Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talked to reporters here at the team’s headquarters for about a half hour this afternoon.
Carroll said he was impressed with the physical nature that rookie corner Walter Thurmond played with on the outside against Larry Fitzgerald, doing a good job of jamming him at the line of scrimmage.
But Carroll also said that Kelly Jennings, who missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring issue, remains the starter.
“He played very consistently throughout the game and made plays really at the line of scrimmage and down field some,” Carroll said. “So we were really happy that he could get that done.”
Carroll confirmed that rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung suffered a high ankle sprain, this time on his left leg. Okung missed the first three games of the season with a high ankle sprain on his right leg.
Carroll also said the Seahawks are reviewing their options at left tackle, including the possibility of Chester Pitts and Mike Gibson serving as backups behind Tyler Polumbus and Sean Locklear.
“It’s not nearly like the other one, but we don’t know what that means yet,” Carroll said. “He’s being treated and medicated right now to see how it responds in the next couple days to see what happens, and we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Carroll did not rule out Okung for Sunday’s game at Oakland.
“I think it will be a challenge for him to get back,” Carroll said. “But we’ve got to wait.”
FB Michael Robinson has a hamstring issue. Brandon Mebane (calf) and Kelly Jennings (hamstring) will try and practice on Thursday, according to Carroll.
Carroll says that Robinson wants to play, but if he can’t go Chris Henry is the team’s backup fullback. Henry saw some time on special teams for Seattle on Sunday.
“It will be a quick recovery if they can make it back,” Carroll said about Jennings and Mebane. “But both of those guys have a chance.”
WR Brandon Stokley suffered an oblique strain and his status is uncertain for this week’s Oakland game.
Asked about what Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is being asked to do differently no than he has in the past, Carroll again gave us a simple answer – take care of the football. And Hasselbeck has done that the past two games, with no interceptions and just the one fumble against Arizona on Sunday.
“Whatever it takes to keep the football, we’ll do it,” Carroll said. “If he’s got to take the sack, we’ll take the sack. … That’s winning football for us, so whatever it takes to get that done. That’s why I’m not going overboard about taking a few sacks in this game. We’d just assume kick the football if we have to and go play football at the risk of throwing the ball and taking a shot into coverage.”
The Seahawks finally crossed over into plus territory in turnover ratio, and now are plus-3 in turnover ratio.
Carroll went on to say that Hasselbeck has graded out well the past two games.
“He’s played good, solid football games for us,” Carroll said.
As far as Carroll’s evaluation of how the offensive line played, Carroll said the guys up front had a hard time with Arizona in pass protection, after a week where they played well against Chicago.
“I think coming off of last week we felt pretty good about our pass protection,” Carroll said. “And we did a few more things that maybe called on our guys to come through without as much help as they had. And we didn’t play as well as we did a week ago for sure.”
Carroll gave credit to Arizona’s defensive front and how they attacked Seattle’s offense.
Seattle had its best day on the ground so far this season, totaling 144 yards on the ground against the Cardinals, and that included losing 39 yards on two holding penalties from offensive tackle Sean Locklear. That said, Carroll attributed Seattle’s success on the ground more to the hard-running style of Lynch than Seattle’s ability to get a push up front.
“I think we were effective because of the way Marshawn hit it,” Carroll said. “He makes yards. He makes plays after contact. Plays that might not be blocked just right, he can get something out of it. And then Justin does the same thing in his way in a totally different style.”
Carroll also noted that eight of Seattle’s 10 penalties came in the second half.