Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is used to defending his guys for big hits, since they’re one of the most physical teams in the league.
But this week, he sent a videotape to the league office not to complain, but to point out some textbook hits.
The twist was they (the hits, not the tapes) were delivered by Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
“I sent in two plays that Larry had, plays that jumped off the game film,” Carroll said, via Terry Blount of ESPN.com. “I said something to Larry after the game [a 34-22 Seattle victory on Oct. 17] about those two decisions, perfectly illustrating the new mentality and the right mentality. With an iconic guy like that, I just thought it was really powerful. . . .
“It’s still a big hit. But it could have been a colossal collision had he taken full advantage of the opportunity, and he didn’t. His poise and his character demonstrated that he understands. That’s really cool stuff and that’s where the league is going. We can do this.”
Fitzgerald dropped both Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Walter Thurmond, and Sherman got up and congratulated him on his work
At a time when the league’s spending a ton of time and effort promoting safe football fundamentals at lower levels of the game (and money settling concussion lawsuits), using the biggest stars as examples can be a valuable tool.
“There’s still the warrior mentality of the players, which we can relate to,” Carroll said. “But through proper education and awareness, the way they play is shifting. It’s clear our game is not the same as it was, but it’s still OK. It’s fine.
“We’re doing the right things and making the right choices. We’re going in the direction where we’re really going to see a change in the numbers of these [head] injuries and the severity of them.”
While the weekly fines show that there’s still work to be done, Carroll admitted he hopes the new emphasis can keep the game physical and safe at the same time.