Seahawks Insider

They can be taught

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on Nov. 16, 2012 at 8:53 am with 23 Comments »
November 16, 2012 8:53 am

A month or so ago, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had seen enough. In a team meeting, he went off on the chronic rules violators, called them out, let them know that the bench awaited those who continued to get flagged for penalties.

In the first five games, they’d been flagged and had penalties accepted 44 times for 363 yards. The last five? Just 20 accepted penalties for 159 yards. By game average, the Hawks now are the least penalized in the NFC West at 6.4 per game (SF 6.9, Arizona 7.0, St. Louis 8.2).

According to The Football Database, Hawks tackle Russell Okung is second in the league with 9 penalties (6 false starts and 3 holding), with Breno Giacomini one back at 8, with three of his being from a league-high 3 unnecessary roughness calls. In the last five games, though, Okung has limited his penalties to two false starts (with one hold being declined against the Jets), and Giacomini had a hold against New England, but just one false start in the last four games.

Mike Sando’s NFC West blog has a breakdown of total penalties (accepted and declined) for NFC West teams through 10 weeks. The numbers for Seattle are skewed higher since they have played 10 games and the other three teams have played nine. St. Louis has more than Seattle 84-77, with Arizona at 72 and San Francisco at 67. The breakdown shows a little about the teams. San Francisco does less offensive holding. Seattle has far more false starts (18), and Arizona the worst at pass interference.

Of some interest, I thought, Seattle’s defensive front is very controlled at the snap, with just four penalties combined for offsides and neutral-zone infractions. St. Louis has 11.

What to make of the Bills’ 19-14 win over Miami Thursday night? Both teams are coming up for the Seahawks – Miami a week from Sunday, and Buffalo Dec. 16. Both are road games, with the Bills game in Toronto. Both teams are now 4-6. Miami has lost three straight, whereas Buffalo had lost three straight before beating the Dolphins.

Elsewhere: The first round of fan Pro Bowl voting is in and here’s the run-down from Meanwhile, makes a pitch for fans to support Seahawk players. In early results, Marshawn Lynch and Jon Ryan are second at their positions.



Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Very good news to hear that the amount of penalties are decreasing. The frequent penalties just killed us last year and for the first part of this year.

  2. At some point Miami is going to get a bounce and halt their downward slide. The Hawks better bring their A game next week. It is a game a playoff caliber team should be able to win. So we will see.

  3. PugetHawk says:

    I can’t remember a more drastic turn-around on penalties. It is hard to say, but with all the close loses we have had, I feel like if Pete had cut this crap out after the first game then we would have had one more win in our column.

    Nevertheless, the penalties along with other inconsistencies are all signs of a young team. It is clear that the Hawks are only getting better and that gives us something to look forward to which is what we all want!

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Dave – When you say “chronic rules violators”, are you referring to team rules or penalties? It seems as though you are referring to penalties based on the content that followed, but chronic rules violators implies something different, to me at least. Thanks for the clarification.

  5. Dave Boling says:

    Rules of the game, Duke.

  6. Did you watch that team last night Pilot?! Our defense is going to tear up Tannehill. All they have to do is man up, he won’t find anyone open, get frustrated & panic heaving 3 picks, taking 5 sacks, & we’ll probably even score a defensive TD finally. #12thMan

  7. Soggyblogger says:

    I never had any doubts. Though I expected more penalties from our DB’s and have been surprised that group has decreased their penalties this year over last year. The OL false start penalties hurt, and I never had any doubts they were fixable. The little I played, I was always amazed when teammates missed the signal call. On two. Or on three. It’s pretty simple. Or watch the ball. Holding penalties are sometimes the lesser of two evils. Hold a guy or let him sack your QB? When beaten, an OL and especially when the LT is beaten, holding may save your QB from a career ending injury. Excessive holding calls by the OL is an indication they are getting beaten too often. I am happy to say that Okung has not given up many sacks nor has he gotten a massive number of holding penalties. I think he leads the league in fewest sacks given up at his most important position on the line.

