JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Pete Carroll had right answers to questions about issues in Seahawks’ locker room

Jun 3, 2017, 10:28 AM
Pete Carroll was open to questions about the Seahawks' locker room after Friday's OTA. (AP)...
Pete Carroll was open to questions about the Seahawks' locker room after Friday's OTA. (AP)
(AP)

Pete Carroll handled questions about the Seahawks’ locker-room issues perfectly on Friday.

Last week, the football nation read the well-resourced story by ESPN writer Seth Wickersham, an article that was filled with what would be considered negative vibes in the locker. The story noted some players thought Russell Wilson has received special treatment by Pete Carroll and the coaching staff, and that some players still haven’t gotten over the Super Bowl loss to New England when Wilson threw a pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler instead of handing the ball off at the 1 to Marshawn Lynch.

What was good about Carroll’s post-OTA press conference is he was open to discussing the subject to try to put it behind. As expected, he stayed positive. That’s his coaching style. He gives the players the freedom to openly speak on any subject. He’s not going to be negative.

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I thought it was appropriate and right in the sense that he said he didn’t bring the ESPN story up to his players.

“I think it was an old story that revisited,” Carroll said. “I don’t even know where the stuff came from. I would say this: I’ve said to you guys before that the big wins are just as hard as the big losses if you let it be. Our first Super Bowl was a challenge to get back from. Our second Super Bowl was a challenge to get back from. That’s just how it is. It’s that impacting.

“And if you notice, most teams don’t make it back.”

Carroll said the article makes reference to stuff that’s years old, so it’s not a big deal to the Seahawks now.

“It isn’t an issue to us at all,” Carroll said.

Still, it is a national issue, and to his credit, Carroll tried to move on to another subject Friday. What he was open to discussing is that he said dealing with players through the past several years has not been without its challenges.

“In essence, I guess things are a lot different than maybe you guys think,” he said. “I don’t know that but here with us and the work that we’re doing, I think we’re in a marvelous position. That doesn’t mean everybody’s on the same page exactly right all the time. I’m not either. We’ve got to work at it. It’s a challenge. It’s about developing relationships and working with people and helping them to find their best. That’s what we are working at right here. We’re not doing it right all the time, but we’re trying.”

It was interesting seeing Carroll and general manager John Schneider talking to Richard Sherman after practice. Judging from his sideline rant at offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for a calling a pass play at the opponent’s 1 last season, Sherman hasn’t gotten over the Super Bowl loss. Warren Moon said this week on the radio that the Seahawks’ players need to get over the loss or it would hold them back from getting back to the Super Bowl.

Being open, Carroll addressed the difficulties of that loss, but he didn’t think it was an issue last season for the team.

“I don’t know if it ever came up, but I will say this, and I’m putting myself in trouble by saying this: It’s never going away for me. The first one’s never going away from me. It has affected me for the rest of my life and the next one will affect me for the rest of my life. I’m OK with that. I’ve just got to keep on going. I’ve got to manage my ways so I can keep moving forward. I don’t say that it affected me in a negative way, it’s just a big experience. It’s a lot you go through. It’s a lot that you deal with, and you’ve got to put it in the right place so that the next step you can take can be the best step you’re taking and that’s what we’re working on doing.”

Well put.

Want more John Clayton? Listen on-demand to his weekday and Saturday shows as well as his “Cold Hard Facts” and “Clayton’s Morning Drive” segments on 710 ESPN Seattle. Also, check out his all-new “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on 710Sports.com.

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