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Thursday in Hawkville: Carroll has a ‘lid’ on passing game right now

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 27:

FOCUS ON

No. 32. Not second-year safety Jeron Johnson, who wears that number. That’s also where the Seahawks’ passing offense ranks in the league after three games. When asked about it, coach Pete Carroll pointed the finger directly at himself.

“I really think this is me holding the lid on it right now,” Carroll said. “I’m overseeing all of that.”

The Seahawks don’t just rank last in passing offense, they are the only team in the league that is averaging more yards rushing (141.3) than passing (127.7).

“What’s more important to us is that we take care of the football,” Carroll said. “More than anything. I don’t care about the yards.”

In that phase, the Seahawks have turned the ball over only twice – on an interception by rookie QB Russell Wilson on the final play of the first half and his lost fumble on the first series of the second half, both in the season-opening loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. Only the unbeaten Falcons and Patriots have fewer turnovers that the Seahawks.

Third-down conversions? That’s another story. The Seahawks are converting 29.3 percent on the pivotal down, which is limiting their opportunities to get more plays and therefore their chances to generate more yards. Only the Buccaneers (.256) and Redskins (.275) are converting a lower percentage on third downs.

“The thing we’re concerned about, we’ve got to convert on third downs,” Carroll said. “We have to get better there.”

This lid-on situation would be no different if Matt Flynn was the quarterback, Carroll said, pointing out that Wilson has now started three games in the NFL compared to two for the Flynn – who was signed in free agency during the offseason after being the backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay the past four seasons.

“We’re just trying to grow around the style of this football team that gives us a chance to be really physical and really tough and don’t give up anything,” Carroll said. “It’s really a product of me. So if you’re going to be mad at somebody, be mad at me.”

PLAYER WATCH

(AP Photo/Jon Ferrey)

Now it’s time for Johnson, who has stepped in as the third safety in the bandit sub package with the Seahawks defense. Rookie Winston Guy opened the season in the role, but Johnson has taken over the past two games.

“Jeron has been really disciplined for us,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “The whole defense really takes pride in doing their job and doing it right and execution. We gave Jeron a chance and he fit right into the mode. He’s very detailed and the guys really trust him back there.”

Johnson made plays while subbing for strong safety Kam Chancellor during the preseason, which earned him a look in the bandit.

“I think that’s a reflection of coach Carroll,” Bradley said. “Because he always pushes us: ‘Find the guys and then give them an opportunity. You’ll be surprised.’ We always thought that Jeron was a guy who shows up more on the game field than in practice. Sure enough, he had a great preseason. He kind of turned our head then. So we gave him an opportunity and he’s been really solid.”

OPPONENT WATCH

When Jeff Fisher took over as coach of the Rams this year, he wanted better play from his cornerbacks. So Cortland Finnegan, a Pro Bowl corner while with the Titans, was signed in free agency.

In three games for the Rams, Finnegan has three interceptions and also is third on the team with 19 tackles.

“I think he recognizes things, because he’s pretty experienced,” Wilson said. “He’s also aggressive. That’s the way he plays. You have to understand that and be smart with the football in terms of throwing the ball on him and making plays on him. You have to understand that he’s a great playmaker. We have a lot of respect for him.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

OT Breno Giacomini (pectoral)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

LB Leroy Hill (calf)

DT Jason Jones (knee)

Limited participation

DT Greg Scruggs (wrist)

DT Jaye Howard (foot)

Full participation

WR Doug Baldwin (shoulder)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

With Giacomini and Moffitt still out, Frank Omiyale worked at right tackle and Paul McQuistan at right guard with the No. 1 line – with James Carpenter replacing McQuistan at left guard. With Hill out, Malcolm Smith not only stepped in at weakside linebacker, he stepped up – tipping and almost intercepting one pass and taking another from the grasp of tight end Anthony McCoy.

For the Rams:

Did not practice

RB Steven Jackson (groin)

OT Rodger Saffold (knee)

DT Matt Conrath (knee)

S Matt McDaniels (hamstring)

Limited participation

DT Michael Brockers (ankle)

OT Wayne Hunter (knee)

Full participation

DE Eugene Sims (illness)

PRACTICE SQUAD SHUFFLE

With Giacomini and Moffitt missing the past two days, rookie guard Rishaw Johnson was re-signed to the practice squad. He had been released last Friday.

Also signed was running back Lonyae Miller, who had been with the Cowboys (2010-2011) and Raiders (2011-2012).

To clear spots on the eight-man squad, linebacker Korey Toomer was placed on practice squad/injured and tight end Sean McGrath was released.

STAT DU JOUR

Marshawn Lynch continues to be the NFL’s leading rusher since Week 9 of last season. But who is chasing Lynch over the past 12 games? Here’s who:

Player, team                                   Att.    Yards    Avg.   TD

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks       283    1,246     4.4     10

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars     236    1,180     5.0       6

Ray Rice, Ravens                           222     1,143     5.1    10

Reggie Bush, Saints/Dolphins     191     1,053     5.5      6

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday” gives away to “No Repeat Friday,” as the players will have a midday practice. The team will leave for St. Louis on Saturday following a morning walkthrough.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Some people think he’s unique. I definitely do think he’s unique. That’s what makes him so good. He’s a little different in terms of that, which is a good thing.” – Wilson when asked about Lynch’s, well, unique personality


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