Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll shrugged off a report Friday that alleged he contributed to fractures within the team in recent years by showing favoritism toward quarterback Russell Wilson.
A Sports Illustrated article earlier in the day cited anonymous sources, including former and current Seahawks, that described the state of the locker room as negatively affected by the belief that Wilson receiver preferential treatment from Carroll. Some players suggested a locker-room divide led to the drastic offseason overhaul that saw former stars like Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett depart.
ESPN reported on a similar subject last year, including details on the effects of the team’s Super Bowl XLIX defeat to the New England Patriots, which came following Wilson’s goal-line interception in the final minute after Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell chose to throw instead of run.
Asked Friday for his reaction to SI’s report, Carroll said, “Only that obviously I didn’t do a very good job of teaching, because one of the main principles in our teaching is that we’re not going to worry about what’s happened.”
“All our focus goes on what’s coming right now,” he continued. “And so that’s a discipline that we learn, and I just haven’t taught it well enough. Whether you win or whether your lose or whatever happens, you need to move forward and leave stuff behind and go. So other than that, I don’t care about it.”
Reporters also asked if Carroll has seen any rift centered around Wilson in the locker room.
“No, no I haven’t,” he said. “I don’t even know what that would mean.”
Carroll added that he spoke to his team about the story, including using it as a warning about distractions that can emerge from media coverage.
“I addressed it, just the media and the impact of the media and how they can factor in if you let it,” Carroll said. “With all the hype that comes in this first week, just look at the pomp and all the circumstance. ...There’s so much lead-in and so much buildup, that there’s a lot going on and we have to deal with it really well whatever it is and whatever form it comes in.
“So if this is an example of an opportunity to do that, then we welcome it. We’ll take it on and we’ll move through whatever.”
Veteran wideout Doug Baldwin dismissed the SI report, calling it the “same story” as what ESPN wrote about the Seahawks’ supposed locker-room issues last year.
—Field Level Media