The suspension of defensive end Bruce Irvin for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy was the sixth one handed down to a member of the Seahawks since John Schneider became General Manager of the team in 2010.
One of those suspensions was overturned on appeal, but that hasn’t stopped people from pointing out that the Seahawks have had more players penalized by the league than anyone else in that time frame. Nor has it stopped people from wondering if perhaps there wasn’t something more the Seahawks could be doing to keep their players from landing in hot water. Schneider responded to those concerns by denying that it is somehow ingrained in the culture of the team.
“It’s just not what people think. I’m not trying to diminish any issues or anything, but every guy — they’re young, and they need life skills coaching,” Schneider said, via Lindsay Jones of USA Today. “They’re 21- to 25-year-old guys, they think they have all the answers, but they don’t.”
The issue there comes back to the amount of Seahawks who have been disciplined in relation to the other teams around the league. Every team has young players joining their team every year, but the Seahawks are the ones consistently having those players run afoul of the league’s policy on performance-enhancers.
The Seahawks certainly aren’t responsible for what adults put into their bodies, but they do have a role to play in providing those answers that Schneider, who previously said the Seahawks go “above and beyond” the league in terms of educating their players, believes the younger players are missing at that point in their careers. Coach Pete Carroll told Jones that role has expanded to a round the clock one in light of the suspensions and said that everyone in the organization is involved in the effort to play that role more successfully than it has been played in the past.