NFL commissioner Richard Sherman addressed the media at Seahawks headquarters Thursday.
That status is unofficial … for now.
The Seahawks cornerback wrote a column for SI.com this week outlining his platform if he were allowed to take over as commissioner of the NFL.
He said the response from players had been very positive and, no, he hadn’t heard from actual commissioner Roger Goodell.
“No, he doesn’t call us much, just sends letters … asking for money,” Sherman joked of the notification of fines levied to players.
“There weren’t a lot of controversial things (in the column), mostly things that would benefit players in this league.”
Commissioner Sherman promised to revamp the league’s system of fines, retiree benefits, playoff payoffs, and generally invite the spirit of individualism back into the NFL.
As for the current commissioner, Sherman said “… it’s clear the interests of the 1,700 players pale in importance to those of the 32 owners.”
Of the Tampa Bay game last Sunday, Sherman said he was not surprised that league officials admitted the pass interference call that nullified an Earl Thomas interception was the wrong ruling.
“I think a lot of those (officials) making those calls won’t be in the playoffs,” he said, citing the league’s policy of allowing only the top crews to work the post-season.
In feisty form, Sherman had a quick answer when asked about this week’s challenge of covering Atlanta receiver Roddy White: “What challenge?”
Sherman, who is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions (four) and has more interceptions (16) and passes defensed (52) than any player in the league since 2011, was asked what gives him the confidence to be so frank and outspoken.
“Because I play at a very, very high level,” he said.
Sherman turned serious when asked to dissect the problems the Seahawks have had in stopping the rushing game of the past two opponents (more than 400 yards combined by St. Louis and Tampa Bay).
“Just being on the details, what runs they do, what movements they do,” he said. “The details are a big thing in the run game. If you’re off one detail, it can create a gaping hole and they can exploit it all day. So, I think no individual group, but the whole (defense), has to focus on the details.”
Small errors in gap coverage or over-running the gap have been a problem, Sherman said.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said after Thursday’s practice that stopping the run “… as you can imagine, is an area of emphasis for us and we’ve put a lot of time and effort into it this week.”
It started with researching the entire season.
“We went all the way back through and (examined) our mindset of how we play, the way we attack the line of scrimmage, the way we get off blocks,” Quinn said. “Those are the things we want to connect to our core stuff.”
Quinn said there were not really a lot of scheme decisions or play calls worthy of second-guessing.
“We got hit on a trap twice,” he said. “That was disappointing seeing a repeated play coming back to get us, (and) we lost the edge on a long run – those are core principles of our ball.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson, who took five solid hits against Tampa Bay after absorbing seven sacks at St. Louis the previous week, said, “I really do feel good; I’ll be ready to play.”
Wilson said he was proud of the Seahawks’ rally from a 21-point deficit in the 27-24 overtime win over the Buccaneers.
“The best thing about it was that we kept battling, kept in focus and in the moment,” Wilson said. “You’ve got to have amnesia, there’s going to be some really great plays and you’re going to make some bad ones once in a while. … Can you overcome those situations?”
The rally set a team record for a deficit overcome in a win.
“To come back from 21 points down is a big deal in the National Football League,” Wilson said.
JEANPIERRE AT CENTER
With center Max Unger out of practice while the team observes the post-concussion examination protocol, it’s possible Lemuel Jeanpierre will get his third start of the season in his place.
“I’ve always had my mind ready to play, the only difference is I’m getting physical reps instead of mostly just mental reps,” Jeanpierre said. “I’m in my fourth year with the organization, so I understand the system.”
Jeanpierre has filled in at both center and guard and graded out well.
“My approach is that knowledge is important and the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be able to play,” he said.
Because of his surname, some have called Jeanpierre “Frenchy.” He explained that, actually, his family is from Louisiana, and his grandfather was Haitian.
Tackle Breno Giacomini, who has missed six games after knee surgery, is back to practice to a limited extent. It’s unlikely he’ll play Sunday at Atlanta, though.
“It feels really good,” he said of the knee. “We’re just making sure I’m coming back as strong as I was. I hoped I could have been back a couple weeks ago, but now it’s just (a matter of) going to practice and getting the confidence back.”
Giacomini said it was the first time that an injury forced him to miss playing time in his professional or college career.
Did not participate for Seahawks: FB Derrick Coleman (hamstring), C Unger (concussion), DT Jordan Hill (biceps), DE Red Bryant (concussion). Limited participation: T Giacomini (knee), S Kam Chancellor (ankle). Full participation: S Jeron Johnson (hamstring), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), RB Marshawn Lynch (knee).