In the absence of a lot of links, with the Seahawks off the past two days, I’ll pass along some items from coach Pete Carroll’s appearance this morning on 710 ESPN Seattle:
1, Carroll said the NFL told him that the penalties for illegal contact on Tharold Simon — which negated his 105-yard interception return — and Phillip Adams should not have been called. Conversely, he said Byron Maxwell should have been flagged on a third-down incompletion in the first half. And in general, he said the illegal contact emphasis remains a work in progress and that he thinks the NFL will continue to have conversations about the best way to go with that. He cited the number of penalties being called around the league in preseason games and says that’s not what the NFL wants. And he noted that the emphasis came from the NFL’s Competition Committee, which is made up of coaches, and that this isn’t something that should be blamed on officials, who are simply trying to enforce the emphasis sent to them from the committee.
2, Speaking of penalties, he said he was pleased that the starting units were flagged just once in the game.
3, Carroll said to expect the starters to play a while in Friday’s game against the Bears, which is the norm for a third preseason game. Expect the starters to play into the second half, in other words. He said again Tarvaris Jackson will be the second QB to play and that there may not be a lot of other snaps to go around at the QB spot. So in other words, there may not be many snaps for Terrelle Pryor in this game.
4, Speaking of the backup QB spot, he declined to say who has the lead and that it will go all the way through the final preseason game against Oakland.
5, Carroll said Russell Okung, Max Unger and Kam Chancellor are all scheduled to play against the Bears, assuming all goes well in practice this week.
6, Carroll said LBs Korey Toomer and Malcolm Smith will return to practice this week and Bruce Irvin may return next week. That will greatly increase the competition at the linebacker spot and make for some even tougher decisions for the 53-man roster.
7, Carroll said J.R. Sweezy played a great game against the Chargers and that James Carpenter also played well and said the guard position is “really flying” right now.
8, He said Earl Thomas will continue as a punt returner and reiterated that he’s not one bit concerned about Thomas getting injured. But he did say Thomas still needs to prove he can do the job and that there will be others who will continue to get a look at that spot. He praised the play of Bryan Walters in that role against the Chargers and said he will continue to get some looks there.
9, As for Thomas and potentially being injured, he noted that Thomas and Chancellor (and he could also have said Richard Sherman) are among the leading tacklers on special teams, making clear that the best players will play on special teams. He said he doesn’t live in worry of the bad that might happen with putting those players in those roles.
10, Finally, he said the Seahawks want to be “the best scrambling team” in the NFL and he likes the ability of the team’s QBs to run. But he said Russell Wilson is also instructed not to keep the ball if he’s going to get hit.