UH OH: Pete Carroll’s Being Shady Again, Guys
On Thursday it was reported by ESPN that the Seattle Seahawks could be facing a significant penalty from the league due to failure to disclose a player's injury.
Coach Pete Carroll revealed earlier in the week during an interview on 710 ESPN radio in Seattle that cornerback Richard Sherman had battled a season-long MCL sprain that had affected him both physically and mentally. It was a perplexing revelation considering Sherman's name never appeared on an injury report this season, and his multitude of missed practices were always officially deemed "not injury related."
In his Monday report on Carroll's statements, ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith noted the following:
"Carroll surely believes the Seahawks’ decision not to list Sherman on the injury report was true to the letter of the law, or else he wouldn’t have mentioned it today. And he might be right: Not every bump and bruise has to be listed on the injury report, and if the Seahawks were certain Sherman was going to be able to play through the injury, they may be in the clear as far as the league office is concerned."
According to Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, the team's possibly-valid defense against such a harsh penalty is that Sherman was able to fight through it and play the entire season.
Then again, this is not the first time that the Seahawks have been in trouble due to league violations. Last September the team violated off-season workout rules, leading the NFL to strip them of a 2017 fifth-round pick and a week of 2017 off-season team activities. Per Mortensen, that fifth-rounder would likely be elevated to the 2nd-round pick as a result of repeated violations.
Carroll went on to address this situation in his press conference on Monday, and at first tried to plead ignorance as to the established rules of injury reports.
"I didn’t realize that we hadn’t even revealed it,” Carroll told reporters.“I don’t even remember what game it was, it was somewhere in the middle, he was fine about it, he didn’t miss anything. Same with Russell [Wilson], he was fine about it. I don’t know how they do that, but they did.”
He went on to contradict the above statement by admitting that he knowingly left Sherman off the injury report.
“I’m feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that,” Carroll eventually conceded. “He was OK, so I don’t know, he never missed anything I guess is probably why.”
For a guy that gets a lot of credit for being one of the best head coaches in the NFL, Pete Carroll sure is unaware of a lot of the shit going on around him, huh?
The thing about NFL coaches, specifically perennial Super Bowl-contenders, is that they can't get away with pleading ignorance. Those guys manage their teams with surgical attention to detail. Carroll's wacky, "I'm a player's coach" persona and coaching style may be different from say, Bill Belichick, but there's no way in hell that he doesn't know what's going on with his injury report and the official status of his players.
It is standard operating procedure to disclose injuries to players even if they aren't missing games or practices. Carroll is too smart a coach to get away with acting like he doesn't realize that.
Plus Carroll has a shady history. He may have escaped official blame for any wrongdoing at USC, but anyone with a brain in their skull knows that he was up to his eyeballs in that whole thing.
Having said that, I contend that there are probably a multitude of coaches across the NFL that would've done the same thing in regards to Sherman. NFL coaches try to get away with stuff. They push the rules. Sometimes they bend them to the point of breaking them. This isn't some major scandal. It's typical, and I personally don't think this is a big deal. I also didn't think that a barely perceptible change in a football's PSI was a big deal either; but the league set a precedent.
The entire DeflateGate battle was a way for the league to make it clear that they do not like it when a team appears to be knowingly circumvent the rules of the game; and that's exactly what Carroll has made a habit of doing.
So the real question is whether or not commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL will stand by their "protect the integrity of the league" mantra and impose sanctions in a way that falls in line with the standard they set with New England.
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