Carroll: Thomas going through growing pains

Dec 13, 2010, 11:41 AM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:52 pm

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As he does every Monday during the season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joined Brock and Salk to break down Sunday’s game – this time a 40-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The first question for Carroll was a simple one: What happened?

Carroll: “It had nothing to do with effort. This was a game where we made errors that they were able to capitalize on. They didn’t really have to do very much. We made it easy on them. When you turn the ball over as many times and you give them a couple really big blowout plays that change field position… it’s too easy for them. They didn’t have to do a thing.”

On the poor tackling that has been an issue for several weeks:

“Well we missed tackles in the open field on the touchdown play down in close (to Josh Morgan in the second quarter). Roy (Lewis) had a chance and (Marcus Trufant) had a chance. The guy should get knocked down there. We got a little off course and didn’t make the hits that we should. We bounced off the one on Westbrook when Earl (Thomas) had the guy in a one-on-one situation. He’s got to get him. But he had him and wrapped him up and then just lost his feet and didn’t finish. So there is technique (to) this. Part of it is bringing your feet with you and not hitting and lunging at guys so that you try to knock them off their feet. Guys are too good. Westbrook ain’t going down. You have to hang on to them and drag them to the ground and wait for some help if need be. So those are things that we continue to stress and work on.”

The Seahawks were trailing by 30 points in the third quarter when Matt Hasselbeck threw his fourth and final interception, which was his fifth turnover of the game.

On whether he considered putting Charlie Whitehurst in the game:

“I didn’t think of it early, like somewhere in the third quarter. At the end of the game I wanted to get Charlie in and I made a mistake in not getting Charlie warmed up before the last couple sequences… just to let him play some and to get him out there and get some playing time. I thought Matt (Hasselbeck) gave us our best chance. He was prepared the most to play in the game. As I looked back on it, it would have been nice to give Charlie some playing time because the game was so far out we weren’t going to have a chance to get back in it.”

On his evaluation of rookie safety Earl Thomas:

“Earl has had a hard year. He’s done a lot of great things, but it’s just the game. The game is so hard. There is so many things that happen to a free safety. We’ve thrown him into the fire from the get-go. He’s busting his tail, he plays really hard and he’s going to be a fantastic football player, but… a couple things happened to him yesterday and (it was the) first time it has occurred and he didn’t survive it as well as we would like. That’s just the way it is. We made a choice to go ahead and go with the guy and make it through with those two No. 1 draft picks (Thomas and Russell Okung) and grow with those guys so that down the road they’re going to be terrific football players. We could have spot played those guys and not put them in there when had our chances and I think we would have just slowed down the progress of it. They’ve also – both Russell and Earl – made a lot of good things happen. So it’s growing pains. They’re getting better.

On what specifically happened to Thomas on Sunday:

“He had a crossing route that happened to him on the big touchdown play (to Vernon Davis, pictured above). (Thomas) was in zone and the guy on his side bent in and crossed the field and he collapsed in with him. Out of nowhere comes Vernon Davis underneath him and he’s outflanked by the play and he turns up the sideline, the cornerback gets caught up in the block and away he goes. That’s not a very difficult play to make if he felt it. He got caught up in the thing that was right in front of him instead of using the kind of vision that would catch the whole field and that could have helped him. He’ll be better because of that. That’s just the way it goes. He has to learn and he’s learning, he’s trying. He really is dedicated to doing this right.”

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