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Seahawks notebook: Carroll explains decision to waive Marshall, talks challenge of the Chargers

Pete Carroll noted the challenges of the L.A.'s WRs during Wednesday's press conference. (AP)

The Seahawks (4-3) are getting just their third home game of the season this Sunday, when they’ll host the Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) for Week 9 contest at CenturyLink Field.

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Head coach Pete Carroll previewed the matchup during his Wednesday press conference, highlighting the challenges posed by the Chargers’ offense. Carroll also commented on Seattle’s most recent roster move. Here are a few takeaways:

Carroll explains decision to release Brandon Marshall

Carroll said the team’s decision Tuesday to release wide receiver Brandon Marshall stemmed from a lack of opportunities – he had just two offensive snaps against the Lions, and was seeing fewer targets with the emergence of David Moore – and a need on special teams, where Marshall doesn’t play.

“He was a great pro for us,” Carroll said. “He helped guys on both sides of the football with all his experience.”

One player who benefited from Marshall’s tutelage is rookie cornerback Tre Flowers, who talked to Danny, Dave and Moore about the work he and Marshall have done together.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that the six-time Pro Bowler intends to remain in the league. Carroll said the release of Marshall wasn’t due to a drop in ability, and indicated the team will be interested in re-signing him if a need arises.

“He’s in terrific shape for this stage of his career and he can still play,” Carroll said. “It just happened that we looked at the roster, we looked at the way we were running the football, we needed a little bit more help across the board with (special) teams and some stuff that would help us in general. There’s just not enough throws to get to him, but he can play. In the event something came down where we had the chance, we’d love to have him back. But we just had to do something right now, and it’s unfortunate.”

In a corresponding move, the team promoted wide receiver Malik Turner to the 53-man roster.

Special teams is an area in which Carroll would like to see his team improve, particularly in kickoff coverage.

“We’re not nearly as effective as we need to be,” Carroll said. “Kicks have been a little bit inconsistent for [Sebastian Janikowski] and it’s led us into some of that, but we have to be better. It’s been a point of emphasis for us; we’re not satisfied. Punt coverage has been excellent, it’s the kickoff coverage that isn’t as good as we want it right now.”

‘They’re really big, and they play big’

Carroll fielded a few questions about Seattle’s upcoming opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers, and noted the challenge presented by their wide receiver group in particular.

“They’re really good,” Carroll said. “They’re really big, they play big, and they play down the field.”

The group is headed by Keenan Allen, who has 506 yards and a touchdown this season. He’s followed by 6-feet-4 deep threat Tyrell Williams, who is second in the league in yards per reception (21.4) and has four touchdowns (including the 45-yard reception in the video below). Then comes 6-4 second-year pro Mike Williams, who also has four touchdowns. Also mixed in are tight end Antonio Gates (123 yards, one touchdown) and running back Melvin Gordon (745 combined rush/receiving yards, nine touchdowns).

“Everybody can catch really well, they’ve all got kind of style to themselves that’s unique, and (quarterback Philip Rivers) uses the heck out of them,” Carroll said. “So the ball’s all over the place.”

As for Rivers, the 15-year veteran has 2,008 yards and 17 touchdowns to his three interceptions. He’s connecting on 69.1 percent of his pass attempts, which is just shy of his career high completion percentage of 69.5 set in 2013.

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