Seahawks send Eagles mixed signals with trash talking and praise
On one hand, some Seahawks rub it in over their victory, but at same time, Richard Sherman is lauding LeSean McCoy.
WHILE REPORTERS were asking Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez yesterday about Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett's saying that Philadelphia police should look into Sanchez "trying to impersonate a good quarterback," after Sunday's game, a jersey sat draped over a box in the overflow from LeSean McCoy's NovaCare locker stall.
It was Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman's white No. 25, and across the blue numeral 5, Sherman had scrawled a message in silver Sharpie, congratulating McCoy for becoming the franchise's all-time leading rusher. He told McCoy that McCoy had "earned everything you've gotten," said that he had "huge respect" for the man who broke Wilbert Montgomery's record of 6,538 career yards. (McCoy now has 6,540.)
This would be the same Richard Sherman who said after Seattle's 24-14 victory that the Eagles miss DeSean Jackson "tremendously," and that the Seahawks "never felt threatened" by the Eagles' receivers.
Meanwhile, in a radio interview, Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner indicated he thought McCoy (17 carries, 50 yards) shied away from contact.
"There was one play he fell back. It was me and him in the hole, and he just fell down," Wagner said. "He didn't want no part of the contact, so I think that probably got to him."
Odd bunch, these Seahawks. You would think that the defending Super Bowl champions, headed for the playoffs again, would be pretty secure, that they wouldn't need to build themselves up by disparaging teams they'd beaten. You would think they would not want to stoke the fires of a team they could face in the postseason. Maybe they just aren't concerned about having to play the Eagles again.
But then there is Sherman's jersey at McCoy's stall, which pretty much undercuts the whole "WWE heel" theme.
Eagles safety and special-teams ace Chris Maragos won that Super Bowl with the Seahawks last season. Maragos said yesterday he couldn't explain the postgame yapping.
"I don't know if that's just their confidence, or what it was. Those guys speak for themselves. I don't know what the context was, or anything like that," Maragos said. "I can't speak for them and decisions that they make. They executed really well and they won the game. We didn't, and we lost. That's the bottom line."
Was this part of the defensive culture when he was there?
"No, no, no," Maragos said. "Obviously, everybody's extremely confident. That's really anybody. You have to be confident to step out on that field . . . They choose their words. I guess that's what they choose to do."
Sanchez said he was briefed by Eagles media relations before his regular Tuesday media session on what Bennett had said.
"I never really had any other interaction with him, other than [Sunday]," Sanchez said, shrugging. Then Sanchez smiled. "I guess he just doesn't like me. I don't know. No biggie, I guess."
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, Sherman's former Stanford teammate, said: "Richard's big into talking. I'm sure he let the world know they beat us pretty good. Michael Bennett's a great player, as well; he was talking a little bit. They were better than us that day. They have a lot of talent on defense, they have a lot of talent on offense. They won the Super Bowl . . . Obviously, they're a very good team . . . We didn't play a very good game. We gave them the ability to talk, and obviously, that frustrates us."
McCoy is scheduled to speak with reporters today. Yesterday, asked about Wagner's words, Eagles wideout Jeremy Maclin said: "You're talking about the leading running back in the NFL last year and a guy who's having another tremendous year this year. I'm not really worried about what Bobby Wagner says."
Asked about Bennett's and Sherman's remarks, Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Monday that "I thought both teams had a lot of respect for each other, so that kind of surprises me, that I hear that. I wasn't aware of that. I talked to Richard - I've known Richard since he played at Stanford, and I had a good conversation with him. Will Tukuafu, who plays fullback for them, was my first captain at Oregon, so I saw him after the game. I didn't catch any wind of that."
Corner Roc Carmichael rejoined the Eagles three games ago when Earl Wolff went on injured reserve. Carmichael never got in a game, and yesterday he was released . . . Wide receiver/returner Josh Huff (hip bruise) said he did not practice yesterday, but said he hopes to play Sunday against Dallas . . . Defensive coordinator Bill Davis said Dallas QB Tony Romo looked very different against Chicago, with a full week's rest, and with even more time to get his ailing back ready for the Eagles, Davis said: "We'll see a different offense . . . I think we're going to get more of the healthy Tony Romo" . . . Tight end/special-teamer Trey Burton (groin) practiced and should be OK for the Dallas game . . . The Eagles' coaches credited Fletcher Cox with 13 tackles Sunday, the most by any Eagle the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus said Cox's 23.8 grade over the past five games is higher than that of any other 3-4 defensive end, including J.J. Watt . . . Mychal Kendricks' brother Eric, a UCLA linebacker, won the Butkus Award.