The Seth Wickersham article from last month regarding the dysfunction in Seattle focused in part on the belief by some players that the organization treats quarterback Russell Wilson differently than the rest of the team. Cornerback Richard Sherman, in his first press conference since the article was published, argued that it’s a common phenomenon.
“Just a made-up story,” Sherman told reporters (thanks to our friends at KJR for the transcript), “because you could literally say that about any team, any quarterback. You could say, ‘Well, the Patriots probably think Tom Brady gets treated differently than everybody else.’ But it would be a legitimate claim. You could make a legitimate claim, you could make this exact same story out of just about any of the teams in the playoffs and a couple that weren’t in the playoffs last year.”
Sherman also suggested that other teams have practices featuring players barking at the quarterback, as Sherman seems to contend he indeed barked “you f–king suck” at Wilson after intercepting him at practice three years ago.
“Any competitive team that has a great offense and great defense, Super Bowl teams, Atlanta and New England — freaking Green Bay, I guarantee you — you go to a practice in the middle of training camp and mic’d everybody up you wouldn’t be able to produce that story, you wouldn’t be able to produce that dialogue, you would never be able to produce that audio, because that’s what it takes. We play a violent, adrenaline-infused game that takes everything you’ve got and in order to play it at a high level you’ve got to give everything you’ve got, to catch us on the field and try to make a story out of some nonsense like that is laughable but it’s also the unfortunate time that we are in I guess.’’
Sherman may be right regarding the chatter that occurs at practice, but he’s wrong about Brady not being called out by the organization. Receiver Chad Johnson recalled during a visit with PFT Live at the Super Bowl the amazement he experienced when, in the first team meeting to start his only year with the Patriots, coach Bill Belichick ripped Brady in front of the team. While other teams may not apply that same candor with their franchise quarterback, Belichick does with Brady.
Regardless, Sherman seems to be admitting that there’s a perception/reality that Wilson does indeed get treated differently than the other players in the locker room. Sherman nevertheless insists that he and Wilson have a strong relationship, regardless of any tension that may or may not be lingering since Super Bowl XLIX.
“It’s fantastic,” Sherman said. “It’s fantastic. We’re teammates. It’s like a family. It’s like everyone else in a family, we fight for one another just like I’m fighting for the other 52 guys out there, I’m fighting for him and he’s fighting for us.”
Sherman also echoed the sentiments that receiver Doug Baldwin shared last week on PFT Live regarding Wilson’s toughness.
“We have a great appreciation for how tough our quarterback is and what he has played through,” Sherman said. “Last year he played through a number of injuries and he’s not doing that just because, ‘Ah, man I’ve got to go out there and it’s a job.’ He’s doing that for the guys next to him and we appreciate that and we think he is a great quarterback. But it doesn’t matter what we say. It doesn’t matter what we say at the end of the day because we could say that until the cows come home, but one guy says he has a story and he’s heard a rumor about this, about somebody down the way saying something and that is the truth.”
Regardless of what happened in the past, it makes sense to pay close attention to how the Seahawks get along, or don’t, moving forward. The window remains open, but it won’t be indefinitely. And with each passing year, another chance goes by to build the kind of legacy that comes from winning multiple championships.