RENTON — On a day when the biggest story in the NFL revolved around a controversy in New England, it was inevitable that some Seattle Seahawks players would be asked about the deflated football scandal surrounding the Patriots.
A few players smiled or laughed when asked about the Patriots’ reportedly tampering with the air pressure of footballs in the AFC championship game, but didn’t say much on the topic.
“Can I really answer this question? What do you want me to say to this? Can I answer it truthfully?” wide receiver Doug Baldwin said, noting the member of the team’s media relations staff standing directly behind him. “I don’t know. Sorry.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson didn’t have much to say on the topic either, saying, “I don’t know anything about that, so there’s not much I can comment on that. They’re a great team, so I don’t think that’s an issue probably, but I have no idea.”
Asked if he has any preference on how inflated or roughed up a football is, Wilson laughed and said, “Just as long as they have laces. As long as the football has laces, I’m good to go.”
As you might expect, cornerback Richard Sherman had a bit more to say, but stopped short of taking any shots at next week’s opponent.
Asked if he’s ever noticed a ball being underinflated, Sherman said, “I have to go back to my collection (of interceptions) and check them now. I’ve got to see if there are pounds missing or anything like that.
“No, I’ve never heard of that, and I’m not sure anything will come of it, honestly, if it’s true or not true. It’s not going to have any effect on this game. Nobody’s going to get suspended, nothing’s going to happen. They’re going to play this game. Whatever they did, the risk-reward is better.”
Sherman then turned to a topic that has been an issue in the minds of many players around the league for a while — the inconsistency of punishment handed out by the league.
For example, the NFL reportedly was prepared to not let running back Marshawn Lynch play in the NFC championship game against the Packers on Sunday if he came out in the gold shoes he was planning to wear.
And players are regularly fined large amounts of money for uniform violations, such as wearing the wrong socks. Yet as Sherman notes, there’s a good chance New England won’t deal with any punishment for doctoring balls, at least not before the Super Bowl.
“They were going to suspend Marshawn for gold shoes … but then you’ve got balls being deflated, and that’s the issue,” Sherman said.
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com