INDIANAPOLIS Time will heal. Even the bizarre.
That’s what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says about Richard Sherman’s ongoing feud with Seattle-area media members stemming from his tumultuous 2016 season.
"There is a lot of time here in this offseason. Hopefully, everything will be worked out and it’s a move forward so it’s not an issue,” Carroll said Thursday, off the podium at the NFL combine inside the Indiana Convention Center.
“I know you guys can handle it. And he’s a player who’s got a big world. He’s got a family to take care of. He’s got his job to take care of. And it’s just an ongoing conversation. And hopefully he will put that behind him."
This week Sherman appeared on ESPN in a video interview in which he said he never told Seattle radio host Jim Moore during a December press conference “You don’t want to go there. You know that. I will ruin your career.” That was days after the three-time All-Pro cornerback screamed at offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Carroll for the play calls on the Seahawks’ offense during a win over Los Angeles.
Sherman told ESPN’s Cari Champion he never said what multiple recorded accounts documented he said to Moore.
“No, because nobody ever knew what I said. Once again, 'sources say.' Who was there? Did anybody see it? Who was there? Who said it?" Sherman told ESPN.
When ESPN’s Champion asked if the account was incorrect, Sherman responded “Nobody knows. Nobody knows what was correct. All you hear is 'He say, she say.’
"It was incorrect how they portrayed it," Sherman said. “It gets to the point where nobody needs the truth anymore. Nobody cares to know what the truth is. You can just fabricate a story and go with it. Then I’ve got to defend a fabricated story.”
By season’s end, Sherman wasn’t talking to local media members and said he’d only talk to ESPN’s Ed Werder and other national organizations. When I asked him questions in media sessions at his locker in which he gave some answers to national outlets in January, he stared back blankly and said, “next question.”
Carroll was explaining Sherman’s difficult season Jan. 16 when he said two days after Seattle’s playoff loss at Atlanta that Sherman played the last part of the season with a “significant” knee injury.
The league investigated the fact the Seahawks never specified Sherman’s knee injury on a daily practice or weekly game injury report, as NFL rules require.
It ultimately decided last month not to punish the Seahawks for that.
I asked Carroll Thursday what his takeaway was, what lessons he took from the investigation and situation.
"I don’t know, did I have to learn a lesson?” he said, smiling.
“Just … the obvious part of it is, the shift in reporting from a year ago in not having a probable status, I think, that showed itself. That was the status he was. So we just have to make sure that we do a good job in recognizing that. We would have reported him as probable, because that’s what he was. I think the league did a good job in figuring out there were some other teams that fell into the same category and there was enough information there that they decided what they did. And they did the right thing.”