"No, I don't feel like the victim. No I don't, at all," coach Pete Carroll said today, after I stopped the above video, while talking about the NFL fining him and the Seahawks $300,000 and taking away two days of the team's three-day, veteran minicamp in 2015 for conducting practices the league deemed to have too much contact this past June.
"I think that we practice in a manner that draws attention. And we have for a long time."
Carroll confirmed following today's walkthrough practice for tomorrow night's exhibition finale at Oakland that it was the fight on the June 18 day of minicamp between wide receiver Phil Bates and cornerback Richard Sherman that got the attention of the league. That attention caused the league to review team video of the offseason practices,
and that's when the NFL determined the contact in those violated Articles 21 and 22 of the league's collective bargaining agreement prohibiting contact in offseason practices and minicamps.
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The fight got the attention, but the incident that led to the fight was on the play before in June when wide receiver Bryan Walters got tangled up with safety Earl Thomas. That riled up both the offense and defense, and on the next play Bates and Sherman escalated the tension.
"I go back: A year ago, and halfway through this camp when they observed what was going on they said everything was just fine," Carroll said. "So we kept going, and just kept working. And I was very pleased with that. But, unfortunately, it went otherwise when we went to minicamp."
It's not as if Carroll is obsessing over the six-figure fine he got from the league, per the CBA. After all, he does have a final regular-season roster to set by 1 p.m. Saturday plus a Super Bowl championship to defend starting in eight days with the NFL opener against Green Bay.
"You know, I haven't read the letter yet, to tell you the truth," he said of the NFL's notice of its penalties to him and the team. "I haven't had the chance to."
--It looks and sounds like the starting offense and defense will play a little -- heavy accent on little -- tomorrow night in Oakland. Carroll said again he wants to get extended playing time for backup quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Terrelle Pryor.
When I asked the coach what specifically he wanted to see from Pryor, the former Raiders starter until last season, when he plays against his former team tomorrow he said: "Just playing ball. Just seeing him play ball. I hope that the cool things we've seen on the practice field will show up on the game field. He had a nice first game (against Denver Aug. 7) in then he's had other opportunities that just haven't worked out as well as far as chances to do things. Hopefully this game it will be different."
My game advance in tomorrow's News Tribune will focus on Pryor returning to Oakland -- and how it may or may not be his last chance to make the Seahawks' roster.
I believe Carroll and general manager John Schneider are truly all about hoarding the best 53 athletes they can get onto their regular-season roster, and that they believe Pryor fits that description. But frankly his on-field production the last two games hasn't been worthy of making the team. We'll see tomorrow night -- and when the final roster cuts are announced by 1 p.m. Saturday -- what gives.
--Carroll, with his tongue firmly embedded into his cheek, seemed to have some fun while elaborating after a question about the unusual and short practice week the Seahawks have coming out of this exhibition in Oakland into next Thursday's opener. The Seahawks will be off Friday and Saturday then have scheduled full practices Sunday through Tuesday with a walkthrough on Wednesday.
"I hoping that all of the guidelines for how we practice will allow us to practice exactly the way I want to like a normal week," Carroll said, "so we are waiting to hear from the league on that."
--Wide receiver Percy Harvin missed his second consecutive practice today with what Carroll says is a "personal" matter.
--DT Tony McDaniel has sore knee that the team is resting so he can be ready for next week versus Green Bay. Nickel back Jeremy Lane also resting his mildly strained groin for that.
--Carroll said WR Bryan Walters, who missed last week with sore ribs, will be available tomorrow night to return punts and kicks. It's the native of Kirkland's final bid to win a job.
--The Seahawks re-signed RB Demitrius Bronson of Kentwood High School in Kent, one day after that cut him in what Carroll said was an impressive kid getting caught in a "numbers game" as the team had to get down to 75 players by Tuesday. Seattle released G/C Greg Van Roten to make roster room for Bronson.
--The Seahawks claimed 311-pound C Patrick Lewis off waivers from Jacksonville and released offseason free-agent signee and LB Marcus Dowtin. Lewis' two-day trial before final cuts started today
--Look who's on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated: