit. And that comes from guys just playing together, seeing each other, respecting each other, loving each other, appreciating one another.”
Most Read Sports Stories
- Seattle to host NBA preseason game this fall between Trail Blazers and Clippers
- UW corrals its quarterback in three-star 2023 South Dakota signal caller Lincoln Kienholz
- K.J. Wright on NFL future: 'If it's not in Seattle, then I'll be all good'
- Kraken to offer lower entry-level ticket pricing after 'listening sessions' with fans
- Reports: USC and UCLA departing Pac-12 for Big Ten as soon as 2024
Sherman said the first four days have made it clear there is a stark contrast between this year’s camp and how things were a year ago, when not only was Chancellor holding out but Earl Thomas was recovering from off-season shoulder surgery (Thomas returned to practice early in camp a year ago but did not play in any pre-season games).
“It was a tough camp because Kam and Earl were both sitting out,’’ Sherman said. “It’s just a different feel when all of us aren’t together. Not to say we’re any more valuable than anybody else, but it’s just a different feel when everybody’s out there, and we’re moving and we’re shaking. The energy is different, they’re more enthusiastic. These guys understand and trust one another. When you get younger guys who are unfamiliar with the situations, then you second guess in some situations, like ‘oh, is he going to be there, is he not going to be there.’’’
As an example, Sherman cited a play in Tuesday’s practice, when Sherman and Thomas converged to break up a deep post pass intended for receiver Tyler Lockett.
“There was a play today on the post ball where I knew exactly where Earl was going to be, Earl knew exactly where I was going to be, and it wasn’t a guess, it was knowledge,’’ Sherman said. “It was years of playing together, years of being in very intense situations and trusting. Those things kind of go away when you’re going with another guy.”
While Bennett is in camp and active as ever, Bennett’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, remains negotiating with the Seahawks. The NFL Network reported on Monday that Bennett’s camp hopes that a new deal may still get done by the time the regular season begins on Sept. 11.
Sherman said Seahawks teammates are sympathetic with Bennett’s situation.
“We want him to get everything he can get,’’ Sherman said. “We want everybody to get everything they can get, because this game, this game takes as much as it gives, honestly. It takes a lot, it takes a toll on the body, it takes a toll on the mind. We want everybody to get as much as they can. But we also understand it’s a business, we understand the way our organization is run, there are certain things that you’ve got to do, certain things you’ve got to show up and you’ve got to show good faith, and that’s what they’re both doing right now and we appreciate that.”
Bennett is entering the third season of a four-year contract worth a total of $28.5 million signed in 2014. Bennett could make a case he’s now worth about twice that, ranking 27th in salary among all defensive linemen.
But while the Seahawks don’t have any questions about Bennett’s value, the organization is reluctant to give him a new deal now to avoid setting a precedent of giving extensions or new contracts to players who have more than a year remaining on their deal.
The worry there is that other players (such as Sherman) might then ask for their own new deals.
Asked Tuesday if that’s a valid concern for the organization to have, Sherman — whose four-year, $56 million deal runs through 2018 —smiled.
“I don’t know,’’ he said. “I’m pretty happy to be here. But you know, more is more.”