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Carroll on Seahawks’ costly penalties: ‘We’ve got to get it out of our football’

The Seahawks could be without Kam Chancellor for Monday night’s showdown against the Atlanta Falcons, but head coach Pete Carroll is hoping Earl Thomas can make a return from a hamstring injury that cost the safety two games. Seattle’s mounting injuries (and their costly penalty count) were among a number of things Carroll addressed with Dori Monson during his weekly Friday appearance on 97.3 KIRO Radio.

“I can tell you that Earl is working hard to play, and he’s made it back,” Carroll told Monson.

“The other guys, we don’t know how that’s going to work out. Game time stuff for some of it, and it just depends. Everybody’s got their own situation now.”

Here are a few other notes:

The Seahawks currently sit atop the leage in penalties against (94), which puts them on pace to break the NFL record (163). Carroll on how the team hopes to cut down on flags: “There’s all kinds of ways that we’re working at it and have continued to work at it. It’s about fundamentals in one area, how you use your hands and how you allow yourself to stay within the guidelines. Sometimes it’s about focus and has to do with the line of scrimmage and cadence and stuff like that. Sometimes it has to do with decision making. There’s a lot of aspects to it that we’re working at. And I just can’t imagine that this will continue at this pace. It’s crucial for our success during the season because it can beat you in a game, which it did a couple weeks ago, and we’ve got to get it out of our football.”

On running back Thomas Rawls’ work to return to his best form (he has just 125 yards on the season): “He’s been through a lot. He’s been through a tremendous amount of adversity with his injuries and all; and coming back and getting right, we just haven’t found the rhythm for him yet to get him back on (an earlier) track that he has been on. And he’s working hard, he’s practicing hard, but in the games the opportunities haven’t allowed him to get going. I think his last really big game he had was against Detroit in the playoffs last year… but we haven’t got him back on track and it’s been unfortunate, and we’re hoping we can get that done. Eddie (Lacy) should come back this week, which is important to us, and Mike Davis will be available to us as well. So it continues to be a competitive situation we’re hoping to improve in.”

On working to contain Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones: “He’s a great player, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing on you’re side, he’s a great player anyway. He’s caught almost 50 balls this year, so he’s off to another good year. We’ve just got to see if we can keep him under wraps. He’s going to catch footballs, we just got to not let him control the game.”

On keeping players focused and motivated when core Seahawks are injured, as was the case in Week 10: “I think credit should go to the players, in particular the guys that got banged up. When Jarran Reed goes down early in that game and he’s out, he goes right to Naz Jones and he’s working him and pumping him up and getting him going. When (Richard Sherman) Sherm got banged up, he went right there to those young guys and was right there on the sidelines, hobbling around, but coaching them up and keeping them focused and not letting them go to any other kind of focus. I thought they were really impressive and showed character, and courage… and all the good stuff that they’ve represented over the years. In particular, I thought Sherm was incredible and really credit him with that.”