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Pete Carroll asking NFL to clarify legality of hits on QBs on read-option handoffs, after Sam Bradford hit

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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll speaks to the media after Monday's practice.
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll speaks to the media after Monday's practice.

When Sam Bradford got hit low by Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs this past weekend in an exhibition game in Philadelphia after handing off on a read-option play, Pete Carroll felt it across the country at Seahawks’ headquarters in Renton.

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The referee flagged Suggs for roughing the passer Saturday night. Monday the league’s director of officiating Dean Blandino told its network Suggs should not have been penalized because “it’s not a foul by rule.”

That’s precisely what Carroll wants the NFL and Blandino to clarify in time for the regular season that begins in three weeks.

In fact, Carroll was coming off the practice field on his way into his office this afternoon to call the league to ensure it was doing something to address what Carroll sees as unnecessary hits on quarterbacks.

Carroll’s interest in the subject is obvious, given how much Seattle runs quarterback Russell Wilson on read-option handoff-or-keep plays so much during the regular season.

“I have seen a couple of them and I really thought they were worthy of being noted as penalty playsm,” Carroll said of su h hits on QBs, most recently by Suggs on Bradford. “Obviously we’re really tuned into that.

“We’re counting on the league to do a really good job of doing that well so we take care of the QBs. You can force this thing about they’re a runner. When they don’t have the ball in their hands and the ball is already handed off and gone, guys need to make good decisions, hopefully. So we’ll be very much part of that discussion if things continue like it’s going, because it’s not right.

“We have been involved with that discussion with the league since Russell has been here. We’ve had the running quarterback and we’re really tuned into that. I’m anxious to see what comes of it because certainly it’s not the way we want it to go. I would think as we always err in preseason to over-officiate. I think this is an area in particular that we’ll hear something this week.”

I asked Carroll what the protocol is for teams not involved in plays as such as Suggs’ hit on Bradford to provide input on them to the league.

“They usually send us out updates and things that they’re stressing or emphasizing that week,” Carroll said. “I’ll be really surprised if we don’t get something from them about it. I’m calling in when we get up today to make sure that something is moving, or at least we know what’s happening with thinking on those plays. We saw them as pretty dangerous plays.”

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