By Brady Henderson
Monday morning offered a different, greater sense of frustration for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
Speaking with “Brock and Salk” a day after Seattle’s 23-17 loss to the Redskins, Carroll was perturbed by the officiating and his team’s own mistakes.
“Way more so even now after watching the film and getting a chance to see what happened,” Carroll said of his frustration. “We walk out of there thinking that our guys lost their cool and all that at the end of the game, and that’s not what happened. We played aggressive and tough and knocked the crud out of them and we had some things, some calls that went against us that unfortunately — I’m the last one to make excuses. I’m not doing that. I’m just telling you what happened.”
Carroll qualified that by noting that Washington’s two fourth-quarter touchdowns both came on third down. He called the 50-yard touchdown pass the Seahawks allowed on a third-and-19 play an “inexcusable miss” and later lamented some costly drops by Seahawks receivers, including one that would have resulted in a touchdown.
“But the rest of it, our guys were playing their tails off,” he said. “We got some aggressive penalties called on us that were just so aggressive.”
The Seahawks were penalized nine times and had four more declined. Here’s a closer look at some calls/no-calls that Carroll took issue with.
• Linebacker K.J. Wright drew a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty for a hit on Washington’s Rex Grossman in the third quarter. Replays showed that the hit was not late and that Wright’s hands made no contact with Grossman’s helmet.
Carroll: “He did everything to hold off on hitting the quarterback.”
• After Washington took a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter, wide receiver Doug Baldwin got behind Redskins safety LaRon Landry in Washington territory, deep down the middle of the field. A completion could have resulted in a go-ahead touchdown or put Seattle in good position to score. Instead, the pass fell incomplete after a decent amount of contact.
Carroll acknowledged that the official’s decision on whether or not to call pass interference was not an easy one, both because of the speed of that play in particular and the subjective nature of the penalty in general. But he said he thought a flag should have been thrown.
Carroll: “That’s a play where that’s a great throw, he’s going to catch the football [but] he gets hit in the chin, in the facemask, and that’s unfortunate.”
• Cornerback Brandon Browner was flagged for unnecessary roughness while blocking on a fourth-quarter punt return. That 15-yard penalty pushed the Seahawks back to their own 18. Four plays later, Tarvaris Jackson was sacked on fourth down.
Carroll: “I don’t know how they do this to Brandon Browner. He knocks the guy out of bounds. His feet are in bounds legally. He knocked him out of bounds so hard they threw a 15-yard penalty on him. That’s a 10-yard penalty for an illegal block when you’re out of bounds. I can’t tell you what the [official] was thinking. They called unnecessary roughness. He necessarily roughed that dude up and threw him into the darn turnbuckle, and they called a penalty. He did it exactly the way you’re supposed to.”
After the game, Carroll said he would consider making changes to the depth chart in an attempt to curb the Seahawks’ season-long penalty problem. After watching the film, he seemed less concerned about some of Sunday’s penalties, noting the difference between those caused by aggressive play (like Wright’s) and those caused by a lack of discipline (like Golden Tate’s for excessive celebration).
Without mentioning right tackle Breno Giacomini by name, Carroll mentioned the 15-yard penalty he received for leveling an opponent who was standing by a pile.
“I like the way they’re playing and I’m going to encourage them to keep playing tough and physical,” Carroll said. “There’s a bad penalty in there — we hit a guy in the back one time near a pile. A guy’s giving great effort and he makes a poor decision. We can learn from those and get better at those.
“The one’s when you’re playing football the way you’re supposed to play, with the right conscience and all, that’s good football. And unfortunately, we got calls that went against us.”