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July 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Countdown to Training Camp: 15 Questions in 15 Days — Can the Seahawks cut down in penalties in 2013?

okung

Penalties and success in football don’t necessarily correlate.

Consider that Baltimore, which won the Super Bowl last season, ranked third in the NFL in penalties committed last season and first in penalty yards. There’s often an argument that aggressive play leads to some penalties, especially on defense, and that you don’t want to completely curb that sort of aggression.

Still, in general, fewer penalties are better than more.

And as the Seahawks enter the 2013 season they will undoubtedly be looking for ways to cut down on the flags they incurred a year ago when they finished seventh in the league in penalties at 6.67 per game.

The problems were most severe on the offensive side as the Seahawks were called for 71 penalties on offense (full stats here), tied with St. Louis for most in the NFL (by comparison, the Seattle defense was called for 49 (15th in the NFL).

The most egregious offenders on offense were tackles Russell Okung (above in an AP photo) and Breno Giacomini, who were called for 13 and 12 penalties in 2012.

It’s not a surprise that linemen would get the most penalties, as holding and false start are typically the most-called penalties in thee NFL.

As this breakdown shows, Okung’s penalty total tied him for second-most in the league in 2012 while Giacomini was tied for fifth.

Okung’s total, as the linked chart also shows, consisted of eight false starts (tied for most in the NFL) and five holdings, while Giacomini was flagged for four holdings, four false starts, two unnecessary roughesses and two personal fouls.

Holdings happen, and it’s such a subjective call, as well, that there’s little way to completely eliminate it (especially for tackles playing outside against quick ends/LBs).

But all of the others incurred by those two players in 2012 fall more in the preventable category, and for the Seahawks to achieve their high expectations this season, they need cut down on the unforced errors.

As the linked chart shows, the next most-penalized Seattle player last season was cornerback Brandon Browner with 10.

Previous 15 Questions in 15 Days:

July 19: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 Questions in 15 Days — Who will lead the Seahawks in receiving?

July 18: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 Questions in 15 Days — Just how good is Earl Thomas, anyway?

July 17: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — How many carries will Percy Harvin get this season?

July 16: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — Will the schedule get in the way of the Seahawks’ great expectations?

July 15: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — How many yards will Russell Wilson pass for?

July 14: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — How much will Antoine Winfield play?

July 13: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — Who starts at right guard?

July 12: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — Will the Seahawks have enough depth at tight end?

July 11: Countdown to Training Camp: 15 questions in 15 days — Who will win the backup quarterback job?

July 10: Countdown to camp — 15 days, 15 questions: So what is Bruce Irvin’s position, anyway?

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