One day after multiple players on his defense lost their cool at the close of a loss in Jacksonville, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expressed disappointment in how his players handled the defeat.
"I really don't like the way the game ended," Carroll told reporters Monday, adding, "The level that we play at, that's not an excuse for going over the top like that. All these guys have heard that and they understand that and we don't ever want to look like that."
Following two consecutive on-field brouhahas, Seahawks defensive linemen Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Jefferson were penalized, and Richardson and Jefferson were ejected. On his way to the locker room, Jefferson confronted a group of Jaguars fans after he was nearly hit with a projectile thrown from the stands. Jefferson attempted to climb into the stands and had to be restrained by Seahawks staff and nearby security and ushered into the locker room.
Jefferson explained, after the game, his reaction toward the fans, "I'm walking. I'm not talking to nobody. I'm walking out. Someone throws a beer. Then someone throws another drink. What would you do?"
"That was wrong," Carroll said of Jefferson's actions toward the fans. "He feels terrible about it."
When it came to Bennett's actions, Carroll said he understood why the fracas started. Bennett, the coach told reporters, was "trying to swipe the ball when it was getting snapped," which is "something he's tried before."
"We're always trying to figure out a way to find a way to win this thing and so there's still opportunities," Carroll said. "We don't want to take advantage of anybody in that regard. ... It's just to see if you can get the ball back. If the game is out of hand, you're within one score and there's some time on the clock and all that, there's a chance. So we have to think about if we can get it done. It should have been denying an attempt, but it didn't wind up like that."
Carroll added that Bennett has been told to stop attempting his victory formation swipe and that the defensive end is "remorseful" for tackling center Brandon Linder after the play and earning an unnecessary roughness penalty.
"The stuff that happened after that was wrong. [Bennett] was trying to get the ball," Carroll explained. "But after that, it got messy."
NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart said Monday the league is reviewing the incidents. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added that the league could discipline the players, but it is not expected to issue suspensions related to the incidents.