Richard Sherman has stopped doing his weekly “privilege.”
A week after challenging a Seattle radio host that he could pull his media credential during his weekly press conference, Sherman wasn’t at the podium Wednesday for one of the only times in recent Seahawks seasons.
Asked as he walked through the locker room before Wednesday’s practice for Sunday’s game at San Francisco if he was essentially grounded by coach Pete Carroll, Sherman smiled.
“No,” the three-time All-Pro cornerback said, “I told them I wasn’t doing them (press conferences) anymore.”
A minute or two later, at his locker, Sherman explained more. He started with a meeting he and Carroll had last Wednesday, before the NFC West champions lost at home to Arizona.
Sherman and Carroll have since elaborated that the meeting was a team-wide one, not just about Sherman berating Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for their play-calling on the sidelines during a 24-3 win over Los Angeles on Dec. 15 — and then Sherman’s press conference last week in which he didn’t like being asked if he had the authority as a defensive player to question the offense.
Sherman called the meeting another “Kumbaya” one that is becoming an almost annual Seahawks get-together to air issues.
“It was good. We just talked about the mood of the team and guys coming together,” he said. “We have a Kumbaya meeting just about every year. So it was just the same thing.
“We don’t sing the song. But we just sit Indian style. Kumbaya.”
Asked if he got punished by coaches or by the team, Sherman asked back: “Did you see me get punished?
“Did you ask the coach?
“What did he say?”
Carroll said last week that whatever punishment he may or may not have felt was warranted for Sherman would have already occurred and would remain an internal matter.
Told that on Wednesday, Sherman replied: “So … cool. Cool.”
You can take that to mean he was indeed reprimanded or sanctioned in some way by the team or by Carroll — and that Sherman and Carroll don’t think it is any of our business.
Someone then lightheartedly asked, “No 500 push-ups or anything?”
“You know, they tried to get me to do them,” Sherman joked, “but I’m too buff. So …”
Will he be at the podium in future weeks, back to regular press conferences before rolling television cameras?
“I’ll think about it,” he said. “It’s a privilege, for me to go up there, you know. Not everybody appreciates it like you do.”
He said that in a joking manner. But for sure there was intent behind that message.
“I’m just going to make sure that people…you know, it’s a privilege to have me up there. So, gonna me miss when I’m gone.”
He laughed at that.
“You are already feeling the effects. Plan’s working.”
Asked more about last week’s team meeting, Sherman reiterated that “it happens every year.”
He said it happened in 2012 after a 24-21 loss at Miami.
“The year after it happened, I think there was some kind of big locker-room deal we kind of had, and it happened after that,” he said of 2013.
The next such meeting came after the Seahawks traded wide receiver Percy Harvin in the middle of a season, after locker-room issues in 2014.
“The other year we traded Percy, it happened after that,” Sherman said.
“So kind of every year it happens. So it’s going to happen, regardless.”
Sherman said these meetings are not player- but coach-initiated.
“It’s always Pete. It’s always Pete,” he said. “We going into the Kumbaya meeting room and sit there and, ‘Kumbaya.’
“They are effective. It’s a different element for the younger guys. Older guys, we kind of see it every year, so the younger guys, give them something different.”
Asked where he thinks his 9-5-1 team is in terms of chemistry and locker-room environment, Sherman said: “Same place we always are. Ready for the next game and to put on another show.”
Historically, the effects of these “Kumbaya” meetings, as Sherman described them, have been that the Seahawks then take off late in the season.
Seattle won six in a row into the playoffs after that 2012 meeting. They won the Super Bowl the next season after that season’s team meeting. In 2014, after the Harvin trade in October to the New York Jets, the Seahawks won 11 of the next 12 games to reach Super Bowl 49 against New England.
So Sherman was asked Wednesday if he is concerned that this time, after this latest team meeting, the immediate result was the 34-31 loss to the already-eliminated Cardinals on Christmas Eve. That defeat could cost Seattle a bye through next week’s first round of the NFC playoffs.
“No, not concerned, at all,” Sherman said. “We are in the playoffs (for the fifth consecutive season). We’ve got a chance to do everything we want to do. So I think we’ll be fine.”
With that, Sherman ran out to practice so he wouldn’t be late — and give the Seahawks another reason to punish him.
Or at least have another Kumbaya get-together.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle