RENTON, Wash. -- For now, the Seattle Seahawks are perfectly content to keep a lid on an offense being run by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
That's not intended to be a knock on Wilson, who has looked impressive at times and shaky at others in his three NFL starts.
But Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is so fearful of committing turnovers that he'd rather call for his offense to be bland and basic for the early part of the season than ask Wilson to make dynamic plays and try to pass the Seahawks to victory.
So through the first three weeks, the Seahawks have done their best to not put Wilson in a position to make mistakes, even though they know eventually Wilson will need to show off the type of throwing ability that won him the starting job in the preseason.
"I'm overseeing all of that. What's most important to me is that we take care of the football," Carroll said. "What we're concerned about is that we have to convert on third down. We did a poor job on third down, particularly in the second half, but as it fits together, we're growing.”
With Wilson not being asked to do much, the Seahawks have relied on the running of Marshawn Lynch and Seattle's stout defense, which leads the NFL in points allowed per game (13) and is second in yards rushing per game (58.7 yards). Lynch leads the NFC with 305 yards rushing through three weeks, but has also been burdened with 72 carries, the second-highest total in the league behind Houston's Arian Foster.
The lack of relying on a passing game is fine by Wilson and his receivers for now, who remain confident it will be there when needed.
"I think that we're doing a good job of handing the ball to Marshawn and letting him do his thing. When we get a chance to capitalize on explosive plays, we have to capitalize on those," Wilson said. "We just have to get a few more explosive plays, and on third down just make the throws and make the catches or whatever it is. We've just been a hair off. So that's fixable for sure.”
The one area where Wilson has excelled is late-game drives. It happened in Week 1 when Wilson took the Seahawks 76 yards to the Arizona 4 on the final possession while trying for a game-winning touchdown. Wilson hit six of his first eight throws on that final drive, before missing his final five throws.
Against Green Bay last week, Wilson twice put together late drives, albeit with the help of a couple of questionable penalties against the Packers. On his final two drives, Wilson was a combined 5 of 10 including the now infamously disputed 24-yard TD pass to Golden Tate on the final play of the game.
"He threw the ball beautifully so he has the throws in him," Carroll said. "We're just going to emerge when we just feel good and confident about what we're doing.”
An area of concern and focus this week for Wilson has been staying in the pocket longer and trusting his blocking. Wilson was officially hit just three times by the Packers, but was often quick to scramble away from the pocket.
"I know that I have the ability to make plays with my feet, too, but I would rather stay in there and make throws," Wilson said. "That's the first little note I made myself personally as soon as we watched the film. I just have to make sure that I stay in the pocket a little bit longer and trust it a little bit longer.”
Notes: Seattle starting RT Breno Giacomini (pectoral) and RG John Moffitt (knee) did not participate in practice for the second straight day, while LB Leroy Hill (foot) also sat out Thursday's practice. WR Doug Baldwin (shoulder), who missed Monday's game vs. Green Bay was a full participant for the second straight day.