There are those around the NFL who think the Seahawks thrive on chaos. It's laughable that as soon as a player pops off in this corner of the country, the analysts jump in and act like they know the team and they've been following the organization for years. Truth is, as good as the Hawks have been since posting an 11-5 record in 2012, and as dominant as the defense has been in that time with all of its stars, the national sports shows have always done a solid job of ignoring them until the playoffs start.
But as soon as a player goes off on the sideline or there's word of locker room strife, those same shows will all of a sudden dedicate an entire segment to the Seahawks, which would explain why Baldwin vs. Cable was treated like a pay-per-view event in the 48 hours following Sunday's win over the Giants.
As soon as Baldwin put his hands on Cable, he knew he made a mistake. A few weeks ago in Nashville, Baldwin didn't wait until he got to the sideline to unload on someone, and when Bobby Wagner got involved, it became a fiery flashpoint. As it quick as they engaged, they disengaged.
It's not chaos; it's intensity.
This team not only plays with intensity, it practices with intensity. No one at the VMAC says, "Save that for game day." Especially Richard Sherman. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more intense player than Sherman. When he's on the practice field, nobody rides for free. And he lets his teammates know it. I have to believe that kind of approach and mentality has only helped fellow cornerback Shaq Griffin excel so early in his NFL career. He's a rookie in a room with Sherman, Kam and Earl. The standard has been set and he knows it.
This team doesn't thrive on chaos; it thrives on intensity.
They say Pete Carroll encourages his players to express themselves, embrace their personalities. While that may be true, he can probably, more than any other NFL coach, afford to allow that kind of behavior, because he has true leadership on this team. Veteran players who have a way of policing themselves. No vigilantes. Just a group of players in that locker room who you don't want to cross. Even if you're big, bad Frank Clark.
I never said much about Clark's "Mike Tyson Moment" in training camp. Was it wrong? Yes. But knowing most successful teams have players who run hot, who occasionally step over the line, I accepted that Clark was one of those guys. He has a nastiness that permeates his body when he steps between the lines. And when the Seahawks get into a knock-down, drag-out playoff game in January, you can bet his teammates and especially the fans, are more than happy he's running hot in the trenches.
So whether it's Clark, Baldwin, Sherman, Bennett, Wagner, the list goes on. They're part of the necessary collection of players it takes to win championships.
No coach wants 53 versions of vanilla on his roster. He needs flavors, and this team is like a Baskin Robbins.