Seahawks coach Pete Carroll reiterated on his ESPN 710 Seattle radio show Tuesday morning the sequence at the end of Monday night's game is something he had never seen before.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been around football for almost all of his 64 years.
And what happened at the end of Monday night’s Seattle-Detroit game — the ball bounding out of the end zone and linebacker K.J. Wright giving it a final little bat — was something new even for him.
“I’ve never seen that happen and really didn’t know to not tell otherwise,” Carroll said Tuesday during his regular day-after game radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Carroll said again that he knows that is an illegal play because a ball cannot be intentionally batted in any direction in the end zone. But, he said, “that’s not a rule I’ve coached them not to do.”
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Instead, Carroll says the Seahawks have always been taught that “it’s better to knock the ball out of bounds” if a player is unsure if he can recover it cleanly and he knows Seattle will have possession otherwise.
And that’s what Carroll says Wright was intending to do.
“He made a smart football play to help the ball go out of bounds thinking we would maintain control,” Carroll said.
Carroll added that, given the circumstances and how Wright understood the rule, “I would have done the exact same thing. I didn’t know that rule either. Never seen it come up. Don’t know how anybody would have known that one.”
Carroll said he didn’t know there was controversy about the play until “well after the fact and the game was done.”
Carroll seemed to lament that the controversy over the non-call of the Wright bat will overshadow that play that made that happen — Kam Chancellor’s punch of the ball out of the arms of Calvin Johnson as he was preparing to cross the goal line.
“It was the perfect play to end the game in a dramatic fashion,” Carroll said, noting it reiterated a Seahawks theme “that you never, ever, ever assume that it’s over,” and that if there is a blade of grass left to protect, you protect it.
As for some other notes:
— Carroll said backup running back Fred Jackson may have a high ankle sprain and it’s unclear how long he might be out. Carroll said high ankle sprain “was the early word” but they need a little time to figure it out.
— Carroll reiterated that the hope remains that Marshawn Lynch can return this week. “It will be important looking to see what happens with Marshawn as he comes back this week,” Carroll said.
— Carroll said Michael Bennett is fine and he thinks WR Ricardo Lockette will be, as well.
— Asked about possible changes to the offensive line, Carroll said, “I don’t know,’’ but added the Seahawks have a short turnaround this week to prepare to play at Cincinnati Sunday. “If we have to make some decisions we’ll make some decisions, but we are trying to figure it out.’’
— Carroll said he was definitely concerned about the poor snaps from center Drew Nowak, saying, “That needs to be a non-factor and that was a factor last night on a number of plays. Drew’s got to do better on that.’’
— Carroll said the offensive line as a whole “took a step back’’ against Detroit but said the Seahawks “just got to keep working. Not going to keep talking about this work-in-progress stuff. We’ve just got to get better. We just have to improve in some areas. … The real is that they are young and they are learning.’’
— Carroll, though, also noted that “if we just take care of the football and we don’t give them the football, we win that game going away. … wWe won it anyway so we were fortunate. We have a lot of stuff to keep battling at it.’’
— As for Russell Wilson’s play, Carroll said he was “all over the place’’ and “made so many special plays in the game.’’