By Brady Henderson
Pete Carroll often sounded like a broken record last season while lamenting the Seahawks’ propensity for penalties.
“We had a bunch of penalties again today and we were trying like crazy not to do that,” he said following a November win over St. Louis during which Seattle was flagged a season-high 13 times. “You don’t even want to know all the emphasis we’re throwing on it.”
The Seahawks committed 13 penalties in their loss to Arizona on Sunday. “We just made it harder on ourselves and you don’t need to do that,” coach Pete Carroll said. (AP)
It was understandably a goal to reduce those penalties this season after Seattle finished 2011 with a franchise-record 138. After the Seahawks showed some signs of progress in that department during the preseason, Sunday’s regular-season opener showed there is still a ways to go.
“I’m so disappointed. So disappointed,” Carroll told “Brock and Salk” on Monday. “We’ve worked so hard at that.”
The Seahawks were penalized 13 times for 90 yards in their loss to Arizona. There was variety to go along with volume: two for pass interference, three for holding, two for delay of game, three for false start and one apiece for offsides, intentional grounding and facemask. Two personal foul penalties called on Seattle weren’t assessed.
“When you have 13 there’s enough of everything,” Carroll said. “We didn’t get it done. But it’s an emphasis that will continue to be at the heart of what we’re doing because we just made it harder on ourselves and you don’t need to do that.”
Carroll mentioned one penalty that was particularly costly – the pass interference called on Richard Sherman during Arizona’s final scoring drive. A holding call left the Cardinals with a first-and-20 from Seattle’s 41, but Sherman’s penalty on the next play gave Arizona 9 of those yards back. The Cardinals scored the winning touchdown five plays later.
Aggressiveness defines Sherman’s game, but Carroll felt it wasn’t necessary on this play considering the down and distance and the route the receiver was running – a short curl that likely would have gained only a few yards if completed.
“We don’t need to do that,” Carroll said.
Sherman was called for both pass interference penalties, but he was hardly the only culprit (and he certainly helped Seattle’s cause with a stellar sideline interception). Russell Okung was flagged for false start three times. Chris Clemons jumped offsides, negating an interception.
“You look at each one of the calls and you try to evaluate,” Carroll said, “but when there’s 13 it’s too much, and that was a real mistake on our part.”