Seahawks veterans call team meeting to address PED suspensions
The team brass has repeatedly warned their players to follow the rules set by the league’s drug testing policy. But following the alarming rise in PED related suspensions highlighted by defensive end Bruce Irvin’s four-game ban for the 2013 season, the Seahawks decided to get to the players level as the veterans took over to address the PED issue. Safety Kam Chancellor said during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday that the team veterans called a meeting (for players) to address the PED issue, shortly after Irvin’s suspension.
"The vets, we put a meeting together to talk to the guys about not making the same mistakes over and over," said Chancellor.
2012 second-round pick Irvin became the sixth team player since 2010 to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs and fifth player to be suspended for the cause. Besides Irvin, Seahawks guard John Moffitt, offensive tackle Allen Barbre and Brandon Browner were also suspended four games for PED violations. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was also initially suspended four-games but it was overturned after he won the appeals process last December.
Irvin’s suspension also hit has been a hard hit to the Seahawks pass rush. The team had been hoping Irvin would be able to build on his rookie performance when he posted eight sacks last season. But Chancellor believed the team’s depth will be able to fill that void. The Seahawks addressed their defensive line through free agency this offseason by signing Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.
“Bruce is a key part of our defense,” said Chancellor. “But our team is so stacked in our depth. Everybody is so good that whoever steps into that role, they'll do their job, so we shouldn't miss a beat.”
The Seahawks are easily one of the top up and coming teams in the league with a significant number of younger players on the roster. It’s unlikely that the veterans had anything different to say than the message already delivered by the organization. But hearing it from the veterans and team leaders would definitely encourage the younger players to stay focused on improving their game while avoiding violating the league’s policy.
Coach Pete Carroll said last week that the Seahawks try to go an extra step beyond the league requirements on educating their players regarding the league’s PED policy, and the team will continue doing so in the future while constantly looking for improvements that can be made to the process.
"Continually because it's not right yet. We all know that there are big issues. It's not just here it's not just in sports. It's in schools. It's everywhere," added Carroll. "We have to try and figure it out and help through education and all of the ways that we can and we'll always compete to try and find more creative ways to make the message clear."