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Seahawks’ secondary not sweating rise in pass-interference calls
Seattle’s ‘Legion of Boom’ has been called for five defensive pass-interference penalties, the second-most in the NFL.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON – A catchy nickname and a growing status as one of the best secondaries in the game also means increased attention from media, fans and opponents.
And, just maybe, officials as well.
Seattle’s Legion of Boom was flagged for two pass-interference penalties in Sunday’s 34-28 loss to the Colts, each of which proved pivotal.
Brandon Browner was called for pass interference on a third-and-22 play in the second quarter that resulted in a 39-yard penalty on a drive that led to an Indianapolis field goal.
And Richard Sherman was called for pass interference on a third-and-10 play early in the fourth quarter — a 16-yard penalty that kept alive a Colts’ drive that ended up giving Indianapolis the lead for good.
The Seahawks took the most issue with the call against Sherman.
“It looked like a regular play to me,” coach Pete Carroll said.
The usually loquacious Sherman added only, “That’s how it is on the road.”
The two calls continued something of an early-season trend as Seattle has five pass-interference penalties in five games — tied for second-most in the NFL — for 87 yards. That matches the total the team had all of last season.
Safety Earl Thomas, the only starting member of the secondary not yet flagged for pass interference, says opposing coaches are trying to make sure officials keep a close eye on Seattle’s defensive backs, known for their aggressive and physical style.
“We know pregame coaches are going to be like ‘OK, watch these guys, they hold,’ ” Thomas said. “...We know that all the coaches complain about it.”
Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said the calls so far are not a huge cause for concern, other than making sure the players remain aware of how the games are being officiated.
“It’s nothing that we get too wrapped up in,” he said. “The thing we try to do is just educate what’s going on around the league, in terms of, ‘This was called in this game. This was called in this game.’ ... It’s called tight, no doubt. And we challenge, and we play at the line, and we like that style. So for us, it’s important just to know what’s kind of the climate of how it’s being called.”
Thomas agreed that the only thing Seattle can do is adjust to what the officials are calling.
“We know what is expected,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep improving on trying to eliminate the big plays as far as penalties.”
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and tight end Zach Miller again sat out all of practice while center Max Unger was again a full participant.