Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell took a long pause before he answered the question — does he ever think it’s okay for a defensive player to publicly call out an offensive play call the way Richard Sherman did last Thursday?
“Ah no, I don’t,’’ said Bevell, whose call of a pass from the 1-yard-line in the third quarter of Thursday’s 24-3 win over the Rams helped set off an on-field tirade from Sherman, who then later told reporters that the play was reminiscent of the interception that ended Super Bowl XLIX.
But while Bevell may not have agreed with Sherman’s statement or actions, he said the two met on Monday and had “a really good conversation’’ and that the two have gotten “to a good place.”
Bevell said Sherman “sought me out’’ on Monday, and said with a smile that “he’s not the first person to ever question a play call. But I guess it is what it is, really.’’
Asked if he communicated to Sherman that he didn’t think a defensive player should call out a play call, Bevell said “It doesn’t really matter. It’s something that we talked about, that we moved on, and I’m comfortable with the conversation that we had and what he said to me. He’s still going to have his opinion, everybody is going to have their own opinion. You could sit there and try to convince him and show this, show that, but it’s not going to serve a good purpose. We got to a good place. I love him, I think he’s a heck of a player. I love that he’s on our defense, I love the competitive nature that he has, the fire that he has because it doesn’t only fire up the defense but it fires up our offensive guys. When you watch guys that care that much and they compete that hard, I think those are all positive things. I know Coach (Pete Carroll) talked about being able to control that and that’s something that I’m sure he’s working on.”
Bevell said he didn’t necessarily try change Sherman’s mind about the play call — and Sherman made clear during his press conference earlier in the day that he had no regrets about publicly registering complaints about it — but said that also wasn’t necessarily the goal of their talk.
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I’m not going to convince Richard of anything,’’ Bevell said. “I’m just comfortable with how the conversation went. I thought it was a good conversation.’’
Addressing the issue of players speaking out in such a manner, Bevell said “I think there are repercussions when they step over the line. And that’s not for me to handle, that’s for coach (Carroll) to handle and how he wants to handle that. But I’m comfortable with all of our guys.’’
In his press conference Tuesday, Sherman had said that part of his intent in meeting with Bevell was to clear up Bevell’s “confusion’’ about what happened.
Bevell clarified that he was not initially the target of Sherman’s on-field tirade because Sherman was at one end of the sideline with the defensive players while Bevell was on the other.
“I had no idea what was going on with Richard at the beginning,’’ Bevell said. “He was way down there and I was way down here. We finished the drive, we scored a touchdown, and then I went back to where I talk to Russell (Wilson) and caught eye contact with him and he started coming my way and that’s when we started having a conversation.’
Some have questioned that Sherman referenced a particularly sensitive topic — the interception at the end of the Super Bowl.
Asked if that bothered him, Bevell said: “Every experience that we go through, we learn, we grow, we get scarred from it. I know when we were playing New England I was getting asked these questions, and it doesn’t leave you. What happened in the Super Bowl doesn’t leave us, it’s a scar, but we move on. That’s some of those things that can help to makes us stronger. I’m not going to question anything that I’m calling because I know the preparation that I’ve put in, I know the preparation that our coaching staff has put it, and I trust our players. I know that they’re going to go out there and be able to execute it. I’m not going to ask them to do something that I don’t think they can do and I’m going to try to put them in the best situations to be successful. I’m going to trust them when we do that, just as we did on the one yard line and then we ran it then we threw it again and scored a touchdown. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to do what’s best for the team, we’re trying to put the ball in the end zone any way that we can.”
The drive ended with receiver Doug Baldwin catching a 1-yard TD pass that put Seattle up 17-3. Baldwin also seemed fired up as he came to the sidelines.
Asked about that, Bevell said: “I think he was really excited about making that play. Two plays before we tried to throw it and we rolled out to the right and they had a guy that was in the lane so we weren’t able to give it to him. Then we ran in on the next down and then we went right back to him on the next one. I don’t know exactly what he was yelling about but I know he was excited that he was able to score a touchdown.”