During Wednesday’s Seattle Seahawks practice in Renton, Washington, cornerback Richard Sherman and first year wide receiver Phil Bates got into a scuffle involving punches being thrown and the 24-year-old Bates getting his jersey pulled over his head and his helmet ripped off by Sherman.
The play came immediately after first year wide receiver Bryan Walters suffered a shoulder injury while trying to catch a pass from Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson. Walters somehow got tangled with safety Earl Thomas, causing Walters to hit the turf hard. The players weren’t wearing shoulder pads and there wasn’t supposed to be any contact involved, but obviously there was and that’s why Walters suffered the injury.
It’s unclear whether wide receiver Bates reacted to Walter’ injury by seeing it as a sign that the Seahawks defense was playing physical, but whatever the case, he and Sherman immediately started scuffling on the next play. Sherman likes to play physical with receivers by using a lot of holding, shoving and jamming of the receivers at the line of scrimmage to keep them from being able to run their patterns.
It could be that Sherman used one or all of those techniques against Bates, and this led to him trying to push Sherman off of him. You have to realize that Bates is trying to make the Seahawks team, as this is his first season with them. He played college at Ohio in 2010 and 2011, and he wasn’t drafted by any of the teams in the NFL in 2012. The Seahawks are giving him a chance to make the team in 2014, and he’s just trying to make the team.
After the scuffle was broken up, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll met with the team and spoke with them for 5 minutes to get them to settle down and concentrate.
“We’re all so competitive if you press one wrong button, everybody will clear the benches,” Earl Thomas said. “When we’re out here, everything’s happening fast and you know those receivers are kind of soft sometimes,” Thomas said. When they see one of their teammates, or guys in their same room fall, then they start crying. But you just kind of shrug it off and don’t pay attention to guys like that. It’s all in the game we’re teammates at the end of the day. Obviously we’re all going after the same goal.”