Stanton: Better ball security imperative
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Quarterback Drew Stanton knows there are areas in his game that must improve if the Cardinals are to maintain their advantage in the NFC and NFC West standings.
"Obviously, cut down on turnovers," said Stanton, who threw his first two interceptions of the season in a 14-6 win over Detroit on Sunday. "Seeing those and why they happened and why they unfolded, obviously it was disappointing, especially giving up points in the red zone on that first one."
Stanton said after the game he didn't see the linebacker who made the first interception, and he just made a bad throw on the second.
"(The Seahawks) present a different set of problems this week because they're so multiple," he said. "The one thing that's unique about this defense is you might be going to the right place, you might be finding the right read but the guy's covered so you have to be smart with the ball then, too, and maybe get rid of it or scramble or try and find a different guy."
Stanton has completed 67 of 125 passes for a low completion percentage of 53.6 and 920 yards. He has five TDs to go along with the two interceptions and a middling passer rating of 84.1
Coach Bruce Arians believes Stanton will improve, the more reps he gets, but it would also help if the Cardinals could get their running game going. Arizona's run game is tied for 30th in the league at 79.8 yards per game. Their average yards per carry (3.1) is tied with San Diego for last.
"We want to set stuff up off play action," Stanton said. "It's difficult in this league to pretend like you can drop back and throw a seven-step drop and push down the ball down the field. A lot of that timing comes off of play action, off of our boots and nakeds and setting up, so it's vital for us to be able to do that and have that threaten defense where they have to respect that (run) factor."
Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy's return to practice was so far from Arians' mind he forgot momentarily Shaughnessy was back on Wednesday.
"No, Matt can't come back until next week; two weeks before the Chiefs. Is that this week or next week?" Arians said to laughter. "I don't know. I don't worry about the ones that can't play."
Shaughnessy just came off the injured reserve eligible to return list but he can't play until the Cardinals host the Chiefs on Dec. 7.
"I haven't played football in six weeks so I have to get back into it," Shaughnessy said. "I've pushed it pretty hard (in rehab) but you can't simulate the game. I'll get out there and see how it feels and go from there."
Shaughnessy said it's too early to say how much rust he'll have to shake off since playing his last game on Oct. 5 in Denver.
"I'll be working with (strength and conditioning coach) Buddy (Morris) so I'm pretty sure he'll whip me back into shape."
Less than a season removed from their first Super Bowl title, the Seattle Seahawks are 6-3 and fighting for their playoff lives. They're fighting opponents each week that want to knock off the champs and they're fighting the perception that turmoil is tearing the locker room apart.
"I've kind of been through this, being all hyped up and everybody's coming after you," coach Pete Carroll said. "That's what you get when you win a championship and that's really what should be expected."
Over the course of this season, the Seahawks traded unhappy receiver Percy Harvin, dealt with a report that suggested some teammates don't like QB Russell Wilson because he isn't "black enough," and dealt with the bizarre behavior of running back Marshawn Lynch, who didn't join his teammates in the locker room at halftime of a loss to Kansas City, instead choosing to stay on the sidelines in the frigid cold.
"I think this is a pretty normal year with the exception that we had a very high profile player that we had to make a decision on during the season," Carroll said. "The attention and the focus and the stories that are written, it's whether there's substance to the stories.
"There's a lot of stuff written because the scrutiny and the following are so much more acute after a championship. I don't think it's been any different on the inside. It just might look like that."
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champs since the Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005. Carroll was asked if defending a title was harder than winning a title.
"I think it's all hard," he said. "It's hard getting there. So many good things have to happen for you and come together. Once you're there it's just constant and its ongoing."
For the Seahawks, DE Michael Bennett (non injury), CB Marcus Burley (hamstring), DE Demarcus Dobbs (knee), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) and C Max Unger (knee/ankle) did not practice. G James Carpenter (ankle), LB Brock Coyle (glute), G J.R. Sweezy (thigh) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) were limited.
-- QB Carson Palmer's surgery to repair a torn ACL went well on Tuesday, Arians said. The procedure was performed by team doctors Gary Waslewski and Doug Freedberg.
-- Former Cardinals Kurt Warner and Edgerrin James are among the 26 semifinalists being considered for the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame.
-- Arians said the team signed six-year veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan for his reputation as a run blocker. Mulligan replaces tight end Troy Nikolas, who went on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday with an ankle injury.