Seahawks respond to Jim Harbaugh

RENTON, Wash. -- While the Seattle Seahawks returned to practice Monday after an extended weekend off and started looking ahead to Detroit, some of their thoughts remained in the Bay Area.

The Seahawks responded to comments from 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his belief that Seattle's defensive backs were overly physical with San Francisco's wide receivers in the Thursday night game, 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 downfield and making it difficult for receivers Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Kyle Williams to break free. 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 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 referenced Harbaugh's previous comments about the claims from New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, releasing a statement before the team's game defending 49ers defensive end Justin Smith and noting that it was "obvious that the Giants coaching staff's sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating."

"Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago when they were talking about not doing things like that?" Carroll said in the radio interview, according to seattlepi.com. "The Giants, Kevin Gilbride or something like that? You know, I thought there was something about that, you know? Where we don't go out and express our concerns and all."

Carroll took a more tactful approach later 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 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 defensive pass interference or illegal contact this season and has just one defensive holding penalty. Last year he was flagged 13 times for those same penalties.

"I just went out there and did my thing," Browner said. "Didn't get any penalties called. I thought I played a good game from that aspect."

The Seahawks and 49ers will meet once more in the regular season when Seattle hosts its division rival on Dec. 23.

Seattle's defense could be getting additional depth after Walter Thurmond's return to practice on Monday. Thurmond has spent the entire season on the physically unable to perform list while he recovered from two fractures in his lower left leg, which he first injured in the middle of last season in a game against Cleveland. Carroll said the Seahawks are unsure whether Thurmond will be added to the active roster this week, but he was impressed with how quick Thurmond looked during practice.

"It's just getting the rust off from being back out there and actually practicing with pads on and stuff like that, but I feel good and feel in shape," Thurmond said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.