If Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had his way, the team wouldn’t be taking the bye week off. Still, he’s not too worried about his guys getting in any trouble during their time away.
Carroll did have a message, though, for the players before they took off.
“Being conscious that they’re Seahawks and they take advantage of that great awareness, that they represent wherever they go and what they’re doing. And we don’t want any issues coming off this week. So I want everybody handling it very well so we can get back to work.”
Players often get out of town during the bye week, going on vacation, and occasionally going off the deep end. The Minnesota Vikings’ 2005 season was marred by a bye-week incident involving a number of players, a couple of houseboats, and some prostitutes.
But 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil says there’s little reason to worry about this team.
“There’s a sense that this team knows it’s on the brink of something. You have two leaders on this team in Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas who have set a very serious tone for what this team is going to do and what it’s going to achieve.”
The Seahawks headed into the bye week with an NFL-best 10-1 mark. It’s a far cry from the 2000 Seahawks, who entered the bye week with a 4-7 record.
“[Coach Mike] Holmgren had said the week before, I’ll give you the whole week off if we win,” recounts
710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard, a backup quarterback on that team.
Perhaps inspired by the opportunity to take the week off, the Seahawks pulled out a dramatic, late-game 28-21 victory over Jacksonville.
It fired up coach Holmgren enough to try and build on the momentum and get right back to work. But the players weren’t having anything to do with his request to skip the week off and practice instead.
“And Tez [star Cortez Kennedy] is like, ‘Coach, I’m out.’ Chad Brown flew to the Bahamas. I mean, guys were out. They had booked their plans to leave.'”
Instead of coming back with a renewed spark, the Seahawks came out flat. Denver came to town and knocked off Seattle 38-31.
It’s understandable guys on a team with no chance of making the playoffs would have little incentive to sacrifice a hard earned vacation in the middle of a grueling season. But Carroll says he’s confident this year’s team will come back focused and ready for the home stretch. His biggest problem perhaps is keeping Wilson from working too much.
“First thing I heard Russell say was he can’t wait to get back and look at all the film. So don’t expect him to be too far away from the film room.”
The Seahawks return to action Monday, Dec. 2 against the Saints at CenturyLink Field. Seattle is 1-2 coming off its bye under Carroll, losing after its week off the past two seasons.