A lot of Seattle Seahawks fans expressed displeasure for the offensive line in 2016, particularly at the tackle position with Bradley Sowell and Garry Gilliam. But Sowell has also been a voice of reason and honesty on Twitter, and that continued in light of the news that the Seahawks may receive a punishment from the NFL for not disclosing an injury to Richard Sherman. The league could reportedly take away Seattle’s second round pick, an add-on to the NFL docking the Seahawks a 2017 fifth round pick for fighting in OTAs.
Sowell says that the OTAs in Seattle were “the easiest/ slowest I’ve (sic) ever been a part of” and much more:
@Curtis_Crabtree OTAs in Seattle were by far the easiest/ slowest Iv ever been a part of,yet still getting watched and in trouble for stuff— Bradley Sowell (@Bradley60Sowell) January 19, 2017
@scohenPI we didn't even wear helmets here, seriously was a glorified walk through which is un heard off... Pete did an Unbeliever Job— Bradley Sowell (@Bradley60Sowell) January 19, 2017
@scohenPI of making sure we stayed within the rules, like the best Iv ever seen at making sure we didn't even touch each other hard— Bradley Sowell (@Bradley60Sowell) January 19, 2017
And then came the holding penalties:
@Curtis_Crabtree I knew something was different when I got 3 holding calls in a game and only had gotten 3 total in the previous 4 years— Bradley Sowell (@Bradley60Sowell) January 19, 2017
And it’s something he noticed right away:
@Curtis_Crabtree what's new? Seahawks are watched with a microscope, I could tell the difference right away compared to my previous teams— Bradley Sowell (@Bradley60Sowell) January 19, 2017
Is the NFL “out to get” the Seahawks? The league is out to make every team as competitive as possible. That’s hard to do when teams like the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are clearly better at putting together a talented roster, but the great equalizer is: Arbitrary punishments for whatever violation you can think of.
Holding calls: A lot of football people will tell you that there is holding on every play. They often only become “obvious” when a flag is thrown and a slow-motion replay shows that it could be holding. How often have you screamed at the television for the hold that wasn’t called? Or the ones that were ticky-tack?
OTAs: Sowell says that they were the lightest he’d ever seen. You hear about violations for fights. You may not hear about the fights that weren’t punished by the league.
Not disclosing injuries: The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t disclose significant injuries to Blake Bortles this season. The Indianapolis Colts didn’t do that with Andrew Luck a year ago. The New York Jets did the same thing with Brett Favre in 2009. Only when you get punished for it, does it become “cheating.”
You think the NFL wants to take away a high second round pick from the Jaguars, an awful team still trying to rebuild? No, that would make it harder to sell them to Jacksonville and London. Take one away from Seattle and you make it harder for them to improve, but know they are still going to be good.
The biggest problem with the NFL this season, in my eyes, was that there were too many horrible teams. Jaguars, Browns, Bears, Jets, 49ers, Rams ... these were not competitive teams. The “middle” with Bills, Panthers, Saints, Bengals, Chargers, Eagles, Cardinals, Colts, Ravens, Vikings, Titans, Bucs ... these teams stood no real chance at winning the Super Bowl, at any point. I think eight teams went into the playoffs with a shot to win the Super Bowl. Looking at it now, maybe it really was only four. There is no parity. There is no balance.
Of course Roger Goodell is trying to “correct” that. Even at the cost of fair judgment.