Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
#Seahawks’ Carroll on NFL fine, loss of practices: “We’re trying to do things exactly right.” Says he’s very disappointed.— Stephen Cohen (@scohenPI) August 27, 2014
#Seahawks’ Carroll on NFL penalty: “I don’t feel like the victim. Not at all."— Stephen Cohen (@scohenPI) August 27, 2014
Carroll went on to confirm multiple details about when the incident happened, via Curtis Crabtree of The Associated Press:
Carroll confirmed the issue stemmed from the fight between Richard Sherman and Phil Bates on June 18.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) August 27, 2014
Pete Carroll said they had "got a really good report" about their practice habits, then had the issue in mini-camp that was problematic.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) August 27, 2014
The Seattle Seahawks have built an identity around physical football. It helped them win a Super Bowl in 2013, but it has gotten them into a bit of trouble with the league this summer.
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Pete Carroll's team practiced just a little bit too hard during a mid-June OTA, using "excessive contact" and breaking a rule from the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.
Mort broke down Seattle's punishment:
Seahawks & Pete Carroll collectively fined by than $300,000 by NFL for violation of off-season non-contact rules, per sources.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 26, 2014
WAND TV's Matt Loveless commented on the bizarre rule:
Seahawks fined $300K because they held a football practice that included contact. Football practices of a physical nature. How dare they.— Matt Loveless (@MattLoveless) August 26, 2014
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport revealed more details about the Hawks' violation:
The fight Rapoport alludes to is likely one that occurred during one of the first days of practice, when Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and several others got involved in a scuffle. Some punches were thrown, but cooler heads ultimately prevailed and everyone calmed down.
Here's a look at the incident:
"They are such a tight group of guys that they don’t want to give an inch sometimes," defensive coordinator Dan Quinn told reporters at the time, via SportspressNW.com. "Most good teams are close and tight like that where they can practice like that. They were just having fun."
Apparently, the NFL didn't quite see it as "fun."
The rule in question, per The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta, states "there will be no contact work (e.g., 'live' blocking, tackling, pass rushing, bump-and-run) or use of pads (helmets permitted) at minicamps."
The punishment for the Seahawks was...
The loss of two minicamp practices will come in 2015, while Carroll will see a hefty fine of at least $100,000.
Ultimately, though, it's hard to imagine the Seahawks will really be all that distraught over this news. The fine for Carroll is obviously pretty steep, but he would probably rather lose a leg before ever having to see his team lose some of its defining physical play—regardless of whether it's an OTA or the Super Bowl.
Seattle was fined for a similar violation in 2012, as well.
It sure won't help Carroll's image as a rebellious rule-bender, but it's clear he's not going to let anything change the culture he has instilled in Seattle.