Pete Carroll sees an overlooked asset

SEATTLE -- Coach Pete Carroll was thrilled about how well his Seattle Seahawks starters played in the 34-6 victory over the Chicago Bears Friday night, building a 31-0 halftime lead. But he pointed out one positive area that many people may have overlooked.

“A note that I’m really fired up about is when the first unit’s on the field, we’ve had two penalties,’’ Carroll said. “It’s really good execution for us. It’s a big step in the right direction and hopefully we can keep that going.

“I’m really happy with those guys and their attention to the details to get that done. That will help us down the road.”

One year ago, the Seahawks had 34 penalties for 354 yards in the first three preseason games, including 14 for 182 yards in a 17-10 victory at Green Bay in the third game where most of the starters played three quarters.

And careless penalties have hurt the team at times in the regular season, as well. That’s why seeing the team play such disciplined football is important to Carroll, along with the fact that the starting offense has scored 55 points in the first half of the past two games.

“They’re as ready as I can get them right now,” Carroll said of his starters. “We did just what we wanted.”

That included a controversial decision Friday night to have quarterback Russell Wilson and the starting offense play the first series of the third quarter, which seemed an unnecessary risk considering the score. But Carroll explained his reasoning.

“We wanted them to come out in the second half and make the transition from halftime, so we forced them back out there a little bit,” Carroll said. “We could have substituted, but that was the plan. Everybody hung on to that one.”