Since 2011, six players on the Seattle Seahawks have been hit with PED (performance-enhancing drugs) suspensions. In May, defensive end Bruce Irvin became the latest Seahawk to be disciplined by the NFL for testing positive for a banned substance. Irvin joins Brandon Browner, Winston Guy, Alan Barbre, John Moffitt, and Richard Sherman as Seahawks who have tested positive under Carroll’s watch and received suspensions (Sherman appealed and had his suspension overturned). Since Pete Carroll has taken over in 2010, the Seattle the Seahawks have had the more PED suspensions than any other team in the NFL.
When Coach Carroll was asked how to eliminate the PED problems he responded by saying it would take a team effort, “We have extraordinary commitment to what we do on the football field, with our training and our preparation and all of that. Our commitment has been called on to expand to 24-7, that’s what it amounts to, everyone is involved in this”. Defensive back Kam Chancellor also spoke on the problem by coming out publicly and saying that the team needs to “grow up”. The veterans on the Seahawks have rallied the team for several meetings to address the problem and remind everyone that they cannot continue making the same mistakes.
The PED usage of the Seahawks hasn’t gone unnoticed by a certain rival in the NFC West. The 49ers John Harbaugh recently spoke out about the Seahawks problem. “I’ve definitely noticed it”, Harbaugh said. “You don’t know what it is. Even when people say what it is, you don’t know that that’s what it is. For this, throw it out, or it’s that. But, that’s usually the agents of the players themselves saying it’s, for example Adderall. But, the NFL doesn’t release what it actually is. So, you have no idea. You’re taking somebody at their word; I don’t know that you can take them at their word, understanding the circumstances.” Sounds like he is taking a shot at the Seahawks, right? Harbaugh made it clear that he has discussed PED usage with his team and that it is a constant theme in San Francisco to “play by the rules”.
With all that being said I don’t know if the Seahawks have a PED problem. Each drug test and situation may be different. Since the NFL doesn’t reveal what drugs players test positive for we can only make guesses and assumptions. As grown men each player should be knowledgeable of what they put in their bodies, especially as a pro athlete. Each organization, coach, agent, and the NFL as a whole should do a better job educating players about the league’s drug policy and making better choices. It’ll be interesting to see if the Seahawks have any more drug suspensions after being under the scrutiny they are facing from their opponents and the league.