RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Instead of spending the day after wrapping up another division title celebrating and talking about what comes next for the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll was again forced to address another sideline outburst by Richard Sherman.
This time, Sherman’s display had Carroll considering discipline for his standout cornerback.
Seattle clinched its third NFC West title in the past four seasons with a 24-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. It’s the fourth division title for the franchise since Carroll arrived in 2010 and a fifth straight playoff appearance dating back to 2012 and the arrival of quarterback Russell Wilson. The victory also kept alive Seattle’s hopes of landing the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Yet, that accomplishment seemed to get overshadowed by a second visible sideline blowup by Sherman this season, this one directed at the plays being called by Seattle’s offense near the goal line.
“There was a moment in the game there where he got really worked up and emotional,” Carroll said.
Carroll met with Sherman on Friday morning to talk over what happened. Carroll indicated Sherman’s response during the meeting determined whether there would be any discipline for what some might view as insubordination.
“The meeting went very well and was very clear,” Carroll said. “And I know the guy I’m talking to. I know him as well as you could know a guy. I know how he feels about it and I’m fine about what happened. That doesn’t mean it was OK. That doesn’t mean it was something that didn’t need to be addressed. He was the only guy in my office this morning. We went right after it. I was going to make my decision on how to move forward based on what happened.”
Sherman’s anger boiled over during the third quarter with Seattle inside the Los Angeles 5 and leading 10-3. On first-and-goal at the 1, Wilson forced a pass in the direction of Jimmy Graham that appeared to be intercepted by the Rams’ Bryce Hager. After a review, it was determined Hager didn’t have possession before stepping out of bounds, but that didn’t stop Sherman from screaming in the direction of Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell about his displeasure with throwing from the 1.
Two plays later, Doug Baldwin caught a 1-yard TD pass, yet Sherman didn’t back down after the game when asked why he was so upset. He even brought up the Super Bowl loss to New England and Wilson’s famous pass from the 1 that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler.
“I’m upset about us throwing from the 1. I’d rather do what most teams would do and make a conscientious decision to run the ball straight up the middle,” Sherman said.
Sherman previously erupted on the sideline in October in a win over Atlanta when a blown coverage led to an easy touchdown for the Falcons. That time, Sherman’s anger was directed at defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who was yelling back at Sherman. It was Sherman’s teammates that eventually calmed him down after several minutes.
Sherman didn’t seem nearly as agitated on Thursday, but crossing the line by yelling about how the offense was being handled was more significant. Carroll said he couldn’t guarantee Sherman won’t have another outburst in the future.
“I love this guy and who he is and what he’s all about and the man he’s grown to be and is going to become,” Carroll said. “These are all great lessons and opportunities to learn. He has a lot to offer the world and I’m proud to say he’s growing, he’s learning and he’s getting better. This was a good instance for him to check it and figure that out and make the right decision on how to move forward and he’s going to do that.”
NOTES: Carroll did not have updates on punter Jon Ryan, who suffered a concussion. Carroll said they will evaluate Ryan early next week and decide then if another punter needs to be brought in for next Saturday’s game against Arizona. “We’ll have a punt, pass and kick contest this week if we need to,” Carroll said. … DE Michael Bennett appeared to be fine after leaving the game with a neck strain in the second half, Carroll said.
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