Chris Spencer has a beef with Pete Carroll
By Sean Jensen firstname.lastname@example.org December 16, 2011 9:32PM
Bears offensive lineman Chris Spencer says Seahawks coach Pete Carroll never explained to him why his services were no longer needed in Seattle. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: January 18, 2012 8:12AM
Chris Spencer has been in the NFL long enough to know new coaches make changes.
But when the Seattle Seahawks hired Pete Carroll, Spencer just wanted an opportunity or — at least — an explanation.
“My thing is, you’re going one way, but which way are you going?’’ Spencer said. ‘‘I’m cool. Just let me know. That’s all I ever asked for. If you’re going this way, that’s fine with me. That’s not going to hurt my feelings. I know how it is. If I don’t fit what you’re looking for, that’s fine. But just let me know what that is.”
After six seasons with the Seahawks in which he started 70 games, Spencer wasn’t even extended a minimum-salary contract offer by the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft.
Instead, he signed a two-year contract with the Bears and has started 11 of 12 games this season.
Now he’ll get a chance to face his old team.
“It’s another game,’’ Spencer said, ‘‘but obviously I’m excited to play them because I was there six years. But the city of Seattle was good to me, the fans were good to me, so I have no ill will toward Seattle. Just unfortunate that I didn’t get an explanation.”
During a teleconference Wednesday, Carroll downplayed the decision.
“We knew we were going to make a commitment to go young up front, as we exemplified in the draft,’’ Carroll said. ‘‘So we just had to make those choices. Big decision to be made as you transition into a new club.
‘‘Chris is a great guy. We liked him, and he played well for us and all that, but we felt like we needed to move on and go younger and go with new guys, which we’ve shown you that we’ve done.”
Spencer, 29, almost exclusively played center with the Seahawks. But he has started at left guard with the Bears.
“He’s surprised me,” Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice said. “I totally thought he was a different style of player than what we got.
“He’s fit in extremely well.”
Tice also added that Spencer is “tougher than I thought,” noting that he played through a hand injury.
“Thank God we got him because if we didn’t, we’d have been on the street trying to find a veteran,” Tice said.