Do Seahawks feed on smack-talk? 'Other guys wait for people to talk bad about them'

SEATTLE – The thing about “bulletin-board material” is that there isn’t a player in the NFL who will fully admit using it as a motivational tool.

They will, however, tell you everybody else does it.

“Some guys listen to music, some guys watch TV, some guys watch highlights,” Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said earlier this week. “Other guys wait for people to talk bad about them.”

There’s been very little in the way of smack-talk bandied about between the Seahawks and their opponents in the wild-card round next Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings.

Coach Pete Carroll said he likes it that way.

“It’s part of the makeup of the individual players, but as a team we’re not looking for stuff like that,” he said. “We’re not looking to get billboard information, we’re not looking for big comments in the media. That’s not how we operate.

“There’s a reason for that – it’s that I don’t want to wait for something like that to get us fired up.”

Receiver Doug Baldwin on Thursday came close to acknowledging that the Seahawks use smack-talk as a tool to get fired up, but walked back from the precipice.

“I won’t say specifics, but obviously there’s a lot of bulletin-board material we’ve received here in Seattle as receivers,” Baldwin said. “So it’s the same thing, it’s the same story. Nothing’s changed. We’re competitive by nature, obviously, so even just getting the opportunity to play in the playoffs is something we value.”

“For all of us, we’re just going to take this opportunity regardless if anybody gives us bulletin-board material, and we’re going to run with it. The motivation is to win this football game.”

Safety Earl Thomas, on the other hand, said all he cares about is what his coaches say.

“I don’t listen to it,” Thomas said. “What motivates me is if the coaches get onto us or they start sleeping on us a little bit that kinda motivates us. But outside sources, you can’t control that. We don’t listen to that.”

Baldwin said that as the years have gone up, he’s made an effort to mature and rely less on his ingrained need to prove people wrong.

He said a conversation with his mother last year solidified the idea.

“I had a great conversation with my mom during the offseason, and she said I need to stop carrying the chip or the boulder on my shoulder,” he said. She said ‘let’s have wings on your shoulder, because they’ll help you fly further, and higher.’

“So I don’t look at it as a chip or a boulder anymore. I got the wings of an angel, as my mom would put it.”