49ers head coach claims Seahawks defensive backs are ‘pushing the rules’
RENTON, Wash. – While the Seattle Seahawks returned to practice on Monday after an extended weekend off and started looking ahead to Detroit, some of their thoughts still remained in the Bay Area.
They were still smarting about a 13-6 loss to San Francisco on Thursday night that was punctuated by dropped passes and a defense that failed to adjust to what the 49ers were doing with their successful run game.
And the Seahawks were responding to comments from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and his belief that Seattle’s defensive backs were overly physical with San Francisco’s wide receivers, to the point he intended on speaking with the league.
Harbaugh said Friday he felt Seattle’s defensive backs were pushing the rules on the amount of contact allowed down field and making it extremely difficult for receivers Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Kyle Williams to break free from the defender. Seattle coach Pete Carroll didn’t agree.
“I just looked at the film. I heard about the comments and wanted to see what was the point and I thought it was a very normal game,” Carroll said on Monday. “I thought our guys played really hard and tough and they did too and that was it. I don’t know what the reference was about. I just hope it doesn’t go any farther, like to the league. There is no need for it to.”
Carroll had even stronger comments earlier in the day on his weekly radio show where he made a reference to Harbaugh’s previous comments about the claims from the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator, but took a more tactful approach later on Monday.
But one of the players in question, Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner, felt the comments were “obnoxious” considering the 49ers won the game and took over first-place in the NFC West.
“You’re supposed to be happy after you win a football game, right?” Browner said. “I’m not big for media anyway, that’s just who he is I guess since they won the football game. It’s obnoxious to me since they won the football game. We play a physical sport.”
Browner was one of the more penalized defensive backs in the league last year and along with fellow Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, has drawn praise and complaints for their hands-on, physical approach they take in trying to fluster wide receivers. Browner has not been flagged for either defensive pass interference or illegal contact this season and has just one defensive holding penalty. Last year he was flagged 13 times.
“I just went out there and did my thing. Didn’t get any penalties called. I thought I played a good game from that aspect,” Browner said.
Seattle’s defense could be getting additional depth as Walter Thurmond returned to practice. Thurmond has spent the entire season on the physically unable to perform list as he recovered from two fractures in his lower left leg that was first suffered in the middle of last season.
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