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Pete Carroll thinks Bruce Irvin suspension was a turning point

Pete Carroll

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll watches his team warm up at the start of NFL football practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Jeff Roberson

As much as the Seahawks have had to overcome a rash of player suspensions, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he thought one of them in particular helped put the team on the right path.

Bruce Irvin’s four-game suspension for PED use was just the first of the season, which has also included Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond being suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. And that’s for a team that was already leading the league in PED suspensions.

But Carroll said he thought Irvin’s suspension gave his team a jumping-off point for a conversation.

It set us in a new mode, in a new mentality,” Carroll said, via Todd Dybas of the Tacoma News Tribune. “I found that we were a very young team, with young minds, and guys that needed to formulate the plan, how it all fits together, and the best way we could do that is to gather the power that they represent us – everybody represents the Seahawks.

“In that process of talking through that, and working through that with the coaches and the players, we really came together with a really simple thought, that we’re ‘Seahawks 24-7.’ ”

That slogan has popped up on T-shirts many players wear to reinforce the message, and the team had meetings and seminars for players on the topic of suspensions.

But Carroll said he wasn’t worried about the team having a reputation for bad behavior.

“No, I’m really not concerned with that,” Carroll said. “I think anybody has an opportunity to say what they want to say about what’s happened in the past. I think we’re a young team that’s learning how to work with the guidelines and all of that.

“I think if you look back on the individuals that were involved in the PEDs and all of that kind of stuff, there’s a spread of guys from years ago and the numbers kind of add up. But I’m not concerned about where it’s going; I’m not concerned about the message. We would like to do right and get better, so we’re trying to improve and learn from everything that comes along.”

Changing that image will require having guys not get suspended, which the Seahawks haven’t been able to pull off yet.