Raiders coach Art Shell has finished his press conference with Bay Area reporters. According to Shell, Raiders DE Tyler Brayton kneed Seattle TE Jerramy Stevens in the groin only after a Seattle player (presumably Stevens) tried to do the same thing to Brayton. I’ve heard several readers say they saw Stevens make such an attempt. I have rewatched the ESPN version of the sequence. It appeared to be inconclusive on this topic. Brayton, of course, was ejected on the spot. See Shell’s comments below. ALSO: Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren disputes the Raiders’ version of events.
SHELL: “I talked with the league office this morning and I gave our side of it, what occurred, why it occurred. Tyler was reacting to someone trying to kick him in the groin area. So there was a reaction to that. Sometimes when there’s pushing and shoving you might not react. But when that happens, guys will react and he did. There will be something. What it is I don’t know. Could be a fine. Hopefully that’s all it will be. Then we’ll go from there. They didn’t say exactly what it was going to be.”
SHELL on whether it will help Brayton’s case if the Seattle player (presumably Stevens) acted first: “Sure it will, because when you see the tape it shows that he got kicked first and he reacted. There is some culpability on the part of the other individual.”
Should the Seattle player be punished as well? SHELL: “Sure it should. It should because he initiated it and Tyler reacted. You tell your guys not to react to things like that but in that situation you understand.”
Did the Raiders lose their composure? “That’s unfair. It’s not losing your composure. Tyler has great character. That’s uncharacteristic of him. He doesn’t do that. If you look at his track record in the league office in terms of being fined for things I think he’s only been fined once which was for grabbing a face mask which is normal when you’re trying to tackle somebody. That’s uncharacteristic for him and that goes a long ways when you look at the track records.”
Shell said he learned about what happened on the field from Brayton’s teammates (Brayton had been ejected). SHELL: “I didn’t talk to Tyler. Tyler went straight to the locker room. When the players came to the sideline, they explained to me what happened. They said this guy has a tendency to run off at the mouth and pushing and shoving and all of a sudden he lets go with a kick. You just can’t do that. That’s not football.”
We’ll hear from Mike Holmgren on this shortly.