    This team has a habit of fixing problems. From the OL play and penalties to the pass defense to the third down efficiency. Wilson has been fixing his problems with blazing speed, and he makes up for a lack of protection with his great feet.

    On the other hand, Marino was the slowest of the slow QBs and stood in the pocket like the proverbial statue. He moved around in the pocket very little, and took off running almost never, and yet he had the lowest sack totals of any QB of any era. The reason was not his feet, but his mind and arm. Good vision and a quick release. From his rookie season forward he was sacked less than his peers.

    Wilson is still learning and takes longer to get his throws off than any other starting QB. Part of it is his feet. When he takes off running he extends plays, and that is seen as a positive, but the list of QBs on the other end of the scale are more impressive than Wilson’s end of the spectrum. Manning and Brady take the least amount of time to release the ball. Rodger’s, surprisingly was in the middle. Success can be achieved in many ways obviously, and Wilson is using his feet to give his eyes time to catch up. He misses throws and throws late sometimes. These are not always correctable problems. These are the kind of things which sometimes destroy careers, but Wilson does seem to be improving in all areas. Staying in the pocket. Getting his throws off on time. To see a rookie improve at this rate is amazing. I am all in on this guy.

  8. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Wasn’t it you Dave that called Breno the serial drive killer. Lol. Hats off to him for cleaning it up.

  9. Carlsonkid says:

    What’s not being mentioned on the penalty issue is the replacement refs . We were getting tagged far more than a lot of other teams while they called the games , and that dropped drastically as soon as the regular referees came back . Okung in especial was getting false starts called .

    Holding .. I’ve kind of given up on that penalty ; you could practically call it most every play , and it rarely gets called even when it’s blatant and the guy has a fist full of jersey . I’ve watched entire games get played from my seat in the stadium without a single holding penalty called . Ridiculous …

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    We have been in every game this season. The 4 losses have been between 4-7 points.
    Even in our best years we have lost at least one game or more by over a touchdown I think anyways. I’m to lazy to look up all the scores.

  11. The lessons need to continue as the Seahawks have the divisional lead for OLine penalties. T Thankfully the trend is their friend and perhaps the message is getting through.

  12. The lessons need to continue as the Seahawks have the divisional lead for OLine penalties. Thankfully the trend is their friend and perhaps the message is getting through.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Dave!

  14. You gotta like a team that can clean up its mistakes. One of many exciting things about this team, this coach, and this front office.

  15. Dave Boling says:

    No, Georgia, I don’t think I ever got too down on Breno. Aside from the fact that he’s from my college (and we share weekly alumni updates in the locker room), I think there’s been some value in his aggressive play. I probably cut him some slack with some of those early penalties that I thought came at or near the whistle when he was picking guys off the pile. I know Cable has stressed to them to play to the whistle because you know Marshawn is going to still be going hard and he can use all the help he can get pushing the scrum. Nonetheless, some of those were crucial not only in the 15 yards it cost, but as they nullified a couple Marshawn runs.

  16. I was not entirely sure Carrol had what it takes to reign in the sloppy play and penalties. Yet he has taken the reins firmly in hand, and improved things dramatically; So, Great Job, Pete! (and, “Whew!”)

    When I was frustrated and wondering why a guy with less understanding of football (RGIII) was putting up stats that were far superior to Wilsons early in the year, and I openly questioned why Seattle (specifically Carrol) didnt take notice and borrow whatever they were doing, Carrol quietly did just that–and Wilson improved his play markedly.

    When the D fell apart, they put it back together and found ways to patch it. While the Hawks are still a mess at worst, and a work in progress at best, I am excited again–and Seahawk football is fun to watch again. And who get the credit? First and foremost, Pete Carrol. Second, the coaching staff–including the hated (at least by me) Darrel Bevell and Tom Cable, followed by Bradley, Norton, and company on D and the Special Teams crew.

