By John Boyle and Rich Myhre Herald Writers
SEATTLE — Every so often, hockey players with grudges will drop the gloves moments after the opening face-off.
Something like that almost happened at Sunday’s Seattle-Washington game at CenturyLink Field when team captains meeting at the center of the field for the coin toss got in a heated shouting match.
Officials intervened and separated the players, and then all the captains except one for each team were sent to the sidelines before the coin was actually tossed.
The two principal antagonists appeared to be Seattle fullback Michael Robinson and Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Ironically, both players are 28 and from Virginia — Robinson is from Richmond and played at Penn State, while Hall is from Chesapeake and played at Virginia Tech — so their paths have probably crossed over the years.
But friends? Hardly. Said Robinson of Hall: “He’s just garbage.”
Added Robinson, “We were just competing. Words were said. … But it was definitely out of character (for me). I want to apologize to my teammates and all the Seahawk fans.”
The animosity may have begun when the Redskins held their pregame team huddle on the Seahawks logo at midfield just as Seattle’s players were running onto the field.
“Some of the guys on the team thought that was real disrespectful,” said Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
“It was a highly emotional game,” said Seattle cornerback Roy Lewis. “We’re playing at home in front of our home fans, and we’re not going to let any team come into our house and try to be disrespectful. I think it got out of hand at times, but I think the refs did a fine job of trying to (control) it.
“But it was a very emotional game at the beginning,” he said. “Both teams were pretty fired up.”
Though tempers seemed to cool by the second half, there were face-to-face confrontations on several first-half plays. The officials tried to regain control early, flagging Washington tight end Fred Davis for unsportsmanlike conduct for something he said on the seventh play of the game.
“That’s football,” Davis said. “Everybody’s competitive. Those guys, they’re talking like they were Super Bowl champions. And I’m looking at them like, ‘You guys almost have the same record as us.’ I guess they came off of two wins, so they felt confident. … But it gave us a little bit of a boost.”
“Yeah, there was a lot of trash talking,” added Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams, ” but we love those types of games.”
Said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: “It came from (the Redskins). I don’t know why they were doing it, but … they were very vocal.”
Two blocks for Bryant
The Seahawks got two big special teams plays from defensive tackle Red Bryant, who blocked a 23-yard field goal attempt by Washington place-kicker Graham Gano midway through the second quarter, and then blocked an extra point after Washington’s final touchdown with 6:18 to play in the game.
Both times, Bryant overpowered blockers at the line of scrimmage and then rose to knock down the kick.
After watching Redskins films during the week, Seahawks assistant special teams coach Jeff Ulbrich “thought we’d have a good opportunity to go in there and make that play,” Bryant said.
Bryant also blocked two field goals in Seattle’s loss in Cleveland earlier this season.
Receiver Sidney Rice left the game after crashing head-first into the ground attempting to make a diving catch. Carroll said the severity of Rice’s head injury is not yet known, but with a short week before Thursday’s game against Philadelphia, Rice’s availability could be in doubt if he does indeed have a concussion.
Rice, who missed two games at the start of the season with a shoulder injury, suffered a concussion two weeks ago against Baltimore, but was able to return the following week.
Receiver Mike Williams (shoulder), linebacker David Hawthorne (knee), receiver Doug Baldwin (shoulder) and linebacker Leroy Hill (foot) were also banged up, Carroll said, but the severity of those injuries was not yet known.