RENTON — A few days later, the NFL told Pete Carroll they feel the same way he did at the time about one of the most controversial plays in Sunday’s 26-21 loss to the 49ers.
“They wish they would have called pass interference,’’ Carroll said when asked Wednesday what he’s heard from the league about the third-and-goal play in the final seconds when 49ers linebacker Fred Warner appeared to hold Seattle tight end Jacob Hollister in the end zone.
“I think that would probably be the feeling I got. Because you easily could have called it and nobody would have complained about the call other than the guy that grabbed him. So that would have made everything a whole lot cleaner and all that.’’
Indeed, the fact the game was on the line might have made it that much harder for the officials on the field to make a call, potentially waiting for it to be reviewed via replay, as is allowed this year under new rules implemented last spring.
“It’s difficult for those guys to put a flag down on the field,’’ Carroll said. “It’s got to be so egregious you know, that there is a standard. But had it been called on the field they never would have overturned that from what I understand.’’
A penalty would have given Seattle a first down at the 1 with 12 seconds to go.
Instead, Seattle was left with a fourth-and-goal at the 5, which was stopped a yard short on another pass to Hollister.
Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, said later the play was reviewed during the 40 seconds between snaps. Coaches are not allowed to challenge inside the final two minutes and Seattle had no timeouts left to create more time for the play to be reviewed. Carroll said later he would have called a timeout had he had one.
Riveron said the replays provided by the NBC cameras proved sufficient. But Carroll has also argued the league should be able to review the coaches film, which would show different angles.
The league has explained that challenges are not allowed in the final two minutes “in an effort to limit excessive stoppages (and that) any stoppage will occur under stricter criteria than other reviewable plays. Calls will only be reversed based on ‘clear and obvious visual evidence’ that an incorrect call was made, which is the same standard for all reviews.”
Carroll’s comment Wednesday seems to imply the league was basically going to go with whatever was called on the field, especially given the short time to review.
That the league has acknowledged a penalty should have been called wasn’t a whole lot of solace to Hollister.
“It’s obviously a play that I wish would have been called but everybody makes mistakes, and like I said (after the game) you are not going to get every call and I didn’t get that one, so I just have to move on from it,’’ Hollister said.
Riveron also noted in his explanation that Hollister came in “and initiate(d) contact on the defensive player — nothing that rises to the level of a foul which significantly hinders the defender, nothing that is clear and obvious through visual evidence, which hinders the defender. The defender then braces himself. And there is contact then by the defender on the receiver. Again, nothing which rises to the level of a foul based on visual evidence. Nothing happens that rises to the level of a foul while the ball is in the air before it gets there by either player.”
Said Hollister when asked if he felt he initiated contact: “I honestly don’t really know. I wouldn’t really say I was leaning into him. I was pushing vertical into the center of the field but I wasn’t trying to press into the backer. But he was pressing out to me as I was running up field. So yeah I mean they explained it that way that they thought I had initiated contact. So it is what it is.’’
On the next play the Seahawks went back to Hollister, who was hit immediately at the goal line by Dre Greenlaw, with Warner — who had been in coverage trailing — then coming in from the other side, keeping him out of the end zone.
That play was also reviewed but Carroll said he hasn’t seen anything to make him think the call on the field that Hollister was short should have been overturned.
Hollister said if he had to do it again he would have anticipated Greenlaw being there more quickly.
“I wasn’t expecting the backer (Greenlaw) to hit me quite as fast as he did,” Hollister said. “I thought I was going to be able to catch it and move up field. So I’ve just got to get a little bit more depth there, just expect that backer to be there backside. One more rotation. Just if I had been expecting the hit a little bit more I think I would have been able to make a move. It was a very fast, bang-bang play but I wasn’t necessarily expecting him to be right there, no.’’
CARSON DOESN’T NEED SURGERY, PENNY WILL NEED A WHILE TO RECOVER
Carroll said Chris Carson will not need surgery on his fractured hip and should be ready when training camp begins in 2020.
But the status of Rashaad Penny is less clear.
Carson suffered the hip injury against Arizona and was placed on injured reserve last week.
Carroll said he talked to Carson Wednesday about the fact he won’t need surgery.
“The recovery will be as quickly as possible and he was really of a good attitude about that and he’s a great worker so we won’t have any problems expecting him to come back,’’ Carroll said.
Penny is another matter. He recently had surgery to repair an ACL injury suffered Dec. 8 against the Rams. Such an injury is typically a 9- to 10-month recovery but Carroll there was “some other stuff’’ that had to be cleaned up.
“It was a legit surgery that’s going to call for the full length of time and it’s a little bit less predictable with his recovery than it would be for Chris,’’ Carroll said.
That could impact how Seattle approaches its offseason with its tailbacks. C.J. Prosise, also now out for the year with a broken arm, will be a free agent, and Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin were each signed as essentially emergency fill-ins. So the Seahawks may have some tailback holes to fill.
- Jadeveon Clowney was among the seven Seahawks who sat out practice Wednesday. Carroll had said prior to practice that the hope was he would practice. Clowney continues to be bothered by a core muscle injury.
- Also out was WR Malik Turner (concussion) but Carroll said he may be able to return Thursday.
- Also out were OLs Mike Iupati (neck) and Joey Hunt (fibula) but it is expected they will play.
- Carroll said OL Ethan Pocic has to have surgery for a core muscle injury which is why he was placed on injured reserve.
- Seattle has signed two receivers to the practice squad this week to help with the depth at that spot — Jaylen Smith of Louisville and Brendan Langley, who was a third-round pick of the Broncos in 2017 as a cornerback but is now attempting to make the switch to receiver.