    I still think Seattle will break our hearts as per usual and go 9-7, but there really is no reason they cant go 10-6 or better and make noise in the playoffs.

  17. Dukeshire–You made some points in the live chat during the last game that I never had the chance to comment on. Namely, that some/many of the blocking snafu’s were due to Wilson misreading the d, trickery on the D, etc–mainly that the line was executing the line calls Wilson and Unger made pre-snap, and that the D was just doing a great job of disguising what they were up to, and where the blitz was coming from. And you know what? You were probably right a good bit of the time. Thats a great point.

    Im just not sure how anyone outside the Offense can tell that. What I saw was the usual for the last five seasons–two guys struggling to block one guy, and a huge hole left because of that, and a defender running untouched through the hole to make a play….I saw numerous run plays where two seahawks failed to block even one Jet, and Lynch was getting hit before the line of scrimmage…I saw Wilson with no time at all to throw, and lineman looking weak and confused…

    But yeah, I saw plays where it looked like Seattle just had no clue where the blitz was coming from, and pushed protection to the wrong areas. I know Ryan is a great D-Coord, so its no surprise to see that.

    I still think our line is below average in both run blocking and pass pro, and its only the studliness of Lynch and the scrambling ability of Wilson that makes them look better than terrible. But I can see where you are coming from, and its not like I havent been wrong before…

  18. DanielleMND says:

    “I still think Seattle will break our hearts as per usual and go 9-7″

    Which would still be our first season with a winning record since 2007. I’m more excited to see what this team can do in 2013, once Wilson has a full year of experience behind him and we have another successful draft.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    STTBM – Of course there’s a fair amount of presumption on my part with regard to assignments, etc… but when Cable pointed out later that the defense wasn’t “in the spots they expected” and that he and Unger worked to straighten out their protections for the second half, I felt a bit validated with what I was seeing from home. Basically, there’s a lot more that goes into having solid o line play than simply manning up. Defenses are so sophisticated today as opposed to years past, that when I see the fundamentals being executed correctly and they still have penetration from the D, I have to believe that the defense is simply doing a great job (or the o line is unprepared). Then add into the equation a very young QB that is going to see new things game after game for some time, things become even more problematic. Something simple like a QB checking into a different play based on what he knows the D is trying to do, can make an O line look really good or really bad, that has very little to do with how they are executing.

    Now, I’m not going to say that the line isn’t blowing assignments here and there, but I believe overall, they are doing a nice job. In any case, just my opinion.

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Dave, my bad. I was thinking Danny O’Neil.

  21. Duke–Well, Im kinda eating some crow here. Obviously, your opinion and analysis had more to it that I gave you credit for in the heat of the moment. However, Ive seen too many failed blocks, and stupid double-teaming to a) believe the Hawks line is anything but slightly below average and b) to accept the ZBS as anything other than a gimmick. But seeing the merit to your argument, I retain some hope that Cable and the Hawks line will eventually make me eat crow and jump on the ZBS bandwagon.

    And I know my grumpy comments were hard to take–Im getting rather impatient to see a fully functioning line and team after five years of waiting.

    God, I want us to beat the Niners and win a playoff game so damned bad I can taste it…

  22. DanielleMND–I just dont have your patience. CHuck Knox would win a Super Bowl this year, old and outdated as he is. I really like Carrol and the enthusiasm he brings, but I am frustrated with the line and the overall offense, and the defenses lack of adjustments in some games. Overall, the Hawks havent done what I feel they should have, given the talent on the roster. However, Bevell, Cable and Carrol have pulled thier heads out and things are looking up…so Im cautiously optimistic.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    STTBM – No worries, man. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so-to-speak, and yours isn’t a ZBS. I’m not necessarily it’s biggest advocate, but I have learned to appreciate it more than I did when Solari was here, and see why so many teams use it.

    I understand your lack of patience, especially concidering how this team appears to be coming together. Their potential looks to be really high. Hang in there, great things are coming…

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