Wednesday, November 27, 2013
RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll used some form of the word “disappointed’’ five times when he met with the media Tuesday for the first time since news broke of the suspensions of Seahawks cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner.
But Carroll also said the suspensions don’t indicate any significant holes in how the organization is run, and he isn’t worried it will distract a team that has the best record in the NFL at 10-1 as it prepares for a Monday night showdown against 9-2 New Orleans.
“There’s a lot of guys in this program and I don’t know that we can expect to be perfect,’’ Carroll said. “We’d like to be, but that isn’t the case. So it’s a big challenge for these guys to do right ...
“It doesn’t always work out that way. So what it does is present opportunities for other guys, and we have always championed that and our guys have always come through, and they are going to do that again.’’
Carroll talked specifically only about the Thurmond suspension, as it was officially announced by the NFL shortly before the team took the field Tuesday. Thurmond will be suspended for the next four games and can return to the team on Dec. 23. The team then announced the signing of free agent Perrish Cox, who was waived by the 49ers earlier this month.
But Carroll essentially confirmed that a move will be made soon that will take Browner off the active roster when he said DeShawn Shead will be elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Browner’s appeal of what reportedly is a possible one-year suspension has not been heard, despite reports to the contrary. Thurmond and Browner allegedly violated the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, for what is said to be marijuana.
Shead and Cox would give Seattle five healthy cornerbacks on its active roster — joining Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell — against a Saints passing attack ranked No. 2 in the NFL.
Former Seahawk Marcus Trufant also worked out for the Seahawks on Monday, and the team has contacted Antoine Winfield, who was cut in August. Carroll indicated no other move is forthcoming, saying “we are back to full numbers.’’
Cox played with Denver in 2010 after being drafted in the fifth round, starting nine games, but was released before the 2011 season. He played 25 games as a reserve with the 49ers the past two seasons before being released in November.
While with Denver, Cox was charged with two felony counts of sexual assault from an incident in December 2010. A jury found Cox not guilty in 2012.
Carroll, though, said the Seahawks will continue to “always look to give guys a second chance’’ and that “I think that we’ve made good decisions over the years when we’re faced with that.”
Carroll called Cox “a good all-around football player” who has played on special teams and nickel packages as well as cornerback and safety.
Carroll also said he would expect an immediate contribution from Shead, who has been primarily on the practice squad the last two years.
“We won’t hesitate to play him in the game because we know how he’s prepared himself,” he said.
Carroll also said he’s confident Maxwell and Lane can take on a larger role.
“We have nothing to think about but the positive and the upside, and these guys are going to contribute in a big way,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll said the team met before practice and he wasn’t worried about how the players will react.
“This team is very strong about where we’re going and what we’re doing and what we’re trying to create ...’’ he said. “The focus around here, the dedication of what we’re doing, the standard that we hold them to in all areas have been exemplary in many, many areas, and we’re really proud of it.”
• Carroll also said WR Percy Harvin was held out of practice Tuesday and called him to day to day.
• Carroll said Jermaine Kearse was back Tuesday from the concussion he suffered against the Vikings.
• The team added to its overall cornerback depth by signing Akeem Auguste to the practice squad and releasing tight end Cooper Helfet. Auguste played at South Carolina and was released by the Browns in August.