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Gallant: Did Richard Sherman throw shade at Seahawks again? Not really

Richard Sherman compared Pete Carroll and Kyle Shanahan in quotes this week. (AP)

Richard Sherman’s no stranger to criticizing the Seattle Seahawks. Whether while playing here or in his new home down south, he’s taken shots at Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, and the idea of passing the football on the one yard line (blerghhhhhh). Because of all that, I understand why people believe Sherm may have thrown shade at Pete in a recent NFL.com post.

But I don’t think he did.

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Sherman’s supposedly controversial comments came while explaining to Jim Trotter why philosophy and honesty are the most important traits an NFL head coach can have.

“(San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan) is more of a straight shooter than Pete,” Sherman said. “Pete has a way of making sure everybody feels good, making sure he pushes buttons with certain players and not pushing buttons on other players.”

In a nutshell, Sherman is saying that Shanahan is blunt. That’s certainly consistent with his track record. If you google “Kyle Shanahan rubs people the wrong way”, you’ll find quotes like:

• “He was really cocky, really cocky … He was so much a know-it-all. When you’re young, you’re insecure, and he was a little arrogant … He wasn’t real fuzzy, wasn’t a real personable guy.”

• “When Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons and interviewed for head coaching opportunities around the NFL, word spread that he was difficult to deal with.”

• “He was cocky. Arrogant. Refused to listen to suggestions. Difficult to get along with.”

To Shanahan’s credit, he’s seemingly changed since his days as offensive coordinator for Washington, Cleveland, and Atlanta. But his blunt nature hasn’t gone anywhere.

That trait is in direct contrast with Pete Carroll’s style. In his radio interviews with Danny O’Neil and I, he’s never been one to publicly criticize a player. Based on that and what he’s told us about the way he does things, it’s hard to imagine his 101 conversations with players being different.

Per that Sherman quote, Carroll and Sherman have different methods. That’s it. Where’s the shot?

Sherman wasn’t done complimenting Shanahan’s direct nature.

“That honesty is something that I think is valuable in a head coach because there’s no gray area. You know where you stand at all times, almost to a point where you’re like, ‘(Dang)! That’s how you really feel?’” said Sherman. “But you can respect that as a player because what he’s saying is objective: Did we win or lose the down? Why did we win or lose the down? If you can give him a fair point back to him, he can take that. He’s flexible in that way.”

Clearly Sherman loves Shanahan’s brutally honest coaching style, which is a little surprising considering his strained relationship at Stanford with the VERY in-your-face Jim Harbaugh.

Still, I’m confused. How is effusive praise of his current coach a swipe at Carroll?

I get that there’s hard feelings about the things Sherman said about the Seahawks both before and after his exit. I get that there are many raised eyebrows over Sherman’s praise and defense of Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. He certainly never did that for Russell Wilson.

But I don’t get the impression that Sherman is going out of his way to put down Carroll, the guy who helped him win a Super Bowl. He’s just acquired a different taste in head coaches and explained the difference for us. What’s wrong with that?

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Paul Gallant on Twitter.

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