Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett talked about upholding the “code,” after he was thrown out of practice for fighting.
But for Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, some things supersede the code, as their offense tries to establish its identity after an offseason of change.
“I mean, yes, there is a code. But Mike B. doesn’t always necessarily operate by that code, either,” Baldwin said, via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune.
That didn’t stop Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman (longtime teammates going back to their days at Stanford) from going at each other, in what was described as quite the fight. After Baldwin got behind the Seahawks secondary for a long touchdown in practice, Sherman went across the line of scrimmage to go after Baldwin, throwing punches as the two yelled at each other before coaches separated them. Baldwin had a dark bruise and what appeared to be about stitches off the side of his nose, which Baldwin attributed to his helmet coming down on it.
“No, it wasn’t orchestrated,” Baldwin said. “Obviously, tempers flare. Sherm’s really upset that we keep destroying him in practice.
“He’s upset that the receivers are getting the best out of him and the defensive backs this year. So he takes offense to that.”
That fight was one of many the Seahawks have had in camp, but Baldwin said he wasn’t bothered by it.
“Not concerned with it, as long as it doesn’t spill over into our play on Sunday — or, Thursday, this week, I guess you should say,” Baldwin said. “But we always like that level of chippiness, because it brings out the true level of competitiveness in all of us. I’ll admit it: I’m kind of an agitator in that, at times. But it’s because we need it. We don’t like it just to be peas and carrots all the time in practice. We want to bring out that competitive nature. We want to see the dog in guys so we can bring out the best in their abilities.
“So, yeah, not too concerned about it. We’ll probably taper it down here a little bit as we get closer to the season, to make sure we are all healthy and focused on the task at hand.”
There’s a certain degree of competitiveness coaches want to see in practice, and at a certain level, it’s good for star players to be the ones to show it. But the Seahawks also have a lot of money invested in guys who keep putting themselves in spots to potentially be injured or injure a teammate. They’ve been fortunate so far it hasn’t gotten out of hand, and it will be interesting to see if they can throw the switch as easily as Baldwin suggests.