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Monday in Hawkville: Pete Carroll focused on protecting Russell Wilson better

Posted Oct 7, 2013

Russell Wilson has been on the run too often in passing situations the past two weeks as the Seahawks are playing without three injured starters on their line. Improving that situation is Priority One this week.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 7, which was “Tell the Truth Monday” as the players and coaches reviewed the video of Sunday’s 34-28 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis:

WORD OF THE DAY: PROTECTION

As in providing more and better protection for Russell Wilson in passing situations.

Reviewing the video of Sunday’s loss to the Colts in Indianapolis reinforced for coach Pete Carroll that the Seahawks’ inability to convert on third downs was the difference in the game, and that started with the offensive line’s problems with providing more time for the team’s second-year quarterback.

Neither conclusion should come as a surprise as the Seahawks have been playing without three injured starters on the line – All-Pro center Max Unger, Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Breno Giacomini; and they were joined Sunday by tight end Zach Miller.

YOU DON'T SAY

“The game never gets too big for him and when I watch him play he’s always calm back there. … He’s having fun playing the game and that’s all you ever want from a quarterback.”

Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk on Russell Wilson

The past two games, Wilson has been under duress too often and only his athleticism and feel for pressure has allowed him to make the most of a situation that Carroll wants to see improve.

“Both of the last two weeks, Russell has taken what they’re giving him,” Carroll said. “There have been a considerable amount of issues in protection that have let guys show up quickly in the pass rush, and he’s had to make a decision what to do with it.

“He knows. He knows what’s going on. He realizes that that’s happening. But he’s taken full advantage of it and he’s made it difficult on opponents. It’s not exactly the way we like to do it – how to pick them up and throw the football and let him take off at a later part of the rhythm of the play. But he’s been as resourceful as you can be and he’s been very effective.”

As impressive as Wilson’s scrambling has been, a direct result of his feel for not only the game but the situation, Carroll would like to see a return to something more normal.

“Russell is going to keep doing it until we settle it down in the pocket,” Carroll said. “I’m a little concerned about that, because he’s so resourceful. He is doing what we have to do right now. And in that regard, he’s done a really good job managing this.”

INJURY UPDATES: BOBBY WAGNER HAS SPRAINED ANKLE

STAT DU JOUR: ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END

Maybe it was seeing Matt Hasselbeck, now the Colts’ backup QB, in the hallway at Lucas Oil Stadium after Sunday’s game. Perhaps it was being a spoiled after the Seahawks had not lost a regular-season game since Week 12 last season. But the nine-game regular-season winning streak that was just snapped is the second longest in franchise history – two shy of the record set by the Hasselbeck-led Seahawks during their Super Bowl run in 2005:

Season(s)  Consecutive wins
2005 11
2012-13 9
1984 8
2002-03 6
1986 5
1997-98 5
1999 5
2003-04 5
2007 5

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner sprained an ankle in Sunday’s game and is in what Carroll called “a wait and see” situation this week. Wagner has 34 tackles, one behind All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas for the team lead.

Defensive lineman Michael Bennett and Jordan Hill bruised thighs in the game against the Colts. “Both those guys seem to be OK and should be ready to play this week,” Carroll said.

Carroll said he is counting on Unger practicing this week, but Miller’s status remains day-to-day.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: CARROLL CONVINCED JERON JOHNSON HAD CONTROL

The play where Jeron Johnson got his hands on the punt blocked by Jermaine Kearse as he was sliding out of the end zone against the Colts was reviewed, but the officials stood by the call that Johnson did not have control.

Carroll is just as steadfast in his opinion that the play should have been a touchdown, rather than a safety.

“It was hard for the officials to trust that he had control of the ball,” Carroll said. “He controlled the ball so quickly and so well, he jumped up and got it to his other hand. He knew he had the ball. It happened so fast that it was hard for the officials to rely on that. It looked like the ball juggled from one hand to the other. He went here and passed it to his left hand. He already had it.

“It was a great recovery is what it was. It was a very difficult call. And I totally understand that. But you can stop it (on video) and he’s sitting there and he’s inbounds, his whole body. You just have to trust he had the football, and they didn’t have to do that. I did. They didn’t.”

UP NEXT: PLAYERS’ “OFF” DAY

The players are “off” on Tuesday, when the coaches will be compiling the game plan for Sunday’s matchup with the Titans at CenturyLink Field – the Seahawks’ only home game in October.

Kicker Steven Hauschka will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.

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