Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been mentioned in trade rumors all offseason, and a behind-the-scenes story from ESPN this week attempted to explain the rift between the four-time Pro Bowl selection and the team. The story asserted that Sherman and the Seattle defense blames coach Pete Carroll, his staff and star quarterback Russell Wilson for the ill-advised goal-line play call that led to an interception and cost the Seahawks Super Bowl 49. And that, two years later, Sherman’s inability to let it go has led to continuing issues in the locker room. During Friday’s “Undisputed,” Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe examined whether the Seahawks will be able to move on.
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Richard Sherman has become disrespectful to his coach
“Richard Sherman has always been a guy that has been outspoken, and listening to him talk he’s thoughtful, he’s concise. He wanted to make sure he had a strong point of view, but he was respectful and understanding, and then over the last couple years he’s not only become disrespectful, he’s become blatantly and openly disrespectful to a superior. He told Pete Carroll, -- unprompted, Skip … he said, ‘I told Pete you will not call that play again. You will not sacrifice the defense’s hard work.’ He also threatened a reporter to have his credentials pulled. So now he’s getting blatantly and openly disrespectful because Pete gives these guys a lot of latitude, he lets them be themselves.”
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The Seahawks will never get over that play
“(Pete says), ‘I don’t have a problem with guys speaking their minds. ‘They just go out there and play, I want my guys to be individuals.’ But this explains it, Skip, and I said it at the time: They are never getting over this. You can win two Super Bowls, three Super Bowls, but you are not getting over this one. Richard Sherman knows … that call robbed them of their rightful place in history. There have been a lot of Super Bowl teams that have won one in a row. You start to get to legendary status, you start to get thought of as one of the all-time greats when you back it up. Because so few teams have been able to back it up. And Richard understands that. With that being said, he’s looking at Pete like – and Pete says, ‘We had the right call, we had this’ – but Sherman is like, ‘I don’t want to hear that.’ He’s like, ‘Russell, if they call a play and it’s not the defense you like, you will audible out of it. Why didn’t you audible out of that play?’ He holds him accountable for throwing the ball on a play that Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell called. So, Richard is like, ‘Uh-uh, I’m not letting anybody off the hook. Pete Carroll, you are ridiculous for co-signing it, Darrell Bevell, you’re ridiculous for calling it, and Russell, you should have audibled out of it.’"
This explains why the Seahawks wanted to trade Richard Sherman
“He’s never going to let it go, and when you talk about trading a player of his value, of his ilk, in his prime, it tells you how disappointed, how upset they are that this is continuing. Skip, he’s not going to let it go. Because they can’t go back and get Super Bowl 49. … He’ll never ever forget this moment. The thing is, Marshawn Lynch, he was never the same player in Seattle (after that play). Richard Sherman is not the same player emotionally. Physically, he hasn’t lost anything. He had a little down year last year, but maybe that was because of the knee. But Skip, this lays it out, this crystallizes it for me, why Richard Sherman has become so disrespectful to a superior and how he feels about a quarterback. Because you don’t normally – especially a quarterback like him, we’ve seen Geno Smith get punched in the jaw – but a guy like that, players don’t normally call them out. … I don’t ever see this going away, and I eventually they’re going to have to move on from Richard Sherman because he’s not going to let it go."
Pete Carroll's coaching style has finally caught up with him
"Bottom line, to me … Pete Carroll’s coaching style has turned on him, and this is about to devour Pete Carroll. Because he gave them this leeway. He was the ultimate players’ coach. You can speak up, you can speak out, you can get away with far more in this locker room than you might in another locker room. Because a stronger head coach, more of a disciplinarian, a more in-charge head coach, would have just said no to the reaction to that play. He would have just said, ‘We are moving on, we are not going to talk about it anymore, it just didn’t work. For whatever reason, it didn’t work, and it’s over and it’s done.’ And Pete Carroll allowed that team -- because that team had turned on him and he became the target of that play -- he sort of cowered under it and ran from it and allowed the team to hang on to the fact that they blew it.”
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Seahawks players never understood the call
“Players look at It like, ‘Right now, what can we do?’ They just saw Marshawn Lynch run through three people and get the ball to the half-yard line and then all of the sudden, for some ungodly reason, you decide to put the ball in the air.”
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The Seahawks are a prime candidate to miss the playoffs
“That’s what they thought. But that’s because the head coach had given all those defenders the license to speak up and speak out and all of the sudden they are speaking out against you. And they are still doing it, to this day. And now they’re speaking out against the quarterback you’re trying to protect. It’s a hard position to play. Every head coach I’ve ever been around has tried to protect his quarterback. … Bottom line to this: This team is the biggest candidate for implosion this coming football season, and the great stat is for 11 straight NFL years at least four teams that made the playoffs the year before have missed the playoffs the next year. I think they are a prime candidate to miss the playoffs. I need to see how it starts to shape up through training camp – it’s hard to make a case for someone else winning that division – but you never know. Maybe the Rams sort of come together under their new coach and the defense starts to click under Wade Phillips.”
Hating your star quarterback isn't healthy
“I would have never guessed this kind of animosity has built up for Russell Wilson. … I’ve never seen anything like this, Skip. Especially a player like Russell Wilson and his caliber. Now, there have been other quarterbacks that are lesser tier and the guys are like, ‘Man, this dude’s a bum,' and you say things to him that you never say to a John Elway or a top-tier quarterback. But the animosity and the vitriol that this defense allegedly has toward Russell Wilson, Skip, that’s not good. That’s not healthy.”