by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - The topic on Monday continued to circle around why Pete Carroll elected to start QB Charlie Whitehurst on Sunday with QB Tarvaris Jackson healthy enough to be active and play.
Jackson continued to progress throughout last week from a high grade pectoral strain suffered on Oct. 9 against the New York Giants and took his most work in practice Friday. Jackson said Friday it was time for him to come back and he was able to get through pregame warmups well enough for Carroll decide only two quarterbacks needed to be on the 46-man active game day roster.
Carroll admitted after the game that Jackson gives the Seahawks the best chance to win games.
"I think we saw today that Tarvaris did an extraordinary, courageous job of playing under the circumstances, that he was able to throw for 300 yards," Carroll said Sunday. "He gives us our best chance, and we’ll hopefully get him healthier and get him ready to play next week."
So with Seattle 2-4 and staring up a cliff at a San Francisco 49ers that moved to 6-1 with a 20-10 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, why wasn't Jackson the starter?
Carroll said Jackson asked if he could sit out throwing passes during the pre-game warmups to lessen the wear on his injured pectoral.
"That’s how tenuous this (was)," Carroll said. "I told him I was going to try to keep him out if I could, ‘But you need to be ready because you never know.’"
So if the status of his then-backup quarterback was so tenuous, why wasn't third-string QB Josh Portis on the active gameday roster?
"Because once we made the decision, we were going with him, we were going to play with him and really keep our fingers crossed a little bit," Carroll said. "We had enough issues with the roster as it was. I thought about it but we had some other concerns; we wanted three tight ends up and some other things that affected it."
"If we dressed (Jackson), I was going to be committed to playing him if we needed him and I wasn’t going to just sit him there on the sideline. That was all very clear in my mind and so we made the decisions accordingly and he came through and played pretty well."
Carroll said that Jackson came out of the game healthy and is expected to be their starter when they travel to face the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. Carroll said Jackson is expected to be limited throughout the week.
Another issue that has seemed to hinder the Seahawks efforts had been the multitude of penalties assessed against Seattle through the first eight weeks.
The Seahawks had 11 penalties for 80 yards against the Bengals on Sunday. Seattle has 60 penalites for 433 yards on the year and is fourth most in the league.
"This needs to go away," Carroll said. "I made a big deal about it today. It needs to go away. We need to get rid of this."
Carroll said it's the five-yard penalties, the false starts and offsides, that get to him the most because they are the ones the team can control. He said he's been atrributing them to the newness of the offense and the changing of the quarterbacks, but that it needs to come to an end.
Carroll said TE Cameron Morrah suffered a banged up knee in the game and that he wasn't sure how that would affect his status for this week.
WR Mike Williams had his hamstring begin bothering him toward the end of the week, leading to them holding him out against the Bengals on Sunday. Carroll said he doesn't expect it to affect his availability in practice or for this Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
CB Richard Sherman made his first start for the Seahawks on Sunday and put together a really impressive debut. The rookie fifth-round pick out of Stanford had an interception, helped force another that bounced into the hands of S Kam Chancellor, made five tackles and had three passes defensed in his first start.
When asked about the performance of QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green after the game, Sherman didn't hide the fact that Green didn't impress him.
"He’s probably one of the most overrated receivers out there," Sherman said. "He wasn’t anything special. Dalton is a good quarterback, he makes good decisions, but AJ Green is just a lot of noise talking and bad routes."
Sherman has a definite confidence to him and his ability to play in this league. Seattle hasn't had a cornerback that has had a swagger about his ability to play the position in a long time. It will be interesting to see how Sherman tries to build upon this opening performance. He's set a pretty high bar in game one.