Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday the Ray Rice incident has raised his awareness toward players with a history of domestic violence and changed how he will evaluate them in the future.
“It will never be the same. I’ve got to admit, my awareness is different than it was,” Carroll said. “I don’t think it will ever be the same that it was. I’m glad that I can say that now, because hopefully we can prevent or head off any issue that may come up in the future.”
Carroll said he discussed the issue with his team Wednesday morning about domestic violence.
“I talked to the team about it today and we talked about the serious nature of it,” Carroll said. “We made it aware to them that we will help them in any way that we can if they’re aware of situations or they feel uncomfortable or whatever they have concerns about. We’ll try to elevate their awareness to as we go. Unfortunately after such a serious incident, generally our awareness will grow and we’ll be better off because of it and we’ll all think differently.”
“Unfortunately we had to learn that way and for the people that have been involved with that, our hearts go out to them and the depth of their pain and all. Hopefully we’ll just do better and we’ll be better for it and hopefully our players will.”
Carroll said he believed that commissioner Roger Goodell had handled the discipline in Rice’s situation correctly given the information he believed Goodell had available at the time.
“I think that the commissioner and all of his backers, they’ve got it right,” Carroll said. “It’s unfortunate that it took more time than people’s patience, but we understand why. He’s done a good job to this point but it’s tough that everybody is on him so hard about it. It seems like he used the information well once he got it.”
Carroll’s comments were made prior to the report from the AP claiming that the NFL league offices had a copy of the video months ago.
The Seahawks had carried cornerback A.J. Jefferson on their roster during the offeseason. Jefferson was suspended the final four games of last season after being arrested on a domestic violence incident while a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Jefferson was released by Minnesota and served the suspension while unemployed.
He was injured in the preseason against Denver and placed on injured reserve before being released with an injury settlement. Based on Carroll’s comments Wednesday, Jefferson wouldn’t be in the team’s plans again if given a chance to re-do their decision last offseason.