Wait, punish Richard Sherman?
Pete Carroll isn’t saying if that’s warranted.
And whether it is or not after the All-Pro cornerback screamed at coaches over the offense’s play-calling during last week’s win over Los Angeles — or for Sherman threatening a local reporter during a news conference Tuesday that he could have his credential revoked — it would have already happened, anyway.
That is what the Seahawks coach said following Thursday’s final full practice before the NFC West champions (9-4-1) host Arizona (5-8-1) on Saturday. The Cardinals have been eliminated from a postseason berth.
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“I was a little surprised,” Carroll said of the $56 million cornerstone of the defense losing his cool at Seattle 710-AM’s Jim Moore on Tuesday. “I just think — like he said — you guys got after him pretty good and got after him a little bit, and got to him a little bit. And he didn’t really, maybe, get everything out that he wanted to get out in the way he wanted to.
“We’ve been together now throughout the week to make sure that everything’s in the right place for us. We are fine here.”
Some observers have speculated that Sherman should not start Saturday’s game. When asked if he felt the need to discipline Sherman, the coach said: “We are done with it right now. Whatever we do, we do inside, internally.
“And it’s been taken care of.”
Sherman has started 96 consecutive regular-season and playoff games dating to Oct. 30, 2011, when he took over at left cornerback in the seventh game of his rookie season.
Sherman doubled down on his bad look during the Rams game — screaming at Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for calling a pass play from the 1-yard line — days after the game.
He went after Moore after the radio host had asked Sherman why he felt qualified to challenge offensive coaches about play-calling.
“Let me guess, you have a better play call? Let me guess, you have better experience?” Sherman said to Moore.
As Sherman exited the podium Tuesday, he scolded Moore.
“You don’t want to go there. ... I will ruin your career,” Sherman said.
Sherman added that he could have Moore’s credential to cover the team revoked.
“These are learning experiences. These are opportunities,” Carroll said Thursday. “We don’t do everything right all the time. We make mistakes, and we go too far. We have to correct. And that’s what we are doing around here.”
Asked if it was important that Sherman showed regret or say he was “sorry” about his actions and words, Carroll said: “I thought he would. I thought he would more than he did.”
GILLIAM’S FABULOUS WEEK
Garry Gilliam has had a darn good week. And it’s not even Christmas yet.
He’s received a new, 55-inch, Samsung curved UHD 6-series television (retail value: around $800). He’s gotten two round-trip tickets in first class wherever Alaska Airlines flies (retail value: who knows?)
Those gifts were what $87.6 million quarterback Russell Wilson, Alaska’s “Chief Football Officer,” gave his Seahawks offensive linemen for Christmas — and for blocking him (with varying success, to be honest) all season.
“I have a seven-room house,” an appreciative Gilliam said with a big grin while walking around the TV boxes in front of each lineman’s locker following Thursday’s practice. “I think I can find a place for this.”
Oh, yeah, he’s received his job back, too.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable announced Tuesday that Gilliam will start at right tackle against Arizona.
Gilliam was Seattle’s starting right tackle all of last season and for the first 11 games of this one. Then, abruptly, he yielded his job to Bradley Sowell after three plays in the loss at Tampa Bay on Nov. 27.
The former college tight end at Penn State and undrafted rookie hero of the NFC championship game at the end of the 2014 season went from a two-year starter to inactive and in street clothes, watching Sowell play in the next two games, the blowout win over Carolina on Dec. 4 and the blowout loss at Green Bay the following week.
Then, last week, Gilliam went back in at right tackle for the final 15 offensive plays of the Seahawks’ 24-3 win over the Rams that clinched the team’s third division title in four years.
What happened? And what changed back?
“When (there’s) an opportunity for someone else to get into where you are at, you know, it makes you re-evaluate a lot of things,” Gilliam said. “For me it was like, ‘All right, OK, what are you being asked here? Why is it going on?’
“You have to humble yourself.”
That, and get more physical.
“Physicality” was Cable’s answer for weeks, even when Gilliam was starting, for what the athletic, 6-foot-5, 315-pound former high-school basketball player and track state-championships qualifier at The Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania needed to improve.
The Seahawks want their tackles to be more mashers and less thinkers.
Apparently, Sowell wasn’t physical enough.
The offense scored five, 40, 10 and 24 points in the games Sowell replaced and then started for Gilliam. The running game, in which physicality matters most for a blocker, had 127, 240, 136 and 72 yards rushing when Gilliam was mostly watching. That average of 143.8 yards per game on the ground was above the 101.9 average for the league’s 20th-ranked rush offense.
“I tend to be a player that thinks a little bit more. I read people a little bit more,” Gilliam said. “Just do less of that and just … reacting. Which isn’t a problem. It’s just a matter of telling myself to do it.”
About leaving the game at Tampa Bay after three plays, Cable and Carroll said that’s just how it worked out. During the first half of that game, Gilliam went up to Cable on the sideline, the lineman’s arms behind his back holding his helmet. The veteran line coach looked over his shoulder and said something. Gilliam retreated off the edge of the sideline — and remained there for the rest of Seattle’s 14-5 loss.
Gilliam now sees being not only benched but inactive for two games as a harsh way for the coaches to motivate — if not punish — him.
“That could have been part of it,” Gilliam said. “Our program is built on competition. I think a lot of that is trying to get the best out of our players. So I think you could definitely say something like that. … It was just a matter of us being better. Of being the best us for this team.
“I have no issue with that.”
After his brilliant week, he has no issue with anything.
RYAN SEEKS CLEARANCE TO PLAY
The practice report for Thursday’s light workout showed defensive end Michael Bennett and punter Jon Ryan were back to full participants.
Carroll said Bennett is good to start Saturday.
Ryan was on his way to a postpractice check with a doctor in an attempt to get cleared to play against the Cardinals.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle