The Seahawks obviously had a lot of problems in 2016 — a JV offensive line, a revolving M*A*S*H lineup and too many B.A. Baracus impersonators.
On top of that, they apparently did not want it enough.
“The team was not as hungry as we were four years ago,” Sherman Smith, recently ousted as running backs coach, told 710 ESPN on Friday. “When you have the type of success that we’ve had — you win a Super Bowl, you have a heartbreaking loss in the Super Bowl, you’ve been to the playoffs, what, five years in a row, you have this reputation — guys aren’t as hungry.
“We’ve got to get that hunger that we had when we weren’t winning,” Smith said. “How do you get that back when you’ve won and you’ve got the big contracts and endorsements and everybody loves you? How do you get that back? I think there’s only so much Pete (Carroll) can do, but the players … (have) got to do some things themselves.”
Obviously, it would help if they stayed healthy. But the make-or-break questions for this franchise this offseason: Were the injuries the reason for the lack of so-called hunger? Or has Carroll’s message simply grown stale? And, if it’s the latter, what can Carroll do to regain the interest and control of his team?