Seahawks react differently to playing without Percy Harvin
Most, but not all, say slow start Sunday had nothing to do with surprising trade that happened Friday
Seattle Times staff reporter
Doug Baldwin by the numbers
7 receptions by Baldwin on Sunday, tying a season high for a Seahawks receiver. Percy Harvin had seven receptions against Green Bay and Denver.
123 receiving yards for Baldwin, a season high for a Seahawks receiver. Jermaine Kearse’s 62 yards last week was previous high
ST. LOUIS — The Seahawks were admittedly shocked when they learned of the trade of Percy Harvin to the New York Jets as they got on the bus Friday in Renton to head to the airport for their trip to St. Louis.
Left to some debate, though, was whether those events led to them to be so seemingly slow getting off the bus in St. Louis, where they fell behind 21-3 before losing to the Rams 28-26.
“No, we’ve had trouble here before,’’ said coach Pete Carroll. “I don’t think so.’’
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett seconded the notion that there was no Harvin hangover Sunday.
“Hey, everybody wants to make an excuse why we lost,’’ Bennett said. “When you lose, you just lose. The other team just beats you. They played a great game … I don’t know if the trade made a big difference. It couldn’t have because it came down to the last play. We always had a chance to win the game.”
One who thought the events of Friday maybe did linger for a while, though, was receiver Doug Baldwin, who also confirmed he had been in an altercation with Harvin in August — one of several incidents that helped lead the team to trade him.
“There were obviously a lot of things going on this week that affected the team in numerous ways and we just needed a little more time to warm up,’’ Baldwin said. “As a competitor, you don’t want to admit those things. However, as a human it is human nature. So it took us a little while to get on track.
“… When something that drastic happens, especially right before you get on the bus, obviously there is going to be some kind of impact, emotional impact. But I felt like we handled it to the best of our ability.’’
Asked if the report was true that he and Harvin got into a fight in August that resulted in Harvin being left home for the final exhibition game against Oakland on Aug. 28, Baldwin said, “Yes, it is true. However, when you deal with somebody 12 to 14 hours out of the day you are going to have issues and conflicts. It’s a family in this locker room so just like family members, you get in arguments, you get into scuffles. So it just happens.’’
Baldwin, asked if the incidents impacted the locker room, said: “I mean you guys read the reports. I don’t really need to say much more about it.’’
Most other players, though, sided with Carroll in saying they didn’t think the shock of the Harvin trade had much, if anything, to do with the defeat Sunday.
“I don’t think that has any effect on our team,’’ said cornerback Richard Sherman. “We’re a pretty strong, resilient team. Stuff like that happens. Crazier things have happened in-season for us. We’ve had suspensions, we’ve had all kinds of stuff happen before, and we’ve gotten past it. I think today was just a case of us not playing great football.”
Carroll said it ‘‘really was a move we made for our team. We are always trying to get things right wherever we can and we felt that was the best thing for our club and it will help us down the road.’’
Carroll added the team thought it could make the move because “we love the guys at the position” and the team has a lot of depth at receiver.
Asked if there was any one tipping point that caused the team to decide to trade Harvin, Carroll said no.
“It was a process,’’ Carroll said. “We are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating. We have made a lot of bold decisions and moves over time. It’s not about making the decision, it’s about making the decision right. So we are going to make this the right decision for our club and move forward and expect guys to take advantage of the opportunity.’’
Asked if it was true Harvin had pulled himself out of the game last Sunday against Dallas, Carroll said: “I’m done with that for now. Thanks.’’
Former Seahawk Michael Robinson, now working as an analyst on the NFL Network, confirmed a reported fight between Harvin and Golden Tate. Robinson also indicated that some of the personnel changes the team made in the offseason helped make Harvin feel like an outsider in the locker room.
“When he first walked into the locker room, I’m not going to say he didn’t fit in, but he kind of was trying to find himself,’’ Robinson said during an appearance on NFL GameDay First. “This was a locker room where he didn’t know many people; guys like Sidney Rice, myself, Marshawn Lynch, Red Bryant. Three or four of those guys aren’t on the team anymore and those were his close guys. And so I think he got uncomfortable, he sort of lost himself some.’’
Also surfacing were reports of a possible rift between Harvin and quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson, though, declined to talk specifically about Harvin and his impact on the locker room, saying “that’s nobody’s business. We keep everything in-house’’ and adding “I wish him nothing but the best.’’
That was a commonly voiced opinion afterward, players saying they hope Harvin has success while understanding such moves are part of life in the NFL.
“It just shows you what kind of business it is,’’ said defensive end Cliff Avril. “It’s unfortunate. I mean, he is a friend of mine and I feel bad in that sense.
“For the most part, most guys understand the business side of it. You have to be able to, once you cross those lines, turn things off with everything that is going on around you. Just be able to play ball.’’
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699