Tempers flare as Seahawks rumble in minicamp

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks' Wednesday minicamp practice carried a playoff intensity, and it erupted into a fight between wide receiver Phillip Bates and cornerback Richard Sherman.

The fracas came after some receivers took exception to a play in which safety Earl Thomas went to the ground with receiver Bryan Walters on a crossing pattern near the sideline. Walters hurt his shoulder on the play.

On the next play, Bates and Sherman locked up and began tussling, and then Bates threw a punch that started a fight. Dozens of teammates joined the pile, and the fight broke up. Still, there was enough lingering tension and jawing that coach Pete Carroll gathered the team at midfield for a quick talk to settle things down.

Coaches and players later characterized the scuffle as indicative of the Seahawks' competitiveness, but also a football thing that would be quickly forgotten.

"Really they are such a tight group of guys that they don't want to give an inch sometimes, both offensively and defensively," defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "Most good teams are close and tight where they can practice like that. They were just having fun."

Also having fun was rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson, who was limited through much of the organized team activities due to a sore shoulder. He is healthy now, and he was a standout in each of the first two minicamp practices.

Richardson caught a 57-yard touchdown from quarterback Russell Wilson to highlight the offensive effort Wednesday. Richardson said he feels fine now.

"It wasn't a setback at all," he said of his time on the sideline. "I was able to see the game from a different perspective, got a lot of mental reps, and it prepared me to be ready for mandatory minicamp."

Elsewhere, James Carpenter grabbed a solid hold of the starting left guard spot after splitting time there last season with Paul McQuistan, who since signed with the Cleveland Browns.

Carpenter, the Seahawks' first-round pick in 2011, said a running program helped him lose about 15 pounds to get down to 327 and that he feels as good as he has at this point in a year in quite a while. This is regarded as a make-or-break year for Carpenter after the team declined to pick up his 2015 option that could have paid him more than $7 million.

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