Good news on cornerback Marcus Trufant. After leaving the game with back spasms against Atlanta, things have apparently quieted down and he’s expected to play on Sunday.
“He feels really good,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re going to keep him quite today, but he thinks that there’s no problem playing.”
But it’s a different deal for defensive lineman Junior Siavii, who suffered a neck stinger last week. Carroll said Siavii will not be available this week and that they are still evaluated him. Seattle moved Siavii out to 5-tech with Colin Cole coming back to play nose tackle, but they will have to look at other options there to backup Kentwan Balmer with Siavii not available.
“This is a really sensitive issue here,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to make sure we take great care of him. He’s not well right now. He’s still coming back, and so he won’t do anything this week at all. The doctors will see him again tonight and it will really be day-to-day to see how he responds.”
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Carroll said the team tackled much better against Atlanta, which was a point of emphasis during practice this week. Carroll said the coaching staff showed old clips of what they were looking for, and that there was a renewed emphasis with the team facing a powerful rusher like Michael Turner.
The Seahawks will need to carry that same effort over in facing another powerful runner in Tampa Bay’s LeGarrette Blount.
Carroll said the coaching staff will be monitoring the Rams-Niners game, which will be played before Seattle takes on Tampa Bay. However, if the Rams do beat San Francisco, which would mean the Seahawks result against the Bucs won’t factor into whether they make the playoffs, his team will treat the game the same way.
“I appreciate you even thinking that we could pull off the throttle a little bit,” Carroll said, laughing. “But I don’t see that. We’re going for it every chance we get.”
Asked if he believes a 7-9 team should go to the playoffs, Carroll had this to say:
“I’m always a system guy,” he said. “Remember me back in the BCS days – I was always a system guy (laughs). It is what it is. You win the division, you’ve done what you’ve needed to do to position yourself as the system allows, you get a home game and here you go, whatever the record is.
“I know that there are some teams that have 10 or 11 wins that aren’t in as good of a situation as we are right now. That’s there lot right now. We’re fortunate to be where we are, and we’re going to see what we can do with it.
Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris is on the other end of the spectrum. His team could finish 10-6 on the year and still not make the playoffs, but he agrees with Carroll and system currently in place right now.
“You win your division, you go to the playoffs, period, in my opinion,” Morris said. “You guys earn your respect weekly. You get in there and you play against what’s lined up in front of you and for whatever reason, the NFC West has the ability to beat up on each other this year and their records are what they are.
“But if you win the division, you go to the playoffs and you’re a playoff football team. It’s no different in our division. We’ve been able to go out there and we beat up on each other. We’ve got losses. We’ve got wins. They’re tough divisions across the board. The NFL is the best of the best. It’s the elite of the elite, and we all play in it.”