Quoting Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on the wide receiver corps, the running back position, Richard Sherman, and more.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made news again this week in an unlikely way by essentially trying to deny in an interview with ESPN that a recorded threat to ruin the career of a local sports talk radio show host had actually happened.
It was the latest twist in what has been an odd swing in Sherman’s relationship with local media.
Sherman, who in 2015 was honored by the Pro Football Writers Association for his cooperation with the media, had an increasingly testy relationship with local reporters in 2016, ultimately deciding not to hold his usual Wednesday press conferences and later saying he would talk only to ESPN reporter Ed Werder (though he did later hold group interview sessions after games).
The shift in his media relations came in a season when Sherman also had two on-field blowups aimed at coaches (with his threat to ruin the career of talk show host Jim Moore coming during a press conference when Sherman was being asked about his actions in a game against the Rams on Dec. 14 when he took exception to an offensive play call).
All of it has led to some conjecture about Sherman’s long-term — if not short-term — future with the Seahawks.
At the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, though, both general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll mostly brushed off the topic. Schneider said simply that Sherman is an “elite” player that the team loves when asked if there was any reason to wonder about Sherman’s future.
And Thursday, Carroll said he is optimistic that Sherman’s media issues can be resolved by the time the 2017 season rolls around.
“There is a lot of time here in this offseason,” Carroll said. “Hopefully everything will be worked out and it’s a move forward so it’s not an issue. I know you guys can handle it. And he’s a player who’s got a big world. He’s got a family to take care of. He’s got his job to take care of. And it’s just an ongoing conversation. And hopefully he will put that behind him.”
Certainly, the team hopes it will be just that simple as few figure the Seahawks want to go through a season with Sherman in 2017 like they did in 2016. For now, the Seahawks seem to hope it will all blow quickly away.
Here are a few more notable quotes from Carroll’s meeting with the media today
On the role of C.J. Prosise
“He’s carved out a very small one so far because he hasn’t played very much. But C.J we feel like we really found the kind of guy we were hoping to find. He can do the things we like him to do which is a variety of stuff. He’s a running back first, a pass catcher, he’s a guy who can get out of the backfield and line up as a receiver like he did in college which was one of the attractions of him that we were getting a receiver and a running back – two guys in one in a sense. You have to look at our games when he was available, which was just a couple, when he was there he was instrumental, was fun to have him on our side. Was great for Bev to be able to use him in various ways and he was very effective and he had long runs, he had long passes, he had tough runs, he ran inside, he ran outside, he did all of that stuff for us. We have no hesitation at all in what we can do with him. We’ve just got to get him available.’’
On the competition between Prosise and Thomas Rawls in the backfield next season
“Our team is all about competition and every time we come back to camp it’s going to start all over again. Guys have made statements about who they are and then they have to come back and reestablish that and take it as far as they can. There is nothing in the way of C.J. Thomas Rawls is a terrific player on our team, too, who had a very difficult season, he was banged up all year so those two guy come back to camp really raring to go and we are looking forward to that.’’
On if Carroll regards receiver as a position of need this off-season
“Well how you would see it as a need and how we would see it as a need are probably two different things. We are always looking for guys who can help us and guys who can make us better. Exactly like I just said — if there’s a guy out there that can come in there and make our team then he is going to be a good football player. If he can push for playing time he’s going to be an extraordinary player and if he can start and beat a guy out we would be thrilled to see that happen. It doesn’t matter what position we are talking about. I love our guys. Our guys can make plays, they have great chemistry with the quarterback, Russell (Wilson) knows what he is getting from all of our guys. But that doesn’t mean we are not going to try to find somebody that can help us and that’s across the board, not only pertaining to that position.’’
On the emergence of Paul Richardson late in the season
“It was incredibly fun to see him contribute in that way, because we’d seen him in the draft process be a player who can be a dynamic, explosive football player. Then he got banged up, he had this and that, and he had just stuff that got in the way of just getting to the front line where he could really show it. As soon as he got a great shot this year, he just took off. He didn’t hesitate at all. We know we have a dynamic football player. He’s not just a speed guy down the field like you might think, he’s a very good route-runner, he’s in out of his breaks with lightning quickness, and he’s come through and played really tough football for us. I know Paul feels this way, our coaches all feel this way—we can’t wait to get started again and pick up where we left off.”
On signing free agent kicker Blair Walsh as a probable replacement for free agent Steven Hauschka
“Steven’s a free agent. He can go wherever he wants to go. I can’t make a more vivid illustration of trying to improve the roster by bringing in competition of a high level. What a great opportunity to get a talented guy. The guy’s kicked as well as anyone in football, in college and in the pros, when he’s had his chances. And he’s seen the other side of it, too, he knows how to bounce back. And so he’s a tremendous talent. So he adds in and we see what happens. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the rest of it.”