At some point between Michael Bennett extolling the joys of kissing his wife, Doug Baldwin being extraordinarily forthcoming about his exploitation of the rules, and Richard Sherman using the term “rhetoric” in both direct and subtextual context, something became clear.
This Seahawks team is every bit as articulate as it is confident, and is having more fun than any team I’ve ever seen … at least since last season’s Seahawks.
And if ease of expression reveals the true frame of mind, the team in the locker room following Sunday’s 24-14 destruction of the Philadelphia Eagles is honing in on postseason form.
It’s sadly a case where there’s so many interesting comments bouncing around after the game that there’s not enough space and time to parse and apportion them all. It’s too bad fans can’t get in the Seahawks locker room to enjoy the performance. But it’s already pretty crowded in there.
We may leave it to Bennett to add romantic overtones to the enjoyment of a dominating athletic performance.
“All wins feel exactly the same, just like the first time I kissed my wife,” he explained.
Awww, sweet, huh? Google the video of his sack dance for the visual interpretation.
Bennett then got off on a non-sequitur inquisition of why sportswriters are allowed to vote on Hall of Fame candidates. As I tried to explain the history of it, he started shouting that somebody stole his sweater. Must have been a sportswriter, Mike.
Earl Thomas, meanwhile, is the most earnestly intense human on the face of the earth and his comments reflect it. “I think I might be the most uptight guy on defense, but I was even dancing out there,” Thomas said. “My teammates are so important to my growth.”
Uptight? Not these days. Let Thomas describe what the Seahawks did after their Saturday walk-through in preparation for the crucial match with the Eagles.
“We played basketball,” Thomas said. “Coach Carroll played. I beat him. This team is so different from every team in the league. That is why we are having so much success; we take a different approach.”
You mean Bill Belichick doesn’t play basketball the day before the game with his All-Pro defenders?
Quarterback Russell Wilson then had his sixth-grade teacher in the interview room, where he joined in the press conference.
Wilson talked about the importance of the win, given the quality of the Eagles, particularly at home where they’d won 10 straight, but “there’s a lot more to do.”
And of those impending challenges, he said: “We have to go home and, I believe, we play the 49ers at home this Sunday.”
Is that what the slumping San Francisco 49ers have become, an afterthought? (Ah-hem, let me check the schedule for the next opponent, oh, right, the team that was once our fiercest rivals).
Wilson sometimes sneaks in some comments that can’t be accidental. Remember when he used to always call 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick a “great kid.” Kid? Kaepernick is a year older than Wilson is.
Baldwin was involved in a brilliant play (to Seahawks and their fans) when he drew a pass interference call on Eagle defender Bradley Fletcher in the third quarter. When asked about it, Baldwin took an approach unprecedented in the NFL: He told the truth.
“I’m actually not even a read on that play; I’m clearing it out for somebody else,” Baldwin said. “But when I saw the ball in the air and I saw the defender looking back at me, I just wanted to run into him to try to create contact and try to create a penalty situation.”
The resulting flag on Fletcher amounted to a 44-yard Seahawks gain.
Sherman said that the Seahawks defense heard all about how potent the Eagles offense was, and how it would challenge his unit. He called it “a very similar rhetoric.”
The reference was to the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl when the Seahawks were buried in questions about Denver’s record-setting offense. But Sherman is well aware that “rhetoric” can mean persuasive speaking … or empty talk.
The Hawks turned it all into empty talk during the Super Bowl. Just as they did on Sunday, when the Eagles, who averaged more than 400 yards of offense and 31 points a game, were held to 139 yards and 14 points.
Sherman was asked if he could have expected to hold the Eagles to the lowest total yardage of the Chip Kelly era.
“We did expect that,” he said. “We just didn’t expect to give up that many points.”