The Seattle Seahawks spent the offseason adding to an already talented roster in hopes of making a Super Bowl run this fall. But on the first day of OTAs Monday, Pete Carroll had to address off-field issues for his team instead of the additions to it.
Defensive end Bruce Irvin was handed a four-game suspension Friday for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Irvin is the sixth member of the Seahawks active roster to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the last three seasons. Backup quarterback Josh Portis was also arrested earlier this month on suspicion of DUI and joins running back Marshawn Lynch as Seahawks with pending DUI cases.
It’s not the focus Carroll was hoping would be on his football team.
“Unfortunately if you go wrong, you get popped and that’s how this thing works, and I’m really disappointed that we have to deal with anything like this. But there are going to be other issues too, and we have to deal with them,” Carroll said.
Carroll stressed the team takes the issue of players getting in trouble seriously and they continue to focus on improving how they handle the situations when they arrive. He said the team employs people specifically to help players in these situations.
“We have people on staff that are here specifically to work with our individual guys because I really see this as an individual challenge. We try to bring each kid as far along as we possibly can to make them available for the opportunity that they have,” Carroll said.
He said the team goes beyond the punishment set in place by the league to make sure players understand the seriousness of the incidents. However, with players still finding trouble, the team may need to explore other avenues of getting the message across.
“We have to figure this out and try to help through education and through all of the ways we can, and we’ll always compete to find more creative ways to make the message clear,” Carroll said.