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Pete Carroll previews Seahawks’ Week 16 game against Cowboys

Dec 22, 2017, 10:36 AM | Updated: 11:29 am
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The Seahawks led the NFL in penalties. Pete Carroll is taking it upon himself to fix the issue. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks will have linebacker K.J. Wright back for their Week 16 game against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 24, Pete Carroll told host Dori Monson during his weekly appearance on 97.3 KIRO Radio Friday.

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Wright was sidelined last week with a concussion, but returned to practice Wednesday. Linebacker Bobby Wagner, who missed all of practice last week before playing through a hamstring injury Sunday, was able to practice in a limited fashion this week. Carroll expects both linebackers to return to the field Sunday.

“Bobby’s more limited in practice than K.J. K.J.’s full go, Bobby’s been doing half the work, which is way more ahead of what it was last week, so he’ll be prepared to play and we’re looking forward to that,” Carroll said. “We really missed them last week and missed their leadership during the week. So it’s great to have them back on the field. You can just feel the presence; it’s really important to our team.”

The Seahawks gave up 244 yards to Todd Gurley and the Rams last week – their most yards surrendered to the run since 2010. This week, Seattle faces a Cowboys squad led by tailback Ezekiel Elliott, playing with fresh legs in his first game back from a suspension.

“I’m not counting on that rustiness a whole lot,” Carroll said of Elliott. “He’s a running back and I think he can pretty much react and do the things he needs to do. I would expect him to be really able… I would expect him to be really on it, and he’s going to be a big factor. We need to stop him.”

Here are a few more notes:

On the nearly $1 million raised by the team’s Players Action Fund: “This is a really good proactive statement about not just talking about it, but doing it and being about it. And the guys have come through in big fashion and anything that we can do to help is worth it. And also the example they get to set by going active and doing something and making an effort, I’m really proud of these guys.”

Message to the team right now, on the outside of the sixth Wild Card spot: “Really, it’s just this game. There’s other games that have to be played, other teams gotta win to and they gotta do their stuff. There’s a tough game coming up for the Rams going to Tennessee, they gotta go win that game. And we win this game, they lose that game, and we’re playing for the division in the last week. Everything is still there. If we would’ve won last week, we’d have to win this week; it doesn’t matter really in that regard. You’ve just got to get over the experience of it and get onward and make sure you put your best foot forward as you go ahead for the next challenge.”

Why he avoids blaming performances on injuries: “I’m not trying to alleviate the pressure. I don’t go that way. We just have to deal with it and keep moving forward. And when you start that when do you stop that? I just don’t think it’s the right way to go, because you always have a chance no matter what, and you can always put together great performances no matter what, and that’s really what we’re shooting for. Discarding the fact of who was available and who wasn’t, we still have a chance to do all kinds of great stuff.”

Managing social media interactions, and lessons about social media: “The social media and just the explosion of it… has been a tremendous challenge. It’s challenged us in so many ways, not just in sports but in the political world, and our personal lives. People have had to learn how to deal with it and understand what the impact is… Obviously it’s a tremendous tool for expression and communication, but also it’s a hazardous way to go and it’s loaded with all kinds of pitfalls and issues if you don’t do it well. It does give way for guys to go a way that they would rather not have gone.”

On what he’s learned this season: “I would think I’ll have a better perspective on that when we’re done… but it has been challenging in that we have had to see some really extraordinary players and people on our team have to step away. That’s probably what has been most obvious. There’s always been injuries in every season, but rarely do guys have the stature of Kam and Sherm and Cliff. Those guys have just been stellar players in this program. That’s been a little bit unique in that regard. That hasn’t hit us like that before. We love those guys so much and they’ve been so good to us, and it’s been heartbreaking to see them outside of it. Even a guy like DeShawn Shead, who has been such a heart and soul player, have to sit on the side of it all year long and try to pick his way back here on the end. It’s hard to see these guys miss this part of their life because there aren’t very many years for these guys; it’s a limited, quick run they have, and they all want to maximize it and get as much of it as they can while they can. I think that’s probably been the factor I can feel right now.”

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