Pete Carroll finally addressed the PED issues today in light of Bruce Irvin’s four-game suspension. He claimed the Seahawks go beyond what the league insists to keep the players on track, to understand their responsibilities. Carroll voiced disappointment and admitted it was serious, but there was no anger in his words. He was philosophical. More like a let-down father than a boss reaching tipping point.
It was typical Carroll-fare. Not that this is a bad thing 99% of the time. Usually the boyish enthusiasm, positive mental attitude and slogans get me as pumped up as a player waiting to run out at Century Link and beat the 49ers 42-13.
However, I just kind of wanted to see a stronger stance today. I wanted to see actions condemned, warnings made. This is five suspensions in two years. Five. The NFL Network is already talking about ‘asterisks’. There’s been so much good work during the Carroll/Schneider era to turn this team into a contender. Too much good work to let it go to waste. Nobody wants to see those efforts undermined. And I guarantee they will be undermined if any more players are suspended for taking PED’s.
You also better believe the league is taking notice, as evidenced by this Tweet:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 20, 2013
And just when you want to move on and concentrate on football, the news breaks that Josh Portis has been arrested for a DUI offense.
Look, regulars know this isn’t a negative blog. We don’t search out reasons to criticise for the sake of it. I like to think we’re honest and ‘call a spade a spade’. In the last three years there’s not been a great deal to complain about.
However, this isn’t good enough. Too many players are jeopardising their own careers, the success of the collective roster and they are not representing the franchise, the fans and the community in the correct way. Nobody expects to see choir boys. When you put 50-60 guys together on a roster there’s going to be a few issues here and there. Seattle isn’t the only team to experience problems like this. But PED’s and DUI’s are unacceptable and there have simply been too many. When there’s an issue — and there clearly is one here — I want to know there’s a consequence. Stuff like this cannot be taken lightly.
Of course Carroll isn’t totally to blame for a fairly tepid response today. The media didn’t ask one challenging question in the entire press conference. It was an easy ride. I wanted to see a few tough questions thrown in there. Not because I wanted to see Carroll squirm, but because I felt that is what needed to happen. It’s that serious.
– Why do you think so many players on this particular roster been caught taking PED’s?
– Have you upped the stakes in terms of the consequences for the next person who gets caught?
– Have you been disciplined enough with this group? Is that a fair criticism?
– Does there need to be a culture change within certain pockets of the locker room?
In certain situations coaches and GM’s have to be held accountable. We didn’t see that today and it’s disappointing, especially given the wall of silence in the immediate aftermath of the Irvin charge (well summed up by John McGrath at the TNT).
Rest assured there’ll be a lot of tough questions asked from the national guys if the Seahawks win a title and it’s tainted by numerous PED suspensions. As I said a few days ago, zero has to be the maximum number of additional charges going forward — or credibility will begin to be challenged. This has to stop now.
And just when you think it can’t get any worse, there’s talk today they’re going to drag the draft out until May. Meaning longer to wait, longer to dilute the process and more time having to listen to people banging on about whichever quarterback they love/hate on Twitter.
I need to see some Christine Michael and Jordan Hill highlights…