Pete Carroll made it clear Monday — he was not questioning the validity of any of the 10 penalties for 100 yards called against his team in the 33-30 overtime defeat Sunday against Tennessee.
“I thought the game was called well,” said Carroll.
That included a fourth-quarter taunting penalty on cornerback D.J. Reed.
Carroll said Monday that within the letter of the law, the play was called correctly.
But Carroll also said he thinks the NFL might be “opening a can of worms” with its emphasis on taunting. The NFL announced before the season that it wanted to try to eliminate taunting, which it generally views as any celebration aimed at an opponent. Reed appeared to do that initially aiming a yell at Tennessee receiver A.J. Brown following an incomplete pass.
“I really respect what they’re trying to get done,” Carroll said. “They would like the game to not have that in it. It’s a hard transition. You saw what it took for us to get a penalty there. I think we’ve opened up a bit of a can of worms, and so we’re gonna have to find our way through it here as we go.”
Seattle receiver DK Metcalf also got called for a taunting penalty in Week 1, which Carroll said made clear that the Seahawks have to do a better job of teaching.
“I don’t know how other teams are doing with it, but it hasn’t worked well for us so far,” Carroll said. “But it’s clear what the rule is, and so we just have to react the right way. It’s the reaction of the player in the moment that we have to train and you’ve got a lot of guys that have to deal with those explosive moments and they’ve got to really turn their focus away from the opponent. Which, it’s a good thought, it’s just hard to manage it.”
There were eight taunting penalties called throughout the league in Week 2 (before the Monday night game) after two were called in Week 1, meaning the Seahawks account for 20% of those called, according to nflpenalties.com.
The calls drew a lot of discussion Monday from those wondering if the league is going too far in trying to take emotion out of the game.
Helping fuel the discussion was a tweet from the NFL Players Association on Monday stating, “For those who aren’t a fan of the new taunting rule, we aren’t either. Rules like this are adopted through the competition committee, which includes 11 members: 10 selected by the commissioner + 1 NFLPA rep.”
While Carroll’s “can of worms” comment indicates he wonders about the rule as well, he said his job for now is to figure out how to get the Seahawks to comply.
“What we’re talking about is always celebrate with your teammates, and we’ve been practicing it and making a big deal about it because it’s one of the main new things that they’ve emphasized,” Carroll said. “And as always, that’s what they call. And so I don’t think it’s bad for the game, I just think it’s hard for the guys to do in the moment and so they’ve just got to learn and train and we’ve got to do a better job.“
The penalty did not lead to points for the Titans but did extend a drive into Seattle territory.
The penalty was one of five personal fouls that occurred after a play costing Seattle 75 yards in the game.
“I didn’t think there were any calls of the ones that I’m referring to that were in big question,” Carroll said of the five 15-yarders. “It was just a matter to just stay aware and make sure that they’re mindful of the situations that they’re in and make really good choices and decisions.”
Carroll: Brandon Shell’s MRI is ‘positive’
Carroll also said on his radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday that an MRI on the sprained ankle of starting right tackle Brandon Shell was “positive” though he offered no specifics on whether Shell will have to miss any time. Shell was injured late in the fourth quarter and replaced by Jamarco Jones.
Carroll said receiver Dee Eskridge, who sat out the game with a concussion, will return to practice this week with an eye on playing against the Vikings Sunday.
He said it was still unclear if Bryan Mone, out Sunday with a triceps injury, will make it back.