Richard Sherman has previously said Pete Carroll's speeches had grown stale on Seahawks veterans. So much so that Michael Bennett reportedly would crack open books during team meetings.
The Seahawks have conducted an eye-opening amount of roster housecleaning this offseason, highlighted by the trading of defensive lineman Michael Bennett to the Eagles and releasing cornerback Richard Sherman.
That the Seahawks got minimal return on those two moves — little-used receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick for Bennett while also giving the Eagles a seventh-rounder, and nothing for Sherman — has likewise raised a few questions.
In an interview on UNINTERRUPTED’s The ThomaHawk Show last month, Sherman speculated that the Seahawks were eager to get rid of some veterans in an effort to turn over the locker room a little bit so there are more players for whom the message from coach Pete Carroll is still fresh.
“His philosophy is more built for college, you know,’’ Sherman said then. “You get four years, guys rotate in, rotate out.’’
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Further evidence that maybe some players felt the message was getting stale came Wednesday via an anecdote from Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated during a segment on 710 ESPN Seattle.
According to Bishop, as relayed in a tweet via Brady Henderson of ESPN, Bennett “told him he’d read books during team meetings last year because he’d already heard whatever Pete Carroll was saying.’’
That echoes a comment Sherman made in March that the veterans “had literally heard them all’’ when it came to what he referred to as Carroll’s “every story, every kind of funny anecdote that he had.’’
“We could recite them before he even started to say them,’’ Sherman said. “So I think that kind of went into it.’’
Asked about Sherman’s comments at the league meetings — specifically that the Seahawks had “lost their way’’ a bit — Carroll said: “So what else is new? Sherm has been saying stuff his whole career, so this is nothing different. I’ve been through so much of what he has said, I take it all with a grain of salt. He’s just battling. He’s just trying to figure it out.”
Carroll, though, didn’t necessarily dispute the idea that bringing in a new group of players for whom the message of the team would be fresh played into some of the moves Seattle has made this offseason.
“I think we’re in a very exciting time for us,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve watched our guys come through. (Seahawks general manager) John (Schneider) and I, we’ve watched this coming, so we’re not surprised by the cycle that we’re in. The best way I can tell you is that it feels like a graduating class has come through, like we have every year in college—guys come and go. It’s no different here in the league. This one may be a little bit more obvious of a graduating class because the guys kind of came through about the same timeframe.’’
The upshot of the moves is that Seattle has just nine players left on its roster from the team that played in Super Bowl XLIX against the Patriots (and just eight from the team that won the Super Bowl the previous year), two of whom — Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor — may never play again due to injuries.
The other six who were part of Seattle’s last Super Bowl team are center Justin Britt, quarterback Russell Wilson, linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, safety Earl Thomas, receiver Doug Baldwin and punter Jon Ryan.