Saturday in Hawkville: Pete Carroll sees no pratfalls in potential distractions

Posted Nov 30, 2013

The Seahawks will enter Monday night’s big matchup against the Saints with their third option at right cornerback. But coach Pete Carroll is not allowing that to detract from the task at hand.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 30, when the Seahawks held their final full practice before Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field:


The Seahawks have had to deal with more this week than just preparing for the 9-2 Saints. And we’re not talking about Monday night’s game following the team’s bye week or the fact that Thanksgiving fell during the week.

Cornerback Walter Thurmond was suspended for four games by the NFL on Wednesday, and the Seahawks already were playing without the starter Thurmond was replacing – Brandon Browner, who’s out indefinitely with a groin injury.

“When you work as hard as we did in the offseason to get our mentality together and everybody get committed to how we’re going to do this – on and off the field, as far as our commitment – when somebody slips, you go through a range of emotions,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice. “But really what came out was compassion. Guys really, really felt bad that our guys weren’t able to hang with us. And so when you get down to it, we’re concerned for them because they don’t get to enjoy what they’ve been working on and working to be part of.


"Their secondary is full of a bunch of ballhawks. They are guys that are around the ball all the time. Balls are getting tipped up; they have great ball skills, great awareness. That's what their defense thrives on."

- Saints QB Drew Brees

“That’s the first thought, because there was a big commitment in this offseason for our guys to be together and we’re very, very tight. So it was a disappointment they’re not with us.”

Then there’s the football side of what could potentially be a distraction in a week where everyone’s focus needs to be on everything the Saints will present on Monday night.

“We’ve had guys all year long that have had injuries and they come and they go,” Carroll said. “And our players step up and answer the call.”

That’s a list that now includes Byron Maxwell, who will start at right cornerback; and Jeremy Lane, who steps in as the nickel back. But it’s a list that already included rookie Michael Bowie, who started seven games at right tackle while Breno Giacomini was out with a knee injury; James Carpenter, who started eight games at left guard because Paul McQuistan moved to left tackle to replace Russell Okung while he was out with a toe injury; Lemuel Jeanpierre, who has started three games at center for Max Unger; rookie Luke Willson, who started two games for Zach Miller at tight end; Doug Baldwin, who is starting at flanker because Sidney Rice is out with a season-ending knee injury; O’Brien Schofield, who started at Leo end and linebacker because Chris Clemons was completing his rehab from knee surgery and Bruce Irvin was suspended for the first four games; and K.J. Wright, who moved to middle linebacker for two games when Bobby Wagner was out with a sprained ankle.

“It’s not something that we drag with us at all,” Carroll said of not only continuing to play but play well with starters out for whatever reason. “We feel bad for the guys that they’re not with us. But then the other side of it is, it’s football. And it’s like these guys are injured. So the next guys step up and here come the guys that are going to answer the call. And those are the guys we’re focusing on.

“So I think we’ve handled it really well. Again, we’re disappointed in our guys because we’d like to have them with us. But we’re moving on and we’ll carry on like we have earlier in the year.”



The Seahawks have outscored opponents 174-58 in winning their past eight games on “Monday Night Football.” They’re also 13-5 at home on Monday night and have the best winning percentage in the history of the NFL’s showcase event:

Team W-L Pct.
Seahawks 19-8 .704
49ers 44-25 .638
Panthers 7-4 .636
Steelers 40-24 .625
Colts 21-13 .619

Note: This will be the Seahawks’ fourth primetime game this season, as they beat the 49ers 29-3 in their home opener on Sunday night; the Cardinals in Arizona 34-22 on Thursday night; and the Rams in St. Louis 14-9 on Monday night.

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:


CB Brandon Browner (groin)


WR Percy Harvin (hip)


WR Jermaine Kearse (concussion)
RB Marshawn Lynch (knee)

Harvin still has soreness in his surgically repaired hip, Carroll said, after playing in the pre-bye week game against the Vikings on Nov. 17. He did not practice today and, Carroll said, “Percy is looking like he might not make it” for this game.

For the Saints:


LB Keyunta Dawson (calf)
DE Glenn Foster (knee)


CB Chris Carr (hip/hamstring)
RB Darren Sproles (ankle)
OG Jahri Evans (ankle)

Dawson did not practice Saturday, when he was added to the report. Foster also did not practice.


The walkthrough that usually is held on Saturday moves to Sunday this week because of the Monday night game.

The Seahawks are holding their annual Toys for Tots drive at Monday night’s game, so fans are asked to donate new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children in the Puget Sound area for Christmas.