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Pete Carroll defends Darrell Bevell’s play-calling

By Brady Henderson

Russell Wilson’s goal-line interception was one of the lowlights of Seattle’s win over Tampa Bay, and it has intensified the complaints among some Seahawks fans regarding Darrell Bevell’s play-calling.

But the man whose opinion on the subject matters most – head coach Pete Carroll – defended his offensive coordinator when he joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Monday.

“I would challenge anybody that thinks they know better,” coach Pete Carroll said in defense of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, whose play-calling has been criticized. (AP)

“I thought Darrell called a great game yesterday. We ran the football the way we wanted to run it, we made the plays, we were terrific on third down, it was really well done,” Carroll said.

“Somebody doesn’t like the one call down in the red zone, it’s kind of like, too bad.”

The Seahawks trailed 24-17 midway through the fourth quarter when a long completion from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse gave them a first down at Tampa Bay’s 3-yard line. When Bevell opted for a play-action pass that was intercepted before it could reach Doug Baldwin in the end zone, it didn’t sit well with those who thought a run-first offense would be better suited giving the ball to one of the NFL’s most physical running backs instead.

That play-call continued a trend for the Seahawks and their offensive coordinator, who at various times over the previous two games chose not to hand off to Marshawn Lynch from inside the opponent’s 2-yard line.

Last week against St. Louis, Seattle threw to Golden Tate after a pair of read-option runs by Wilson. Against Arizona a week earlier, it was a throw to Kellen Davis after an overturned touchdown run by Lynch, who signaled his apparent displeasure over the ensuing passing play with a one-finger salute in the direction of Seattle’s sideline.

Even though both of those plays resulted in touchdowns, the repeated decisions to not call Lynch’s number near the goal line seems to be at the heart of the growing displeasure over Bevell’s play-calling.

“I would challenge anybody that thinks they know better,” Carroll said before noting that second-guessing from fans comes with the territory of being an offensive coordinator. “Anytime there is a bad play you can critique it, and that can happen any snap of the game.”

Sunday’s game was statistically one of the Seahawks’ better offensive performances of the season. Seattle scored 27 points, went 8 of 12 on third down and totaled 415 yards, 198 of which came on the ground against the league’s seventh-ranked run defense.

While the Seahawks’ offensive rankings through nine games aren’t spectacular – they’re fifth in rushing, 27th in passing and 13th overall – Carroll gave no indication that he feels Bevell’s play-calling is an issue.

“I think he’s doing a really good job at it,” Carroll said.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.