It was locker clean out day for the Seahawks Tuesday, one as somber as any in team history, if not NFL history.
The media got inside for a little while and we talked to who was available to talk to — a number of guys frankly weren’t around, and a few declined to talk.
Those who did talk said what you’d expect — that was tough loss that will take a long time to get over.
“Sunday was devastating,” said tight end Tony Moeaki. “But we are a close team and we’ll stick together and we’ll get through this and we’ll come back stronger. … everyone is going to feel this for a little bit. Some guys will hang on to it longer than another guy. But I think when we get back to OTAs and camp, we’ll start getting back to normal.”
Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin echoed those words and also said a couple of things sure to get some attention:
— Asked if he regretted his touchdown celebration that resulted in a 15-yard penalty, Baldwin said no. “I mean I was just out there having fun, enjoying the game of football. The explanation, I don’t know. There’s no explanation. You play this game for so long, you go out there, you have fun. And I can get criticized all want to — that’s fine. Everybody has their option. But in the moment I was just having fun and my teammates know that.” Baldwin said he has not talked to coach Pete Carroll about the play and doesn’t think he will, that coaches and teammates understand.
— Asked if there locker room debate about the last play, Baldwin said simply: “I don’t want to talk about that.”
— And asked if as a receiver he had any issue with Darrell Bevell saying that Ricardo Lockette could have fought harder for the ball on the last play, Baldwin said: “Yeah, I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother us. He’s a coach and so you take that criticism or whatnot and you look in the mirror and figure out what you could have done with it. It’s harsh. But in the reality of it, it’s in the heat of the moment right after the game, people may say things or do things they may have changed or would like to be interpreted differently. However at the end of the day, like I said, we’re going to stick together and move forward so none of that matters now.”
Indeed, stick together was a consistent theme of those who did talk, and no doubt was the message that coach Pete Carroll sent to the team in what was his final meeting with them shortly before lockers were cleaned out and players then sent on their way into the off-season.
And in that regard, if people are wondering how the team will respond to this, those who did talk kept pretty much to the talking points Carroll obviously sent down.
Asked about the blame being assessed to Bevell, Baldwin gave a lengthy answer that sort of covered everything — the frustration and disappointment of the loss but also the eagerness to move forward.
“You could point the finger at a number of different blames. However, what makes this team special and all is that we stick together. We don’t point the finger. We look in the mirror and we realize there is something that we could have done individually or collectively better. When it’s all said and done, we’re going to look at this tape and we’re going to say it shouldn’t have come down to that situation. We had opportunities offensively, defensively, special teams-wise, to make plays to where we wouldn’t be in that situation. So to put blame on Bevell or Pete or the defense or the receivers or the quarterback or whatever is just people reaching for an answer, which is understandable. I’m not going to tell anybody how to feel. Everybody in this locker room feels a certain way, and they have a right to feel that way. At the end of the day there is plenty of blame to go around. We’re going to carry it and shoulder it together and we’re going to move forward together, because ultimately that’s what is going to make us stronger down the line.”
Here is some video of a few players that more than what they said, simply captures the still-fresh ache of the game in the way they talked: