Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman decided this week not to hold his usual press conference in the team auditorium at the VMAC, instead talking to reporters for a few minutes in front of his locker. Sherman said it's been "a privilege'' to have him at the podium.
Every Wednesday this season, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has followed coach Pete Carroll to the podium in the auditorium at the team’s training facility in Renton to hold his weekly press conference.
But this Wednesday, Sherman declined to take the stage, instead deciding to talk to reporters only in a smaller group near his locker.
Sherman said it was his decision, telling reporters “it’s a privilege to have me up there. Going to miss me when I’m gone.’’
Sherman had a smile on his face as he spoke and it was difficult to tell how serious he was with his comment.
But the timing of his decision — coming a week after Sherman’s press conference grew contentious near the end when he took exception to a question from ESPN 710 Seattle talk show host Jim Moore, and then said as he walked past Moore at its conclusion that he would “ruin’’ Moore’s career by having his media credentials revoked — was telling.
Sherman later took to Twitter to express regret for the post-press conference statements to Moore.
Sherman didn’t specifically say that the events of last week led to his decision to forgo talking on the podium, and also said he didn’t know if he would resume his regular, bigger press conferences, something he has held essentially every week the last three years. Such podium sessions are not required — NFL rules stipulate only that players talk to the media once during the week and after games. But podium pressers are usually reserved for the biggest-name players — the only player who have held one every week for the past three years are Sherman and Russell Wilson — and Sherman has typically embraced them, using them at times to state well-rehearsed grievances with the NFL and other entities, and other times simply using them to entertain or help create his image (such as the time this year when he dressed up as Harry Potter prior to Halloween).
“I’ll think about it,’’ he said when asked if he thought he’d resume podium sessions. “This is a privilege for me to go up there. Not everybody appreciates it like you do (Moore was not part of the group of reporters who spoke to Sherman Wednesday).’’
Sherman also evaded specifics about the events of last week, which began when he went into an on-field tirade in the third quarter of a win over the Rams on Dec. 15, upset with a play call to pass from the 1-yard-line. The pass initially appeared to be intercepted.
Sherman met with coach Pete Carroll the next day, and Carroll implied that Sherman would apologize when he next met the media. But when Sherman held his press conference last week he said he did not regret his actions or his statements following the game saying he had a right to question offensive playcalling.
Carroll then said he was surprised that Sherman hadn’t shown more contrition in his press conference. Carroll also said then that any punishment of Sherman had already been handled internally and Sherman’s role in Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Arizona was the same as always.
Asked Wednesday if he had been punished, Sherman responded: “Did you see me get punished? Okay. Did you ask the coach?’’
When a reporter said he had, Sherman said “what did he say?”
When the reporter said Carroll had said punishment had been handled internally, Sherman responded: “So okay, cool. Cool.’’
Asked if he had any regrets about the events of the last week, Sherman said “they already asked me that question (apparently a reference to his press conference a week ago) so it’s already answered. You got the answer to that one right? Cool.’’
Carroll said Monday that he held what he called a “special’’ team meeting last week to address a few different issues, including the Sherman situation.
“That was just part of why we met,” Carroll said. “That was one issue that we brought up and there was some other stuff just moving forward. Trying to make sure that we keep bringing the young guys along and there are a lot of young guys on this team and as we’re going down the stretch here, we need to help them understand what’s expected and how they should deal with what appears to be the mounting issues as you get to the end of the season.”
Sherman characterized the meeting as no different than those he said have been held at some point every year that he has been a member of the Seahawks.
“Just talked about the mood of the team and guys coming together,’’ Sherman said. “We have a kumbuya meeting just about every year so it was the same theme of it. … it happens every year at different times.’’
Sherman said this meeting, like the others, was initiated by Carroll.
“It’s always Pete,’’ he said. “Always Pete. We always go into the kumbuya room and sit there and kumbuya.’’
Sherman said he felt the meeting fulfilled its intended goal.
“They are effective,’’ he said. “Just a different element for some guys. Older guys, we kind of see it every year. The younger guys, kind of give them something different.’’
Asked where he thinks the team is at the moment in terms of the locker room, Sherman said “same place we always are. Ready for the next game. Put on a show.’’
Then he was alternately reminded by a team staffer that practice was close to starting while asked if it was worrisome that the team lost in its first game following such a meeting.
“Not concerned at all,’’ he said. “We are in the playoffs. We’ve got a chance to do everything we want to do. It’s all good.’’
And with that, Sherman thanked the media and headed out to practice.