Carroll said a quick "no'' when asked if he's felt there has ever been a divide between QB Russell Wilson and other players.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he regarded an article published Friday detailing a growing rift in the team’s locker room arising from the stunning loss to New England in the Super Bowl in 2015 as a failure in his coaching.
But maybe not the kind you would expect.
The story, published on SI.com, mostly centered on resentment felt by some players over how the team has handled quarterback Russell Wilson, alleging that he has gotten special treatment, and some wondered if Carroll called a pass that was intercepted to hand the game to the Patriots in an attempt to get Wilson the MVP award.
Carroll said he’s never felt there was any rift between any other players and Wilson.
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“No,’’ he said. “I don’t even know what that would mean. I’m going to sound like (Supreme Court justice nominee Brett) Kavanaugh. I don’t know.’’
If that was an interesting way to shoo aside the article, so was Carroll’s response when asked if he had an overall thought on the story, which said that some players began to refer to the team as the Titanic last season as it became apparent that the organization was going to move on from some of the standouts from the two Super Bowls.
“Only that I obviously didn’t do a very good job of teaching, you know,’’ Carroll said. “Because one of the main principles in our teaching is that we aren’t going to worry about what’s happened, all our focus goes on what is occurring right now. And so that’s the discipline that we learn and I just haven’t taught it well enough. Whether you win, lose or whatever happens, we need to move forward and leave stuff behind and go. So other than that I don’t care about it.’’
Carroll said he talked to the team about the story only as a reminder of how to deal with the media and attention that will fall on them as a new NFL season begins.
“There’s a lot going on and we have to deal with it really well, whatever it is and whatever form it comes in,” Carroll said. “And if this is an occasion and an opportunity to do that when we welcome it, we will take it on.’’
The general tenor around the organization seemed to be that the article largely dealt with themes that have already been oft-discussed — specifically, that the Super Bowl loss to New England lingered heavily with some key players — and that it isn’t a real factor now since few players remain from those teams.
Just six players who were part of the Super Bowl loss may play Sunday against Denver — Wilson, receiver Doug Baldwin, linebacker Bobby Wagner, safety Earl Thomas, guard J.R. Sweezy and center Justin Britt.
K.J. Wright, a linebacker who was also part of both Super Bowl teams but won’t play Sunday due to a knee injury, said recently he felt any lingering ill will over the end of the Super Bowl loss to New England had finally receded.
“It’s finally gone away now, praise God,’’ Wright said. “ When we lost, that stuff, the legacy, that we could have went down as back-to-back champs. It’s been a while, but I think we finally got over it.’’
THOMAS PRACTICES BUT DOESN’T TALK, STATUS STILL UNCLEAR FOR SUNDAY
Thomas took part in practice again Friday and Carroll said he “had a good week. He was solid all week long, and he is fired up and studying and working hard at it and he had a good week.’’
The Seahawks received a roster exemption for Thomas, and he is not on the team’s 53-man active roster. He will have to be activated by Saturday to be able to play Sunday.
Carroll wouldn’t say if Thomas will be activated, saying he just wants to “use all the time available’’ before making a decision.
But a sign that he will be activated came when the Seahawks waived rookie cornerback Simeon Thomas, who was claimed off waivers earlier in the week. The news of Thomas’ waiving was reported by The National Football Post.
Kam Chancellor returned on a Wednesday when he ended his holdout in 2015 and played the following Sunday against Chicago after being added to the active roster the day before.
It had been expected that Thomas would talk to the media on Friday for the first time since reporting to the Seahawks on Wednesday. Instead, he said through a spokesman that he had said all he needed to with an Instagram post on Wednesday explaining his return to the team following a lengthy holdout.
“I worked my whole life for this…..,” Thomas wrote. “I’ve never let me (my) teammates, city or fans down as long as I’ve lived and don’t plan on starting this weekend. With that being said, the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career.”
FLUKER LISTED AS OUT, JOHNSON QUESTIONABLE
The Seahawks officially ruled out guard D.J. Fluker with a hamstring injury, and Carroll said Sweezy will start in his place.
Cornerback Dontae Johnson did not practice again Friday with a strained groin and was listed as questionable
If Johnson cannot start, Carroll said that rookie Tre Flowers would likely get the start at right corner.
That could give Seattle two rookie starters on defense with Shaquem Griffin set to step in for Wright at weakside linebacker.
Carroll said he thinks Flowers is ready and noted “we’ve started young guys before.’’
Carroll also said defensive end Dion Jordan will play after missing the preseason with a stress reaction in his leg.
“He’s done well, ready to go,’’ Carroll said. “He’s going to play in this game.’’
MAXWELL, DAVIS, WALDEN ALL GET INJURY SETTLEMENTS
The Seahawks gave injury settlements to cornerback Byron Maxwell, quarterback Austin Davis and defensive end Erik Walden. All had been placed on Injured Reserve Saturday in the roster cutdown to 53.
All are now free agents. But none can immediately re-sign with Seattle. NFL rules state that a team can’t re-sign a player it gives a settlement until a minimum of three weeks passes following the amount of weeks of the initial settlement (the details on the settlements were not released).
Maxwell, who was with the Seahawks from 2011-14 and returned last November following an injury to Richard Sherman, re-signed with the Seahawks in the spring getting a $500,000 signing bonus. But he did not play in the preseason due to a hip injury.