Let’s be honest: everything appears fine and dandy when it comes to NFL OTAs and minicamps.
Players don’t pad up, there is barely any contact and the whole practice is a glorified walk-through. So that’s why getting word that Richard Sherman and Phil Bates exchanged blows during Seattle Seahawks camp was actually refreshing.
According to reports, Sherman was right in the middle of a scuffle that took place between the offense and defense Wednesday. Sherman and Bates both threw punches and landed at least one. Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin got involved — as did Bryan Walters and Earl Thomas.
Marquee names getting involved in some fisticuffs — you don’t see this every day.
What Sherman, Bates and Co. showed was the fire and energy that at times is lacking during these NFL offseason activities. Instead of going through the motions, running routes and wrapping up, the Seahawks were competitive. They were passionate about the competition taking place in practice, and they let their emotions get the best of them — the same sort of emotions that helped Seattle win a Lombardi Trophy four months ago.
“This can happen at any practice whether it’s in the season or not,” Thomas said, via Pro Football Talk. “I just think we’re all so competitive, if you press just one wrong button everyone will clear the benches.”
“Sometimes you get mad and you say stuff that you don’t really mean. But at the same time, we’re all men out here. We’re all alpha males and it happens like that sometimes.”
If there was ever any doubt about the Seahawks’ chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions, this is a reminder not to count them out. Their hunger for winning has not been satisfied just yet.
Sherman and Thomas were recently paid, but they’re acting like undrafted free agents trying to make the 53-man roster. And that’s a certain type of trait you only see in the most competitive players, ones who are always out to prove something. Those are the kind of players I want on my team.
And I love it. If you’re Seattle, don’t be complacent. Don’t take these minicamps lightly. Use them to get better, to gain an edge and a focus. Give 100 percent. Push. Shove. Talk trash.
In the whole scheme of things, this camp fight will likely be forgotten by the time the regular season rolls around. But for now, I’m using my prisoner of the moment card and believing more and more in the ‘Hawks.