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Penalties continue to pile up for Seahawks

By Brady Henderson

Pete Carroll railed against an official’s decision to flag Kam Chancellor for an illegal hit and didn’t seem convinced that Russell Okung did anything to justify being called for unnecessary roughness.

The Seahawks coach didn’t have much of an answer for the rest of Seattle’s penalties.

“We had a bunch of penalties again today and we were trying like crazy not to do that,” Carroll told reporters after the Seahawks’ 24-7 win over the Rams. “You don’t even want to know all the emphasis were throwing on it. It didn’t work out today.”

The Seahawks, having entered Sunday’s game as the second-most penalized team in the league, committed 13 penalties for 100 yards, matching the season-highs they set last week in a win over the Ravens.

Six of the 13 penalties were false starts, generally considered among the least tolerable infractions. Seattle’s offensive line was responsible for seven penalties. Paul McQuistan, starting at right guard due to John Moffitt’s season-ending knee injury, had three false starts and a hold. Left guard Robert Gallery was called for holding and a false start.

Okung’s penalty came at the end of a second-quarter play when he shoved a Rams defender who was closing in on a pile.

“They said it was a hat-to-hat hit and it was after the play was over,” Carroll said, “which it didn’t seem like that to me.”

Carroll was much more vehement in his disagreement with Chancellor’s illegal contact penalty, the result of Chancellor leveling Lance Kendricks when the Rams tight end went low for a pass over the middle. Chancellor was flagged and fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin last week.

“What are these guys supposed to do? I don’t think — now you guys saw it better than I did; I didn’t see the replays — but I thought Kam tried to get his head out of that hit,” Carroll said of Sunday’s play. “It (Chancellor’s helmet) didn’t seem like it was in it. He knew what happened last week. He got fined a lot of money for that hit last week and he was trying to do it right and he’s trying to be a great competitor, too. I don’t know.”

Carroll indicated that he understand the intention of the NFL’s crackdown on such hits, but said it’s gone to far.

“I don’t know where this goes. We’ll just have to sit back and talk about it in the offseason and hopefully we’ll make some decisions (about) how we can make sense of this to the players,” he said. “They almost have to take their helmets off. You almost have to play with no helmets.

“… I don’t know what to tell these guys. We’re trying. Really, we want to do it right. We’re not trying to cross the line or even get close to the line. We’re trying to do it right and we don’t know what to tell them right now. It’s a problem.”