Notes from Carroll's Monday Press Conference

To what can we attribute Seattle's suddenly suffocating defense? Were there any injuries suffered in the win over Philadelphia? When will Max Unger be returning to the lineup? These questions and more were answered by Pete Carroll in his Monday Press Conference. Here are the notes you need to know now.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll met with the media on Monday. Here are some of the highlights.

3. The Seahawks only significant injury of Sunday's victory over Philadelphia was a "legit" ankle sprain from defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs, Carroll said. Cornerback Tharold Simon, who had his finger being checked by Seahawks Team Doctor E. Edward Khalfayan during Sunday's game, is "fine." The Seahawks could get a boost this week with the return of tight end Cooper Helfet and center Max Unger. Both, according to Carroll, are anxious to get back on the field and have a real shot at doing so this week against San Francisco. "Both those guys are really anxious to get back-Coop's probably a little more solidly ahead of Max I would think," Carroll said. "His injury was a little different so he has a chance-probably the best chance of the two." Later Carroll noted one of the most exciting aspects about the Seahawks winning streak - that they're doing it while getting healthier. "We're very fortunate that we're coming together - rounding into really good health as we wrap up the season. That's a significant part where a lot of teams are battling to try and stay healthy - maybe we're going in the right direction right now." Cornerback Jeremy Lane will be back this week.

2. Carroll acknowledged some of the seemingly odd decisions made by returners Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson during yesterday's game. Baldwin said yesterday following the game that the swirling winds made tracking the ball tricky, which is why he elected to let a few that appeared catchable instead drop to the turf. Carroll reiterated this and it is worth noting that Eagles' primary returner Darren Sproles muffed a punt yesterday (though he recovered it). It was a very unusual wind there-it comes through that corner of the stadium and it comes at an angle across the field and it changes as you move down the field. So I thought [Baldwin] made good decisions based on what was going on," Carroll said. The coach sounded less understanding of the continued struggles in the kick return game, though he cited missed blocks as playing a role in Richardson's inability to get the ball past the 20-yard line. "We missed a couple blocks-we want to get that ball past the twenty yard line," Carroll said. "So anytime it doesn't happen, we're scrutinizing very acutely and he got a couple free runners going at him. So we're going to try and do better at that obviously and if we can't, we're going to take a knee. We're going to get the ball out of there-we don't want to start at the nine yard-line."

1. The defense is playing at a dominant level and the credit for that can get spread around to the pass rush, the secondary and clean tackling. "We've tackled really well, really well for some time now," Carroll said. "In the last couple years that has been a real sign of our performance and stuff but it has been really consistent and noticeable. I think that's all part of the intensity and the pursuit thing - it really pays off." And while the defense has been performing at a championship level for weeks, the offense's improvement as the game went on Sunday bodes well for the future. "I thought the second half of this game was just a terrific football game-an illustration of what we can be like [on offense]," Carroll noted. "The protection worked well with what we were doing route-wise and Russell [Wilson] had a chance to really hold tough in the pocket, see things, and really get a great look at stuff. He had to run around a lot early, but we cleaned things up during the course of the game and I thought it was us looking very efficient and hopefully we can kind of stay with that."

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