RENTON — When Mike Pereira, the former vice president of officiating for the NFL, tweeted earlier this month the “biggest point of emphasis” for officials this season would be illegal contact and defensive holding, it wasn’t hard to draw the connection to the Seahawks.
Coach Pete Carroll made a similar connection when asked about the league emphasizing illegal contact and defensive holding, two lines the Seahawks’ secondary are often accused of blurring, if not crossing.
“That’s a beautiful thing,” Carroll said. “That’s respect to me. If that’s the conversation, which I don’t know that it is, but if that’s the conversation then I think that’s a sign of respect and people trying to figure it out.
“The rules that have been emphasized going into this year are all good stuff. But there is some attention to the fact that aggressive play at the line of scrimmage, there’s some talk at the league meetings and all. The adjustments we made are palatable. We can handle it.”
When asked if that was a direct reflection of the Seahawks, Carroll said, “I think we contributed to that.”
Carroll has long rejected the notion that his secondary plays outside the rules, or that the Seahawks play with the mantra that officials can’t call a penalty on every play. The Seahawks led the league in pass interference calls last season.
“Part of what they do is they really dare the referee to throw the flag,” former NFL running back Marshall Faulk said at the Super Bowl. “It’s almost guaranteed that if the referee throws the flag, they’re going to hold or grab on the next play because you rarely see two (pass-interference penalties) called back to back.”
Irvin, Toomer on PUP list
The Seahawks placed injured linebackers Bruce Irvin and Korey Toomer on the physical unable to perform list and listed rookie defensive back Eric Pinkins as non-football injury.
Irvin had offseason hip surgery, and Carroll said Irvin might need all of training camp before returning. Toomer is out with what Carroll called a nagging hamstring injury.
Toomer had been a player Carroll praised during minicamp in June. The Seahawks are already without linebacker Malcolm Smith, in addition to Irvin. Toomer missed all of last season with a hip injury.
“That’s unfortunate because he had such a great offseason, and we’re so excited about him,” Carroll said. “And he’s excited about this chance, but we’re just going to have to wait it out.”
More injury updates:
• Left tackle Russell Okung (offseason foot surgery) participated in walk-throughs at the beginning of practice but did none of the individual or team drills. Carroll said Okung is “just days away from proving it. It might take him, if we’re conservative, maybe a couple of weeks. We’ll take our time.”
• Safety Kam Chancellor (offseason hip surgery) is “really close and champing at the bit to go”, Carroll said. Carroll said he expects Chancellor back soon.
• Linebacker Malcolm Smith (offseason ankle surgery) is also a couple weeks away from returning. Carroll said Smith is running and working out. “We’re just making sure that once he gets back he stays back,” Carroll said. “He has to show he can tolerate the work day after day after day. Until that happens, we’ll still take it easy on him.”
• Offensive tackle Michael Bowie tweaked his shoulder during Friday’s practice, which allowed rookie Justin Britt to practice with the first-team offensive line. “He opened up the door,” Carroll said of Bowie. “Remember that Wally Pipp story?”
• Rookie defensive back Eric Pinkins was in a walking boot with a Lisfranc injury, the same injury that sidelined Titans quarterback Jake Locker last year. Carroll said he expects Pinkins to be out four to six weeks.