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Breno Giacomini: ‘I’m just trying to play smarter’


By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks would prefer that Breno Giacomini eliminate the personal-foul issue that has plagued him the last two seasons without losing the edge that defines him as a right tackle.

So far so good.

Seattle’s Breno Giacomini committed four personal-foul penalties in 2012. (AP)

While Giacomini was twice flagged for holding on Sunday, through two games his relentlessly physical play has actually led to a pair of opponents committing personal-foul penalties.

“I’m just trying to play smarter this year, stay away from the stupid penalties,” Giacomini told “The Huddle” on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday. “Holding and all that, that’s going to happen, but those personal fouls really cost us last year. So I got two out of four back so far; hopefully I can double that.”

Four of the 12 penalties assessed against Giacomini last year were personal fouls, two of them coming in an early-season loss to St. Louis. Both of those penalties – which coach Pete Carroll said afterward were “big factors in the game” – were the result of late hits, Giacomini throwing blocks either as the whistle was being blown or just after.

It’s a fine line between aggressive play and that which results in a costly penalty. And while Giacomini appears to have found the proper balance, Carroll emphasized that it’s still a work in progress.

“He’s been on both sides of the line, and he’s been on one side a lot more than he’s been on the side he is presently operating at,” Carroll told reporters Wednesday. “He’s working really hard, he doesn’t want to be the error repeater and the guy that continues to be an issue for us, so he’s learning. It’s just time and experience and the ability to be poised and make good decisions in the face of somebody slugging you right in the mouth.”

That’s happened twice this season, first in Week 1 when Giacomini took a left hand to the facemask from Carolina’s Frank Alexander. It happened again Sunday night when San Francisco’s Aldon Smith did the same thing – albeit much more subtly. Seattle had come up short on third down, but the penalty on Smith extended a drive that resulted in another Seahawks touchdown.

“He’s going to make guys mad, he’s going to get after them, he’s going to be physical and persistent and he’s going to bother people,” Carroll said of Giacomini. “That brings that out in some guys sometimes. It used to bring it out in him. Hopefully we’re beyond that. We’ll see. We’re going to take this one game at a time with Breno.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.