RENTON — Before Pete Carroll sent his Seahawks off on a week’s bye, he urged them to spend the time resting and recuperating.
But he asked them to do so competitively, so team members can get the most out of their time off. In essence, rest fast, guys; recuperate hard.
Coming off a 41-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, which raised his team’s record to an NFL-best 10-1, Carroll rewarded the Seahawks with a full week off from practice.
In his press conference Monday afternoon, Carroll recounted the message he gave to the Seahawks before they dispersed.
“We’re in good shape right now,” he said. “We talked about where we’re strong and what we want to add to when we come back. I think it’s real important we compete all week long. That’s the message: that they compete to get the most out of the recuperating from the game, and rehabbing.”
He stressed that he didn’t want to see anybody coming back carrying an extra “6 or 8 pounds.”
“We don’t want to be in shut-down mode,” he said. “We’re encouraging guys to do all the different things to take care of their bodies, eat well and sleep right, so that when we come back we don’t have any issues.”
“That also includes being conscious that they’re Seahawks and they have great awareness that they represent (the team) wherever they go and whatever they’re doing, and we don’t have any issues coming off this week,” he said. “It was a pretty strong message in a lot of areas and we were very precise about how we want them to handle this week.”
The Seahawks have earned their week off, as this is the latest possible bye week of the NFL season.
Sunday, they stretched their CenturyLink Field winning streak to 13 games over two seasons.
The 10-1 mark is the best start in franchise history. In their 37-year history, only three Seahawks seasons have finished with more than 10 wins — 1984 (12 wins), 2005 (13) and 2012 (11).
“We’re real happy we made it to the bye as we have,” Carroll said. “I think we’ve accomplished a lot to get to this point in some regards. In other regards, we haven’t done anything yet. We come out of this game and feel real good ... we’ve had a couple weeks in a row we’ve played real good football in all three phases, and there’s still plenty of areas to improve.”
On the injury front, the biggest concern is cornerback Brandon Browner, who missed last week after suffering a groin injury against the Falcons the previous Sunday.
“Hopefully, by the end of the week we’ll know more,” Carroll said of Browner’s status. “He’s got a serious groin pull. It’s not just a pulled muscle; he had some tissue damage. They’re talking 4 to 6 weeks at best.”
Receiver and UW alum Jermaine Kearse suffered a concussion against the Vikings, Carroll confirmed, but he is expected to be healed when the Seahawks play host to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 2 in a Monday Night Football showdown between the NFC’s top two teams.
Carroll said that defensive tackle Greg Scruggs (knee) and cornerback Tharold Simon (foot) also might be back to practice for the first time this season.
Sunday’s win was the season debut for high-priced receiver Percy Harvin, who missed 10 games recovering from hip surgery on Aug. 1. Harvin touched the ball only twice, but one time was a 58-yard kickoff return and the other was a fingertip 17-yard reception.
“He’s a little sore,” Carroll said of Harvin. “Just normal, (after) the first time you get hit. He’s going to feel it. He’ll benefit from the break as well.”