K.J. Wright on DK Metcalf’s penalties: ‘Can’t be doing that’
Oct 18, 2023, 1:25 PM
(Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Sunday was a tough day for the Seattle Seahawks, who lost 17-13 to the Cincinnati Bengals to fall to 3-2 on the season.
The offense was the key story as the O-line struggled to protect quarterback Geno Smith, and Seattle scored just 10 points in five trips to the red zone.
Another storyline on offense was star receiver DK Metcalf again getting flagged for unnecessary roughness.
In the second quarter, Metcalf was penalized for shoving cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt down to the ground after the whistle was blown. The incident took place well down the field, and Metcalf told Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll he didn’t hear the whistle being blown.
Metcalf has had incidents like this in his five-year career, including in a Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams when he injured cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon with a late block and received a taunting penalty.
On Monday, Carroll was asked by Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk if Metcalf’s frustration is getting the best of him and if that’s a concern moving forward.
“That’s not what happened yesterday. He was 50 yards downfield, he cleared the guy out and he blocked the guy. He blocked him very aggressively – too aggressively for the officials to let go. And it was late,” Carroll said. “He said he didn’t hear the whistle, and he was far enough downfield that could happen, but it was definitely a penalty. And the official told me clearly that he saw the play was over, he turned and looked at DK and then he saw him block the guy after the play. So I asked him, ‘Will you make sure you blow the whistle, too, so that (Metcalf) has a chance to hear you?’ That was my gripe about it.”
One of Metcalf’s former teammates, linebacker K.J. Wright, wasn’t buying Carroll’s comments.
“No, coach … The play is 50 yards away,” Wright said during his weekly Seattle Sports show on Wednesday with Brock and Salk. “I’m done, you’re done, we’re stopped. Onto the next play. If I stop as a defender, you’re stopped and you just shove me? … You’re gonna get somebody hurt. You’ve already got somebody hurt by doing that. There’s like a respect within the game that you have to have, that we have to have as players. You don’t do that 50 yards away … It’s a respect. It’s a code. It’s a football code.”
Wright said there shouldn’t be a need for a whistle in order to stop going up against each other.
“It’s an understanding that we have,” he said.
Metcalf was asked later Wednesday about the penalty, and according to ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson, he didn’t feel the need to apologize:
We've heard DK Metcalf strike conciliatory tones and vow to be better when it comes to penalties. Today was the opposite. He said he won't change his play style.
"Football is a violent sport and it’s my one opportunity to be violent … so I’m just going to continue to do that."
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) October 18, 2023
Though the shove received the majority of attention, Wright’s biggest issue with the situation in Cincinnati was the aftermath on the sideline.
“What bothers me the most about this is I sat there and I watched the TV copy and I see (Metcalf) going to the sideline, and I’m waiting, and he’s doing all the talking,” Wright said. “He’s talking to his (position) coach and the coach is just sitting there. Coach Carroll comes over, (Metcalf) is still talking. This is a situation where you’re not talking. You don’t talk. You listen to what I’ve got to say. I’m your coach. I’m your wide receivers coach, I’m your head coach, (so) you listen to what I’ve got to say right now. … You can’t be doing that. Don’t do it again. And when you don’t address something, right there in the moment, what are we doing?”
Co-host Brock Huard, a former NFL quarterback, added, “You’re either coaching it or you’re enabling it.”
Wright said Metcalf isn’t necessarily “a problem.”
“But when you do that? Yes, that is a problem. That action is a problem,” he said.
So what would Wright do if he were in Carroll’s shoes as the head coach of the Seahawks? He pointed to Seattle’s “Tell The Truth Monday,” where the entire team goes through the good and the bad from the previous game.
“If we want to tell the truth, let’s tell the truth,” he said. “We’re gonna put it in front of the whole team and we’re gonna say, hey, you cannot do this. This is not respecting your opponents, this is not respecting the game, shoving a guy when we understand the play is over.”
Wright said he may not have even waited until Monday to address it in a meaningful way.
“If I’m the coach, during the game, to (heck) with Tell The Truth Monday,” he said. “I’m coming up to you during the game, saying what I gotta say. I can’t say it on the radio, but I’m gonna say what I gotta say.”
Listen to this week’s K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.
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