As noted in our Monday review of the Seahawks’ win over Denver, one of the few concerns was Seattle’s penalties — 15 were called and 12 accepted.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expressed the inevitable concern about that after the game, saying the team has to figure out a way to cut those down.
Today, he gave an interesting response to the issue when asked an open-ended question about what he saw in reviewing the film, of the game.
“We took a really in depth look and are continuing to work with the officials about the penalties just to understand what they are calling. There are some issues in the kicking game that we have found to be a little unclear. We’re not saying that they’re wrong, we’re just saying that we want to know why they are calling what they’re calling. There was some progress for figuring that out, but that was the biggest focus. We wanted to make sure that everyone understands what’s being called. We can’t get that legitimate look out on the practice field when we’re not finishing plays. The issues that we’ve had have come after the play, and you can’t really deal with that stuff in practice. It’s going to take us a few weeks to get rid of these kinds of things.”
His reference to practice and not finishing plays is that the Seahawks, like basically everyone in the NFL anymore, rarely have full-contract practices, featuring to-the-ground tackling. Generally, practices are run with the whistle blowing when initial contact is made, that sort of thing.
As Carroll said today, many of Seattle’s penalties are coming in that “finishing” phase that the team rarely practices.
But as noted, how Seattle practices is basically the same as everyone else, which wouldn’t explain why Seattle is getting penalized more than most teams — the Seahawks have 20 penalties through two exhibition games, second behind only the 23 of Buffalo (chart here).
But as we’ve also noted on here before, the correlation between penalties and wins and losses isn’t as direct as many might assume — Minnesota has been called for the fewest penalties in the NFL so far (four) and is 0-2.