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Monday in Hawkville: Enough with the penalties, says Pete Carroll

Posted Aug 26, 2013

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 26, when the Seahawks began preparing for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 26, when the Seahawks began preparing for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: PENALTIES

It’s not just the word for today, it’s been the word on game day this preseason as the Seahawks have been flagged 34 times for 354 yards during the preseason – both league-high totals – including 14 for 182 wrong-way yards in Friday night’s victory over the Packers in Green Bay.

The next-highest totals are 30 penalties (by the Buffalo Bills) and 267 yards (by the Washington Redskins), and the league averages are 21 penalties for 188 yards.

Pete Carroll is not happy about the situation, which also included eight penalties for 65 yards in the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego and 12 for 107 yards in the home opener against the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field.

But the Seahawks’ fourth-year coach also is shouldering some of the blame.

“It’s still a problem,” Carroll said after practice. “We’re trying too hard and we’re hitting too late and we’re trying to throw guys to the ground to finish blocks. We’re over-trying. I love the attitude about it, in a sense, but we’ve got to get smarter.

“We can’t do anything but continue to emphasis the heck out of it. After a while, if guys keep making mistakes you’ve got to put other guys in the game.”

As for Carroll’s part, he offered, “I know a good deal of it is my fault, because of the way that I’m calling on them (to stress) how hard to play, and how much I want them to emphasis finishing, and being physical and attitude and all that. I need to make some good choices myself in directing this.”

INJURY REPORT: BRANDON MEBANE INJURES GROIN IN PRACTICE

The team’s starting nose tackle was injured during the next-to-last period in practice. “We’ll just see what that means,” Carroll said.

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Nickel back Antoine Winfield, guard James Carpenter and wide receiver Bryan Walters returned to practice after missing time last week.

Not practicing: fullback Michael Robinson, who was at least on the field watching after missing last week because he was “really sick,” as Carroll put it; wide receiver Sidney Rice (knee); defensive tackle Jordan Hill (bicep); wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip); defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring); safety Jeron Johnson (family situation); and the four players who have yet to pass their physicals – defensive end Chris Clemons (knee), defensive lineman Greg Scruggs (knee), linebacker Kory Toomer (knee) and cornerback Tharold Simon (foot).

ROSTER CUTS: EIGHT PLAYERS GONE

The 90-man rosters around the league must be trimmed to 75 players by Tuesday and the Seahawks got a jump on the deadline by terminating the contract of wide receiver Brett Swain, placing rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams on injured reserve (see below) and releasing seven others – linebackers Kyle Knox and Craig Wilkins, wide receiver Perez Ashford, tight ends Jameson Konz and Andrei Lintz, defensive tackle Martin Parker and snapper Kyle Nelson.

Cutting players is not why Carroll got into the business of coaching players.

“The roster cuts are a big deal to us because these guys have worked so hard for us and we love what they’ve offered the team,” he said. “This is a very difficult roster to break down now. These guys have been with us, we know them, we care for them. They’re good enough to play and a lot of these guys are going to make it on other teams.”

ROOKIE WATCH: JESSE WILLIAMS

The Seahawks had plans for the Australian-born lineman when they selected him in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft. In fact, he started the preseason opener at the three-technique tackle spot and also has the size (6 feet 3, 325 pounds) to spell Red Bryant as the five-technique end.

But a troublesome knee started bothering Williams during the second preseason game and he did not play against the Packers.

“The knee just wasn’t responding well enough and it’s going to take a long time to give him the consideration to get him right,” Carroll said. “This was the right thing to do for Jesse. He did everything we asked of him and looked good when he had his chances. But his knee wasn’t holding up. So we’ve just got to give him a big break.” 

STATS ’N STUFF: CHRISTINE MICHAEL, STEPHEN WILLIAMS LEADING THE NFL

The Seahawks have the leading rusher and leader in total yards (Michael), leader in receiving yards (Williams) and two players who are tied for the scoring lead among non-kickers (Jermaine Kearse and Williams) entering the final week of the NFL’s preseason.

Michael, who was selected in the second round of April’s NFL Draft, has played in only two of the team’s three preseason games. But he has run for 186 yards – 97 against the Packers in Green Bay on Friday night and 89 in the opener against the Chargers in San Diego. Michael also has 25 receiving yards for a league-best 211 total yards from scrimmage.

Williams also has 186 yards, on six receptions for a 31-yard average. The 6-5 Williams also has three touchdown catches, while Kearse’s scores have come on a 107-yard kickoff return and two TD receptions.

Other Seahawks who rank among the Top 10: Brady Quinn is No. 9 in passer rating (111.0), as well as No. 5 in fourth-quarter passer rating (131.6); Tarvaris Jackson is No. 3 in fourth-quarter passer rating (149.3);  Jon Ryan is No. 5 in punting average (50.7); and rookie Benson Mayowa is tied for No. 8 in sacks (2.5).

As a team, the Seahawks rank No. 2 in total defense (allowing an average of 240.7 yards) and No. 8 in total offense (354.0). They’re also tied for No. 2 in turnover differential (plus-6).

UP NEXT

The players will hold their final practice on Tuesday before Thursday night’s preseason finale. They will have a walkthrough on Wednesday.

After Thursday night’s game, the players will be off Friday, Saturday and Sunday while the club makes its roster cuts to 53 players by Saturday and starts compiling its eight-man practice squad on Sunday.

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