Terry Blount | ESPN.com
RENTON, Wash. — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he has spoken to cornerback Richard Sherman about Sherman’s controversial comments on national television following Seattle’s 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
“We aren’t perfect, and we all make mistakes,” Carroll said Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle radio. “Things don’t always come out exactly as we planned.
“I look at it like this: What would I tell my son? I’m a dad. I speak from that perspective. Maybe [the players] don’t always want to hear it that way, but it’s the best way I can communicate. That has already taken place, and we’ve already talked about it.”
Sherman tipped away a pass in the end zone that was intended for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree in the final seconds of the game. Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepted the tipped ball to seal the victory.
Moments later, Sherman was interviewed by Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews, who asked him to describe the play.
“I’m the best corner in the game,” Sherman yelled. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me.”
Andrews asked who was talking about him.
“Crabtree,” he said. “Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick.”
Sherman’s comments have become a national talking point and caused a firestorm of criticism on Twitter.
Carroll came to Sherman’s defense.
“You’re talking about a guy in a warrior’s mentality in the middle of everything,” Carroll said. “He’s a fiery guy. That was Richard being Richard in a moment where you would like to pull him to the side and take a knee for a while, then we’ll talk to you.
“It’s unfortunate that it was so crazed, but that’s who he is. His mental makeup to get ready for that matchup was expressed right there so he could play the way he can play. Unfortunately, sharing with the world, it didn’t come across so well.”
Carroll said it didn’t follow the guidelines he has for his players.
“We try to stick to Rule No. 1, which is always protect the team,” Carroll said. “It’s the rule we live by. You always represent us. In a time like that one, it was a little bit representing yourself.
“How we handle it is we try to grow and learn and work our way through who we are and figure out who we want to be. This was an extraordinary learning opportunity. You’ll see some benefit from it.”
Carroll said he handled it the same way he does when any of his players do something outside the boundaries of proper behavior.
“When you really love somebody and care for them, you do everything you can help them be everything they can be,” Carroll said. “At times they are going to make mistakes and break your heart, but if you love them, you stay with them. You give [them] the best chance to be all they can be.
“Richard is a wonderful spirit. He’s got an amazing heart, and he has great sensitivity. He goes all the way to the end of the spectrum when it comes to expressing himself.”
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