Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had never seen anything like the riotous scene he watched Sunday on his own sideline: Richard Sherman screaming at his coaches and teammates over a blown coverage for a touchdown by Falcons All-Pro receiver Julio Jones.
Then the three-time All-Pro cornerback’s defensive mates hopping up and down and chanting en masse around him, trying with minimal success to get Sherman back with them in time for the Seahawks’ 26-24 rally past Atlanta, Gregg Bell of the Tacoma TribuneTreports.
“No, that was a unique one,” Carroll said Monday. “That was pretty unique.”
At one point Earl Thomas, a co-star in Sunday’s win, grabbed behind Sherman’s ears and then his dreadlocked hair in an attempt to get his fellow defensive back refocused.
Following Sunday’s win, the NFC West-leading Seahawks (4-1) used the same buzzword to explain Sherman’s blowup: “passionate.”
In a view afforded those who come out of such turmoil as winners, the Seahawks are championing the incident as a unifying boost for the rest of this season.
“He got really emotional and he reacted really strongly. And our guys brought him back in,” Carroll said. “He was just being competitive and all that and he didn’t want bad things to happen, so he responded.”
His coach acknowledged Monday that Sherman “went over the top” in his screaming at defensive coordinator Kris Richard, just about every player he saw — and even inactive strong safety Kam Chancellor, the usual chief communicator on the defense. For a brief moment Sherman and Chancellor, in a hoodie, were nose to nose in front of the bench.
All this happened during Sunday’s third quarter when Atlanta was outscoring Seattle 21-0 to take a 24-17 lead.
It was a remarkable sight, in plain view. The Seahawks’ highest-salaried player in 2016 — Sherman is getting a guaranteed $12,569,000 in base pay this season — upbraiding Richard, the out-of-uniform Chancellor, Thomas, Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett and everyone else in his path. The meltdown came after Jones got free and pulled Atlanta to within 17-10.
“But what was fantastic was the way our guys took care of him,” Carroll said of Sherman and his teammates, not the coaches. “And they were best suited to make sure, to make sense and to get him right. And we got back. It took us a while.”