The Pink zone

The touchdown-saving play that safety Josh Pinkard made in the Seahawks’ preseason home opener on Saturday night was just like the one that first attracted Pete Carroll to Pinkard as a high school junior.

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After taking a pass from Joe Webb, Emmanuel Arceneaux was racing toward the end zone for a touchdown that would have stretched the Minnesota Vikings’ lead to 20-7.

But Josh Pinkard had other plans in the Seahawks’ preseason home opener at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night. Trailing the play, the second-year safety caught Arceneaux and knocked the ball from his grasp at the 2-yard line. The heads-up play forced a fumble that resulted in a touchback, as the ball went out of the back of the end zone.

The Vikings would win 20-7, anyway, but Pinkard’s left-handed poke was one of the few highlights from a game that left coach Pete Carroll disappointed.

“Ever since Pink was a junior in high school, he’s knocked balls out like that,” Carroll said after the game, which evened the Seahawks’ preseason record at 1-1. “He did it in college all the way through.

“He’s an uncanny guy at getting the football out.”

Carroll would know. While coaching at USC, he recruited Pinkard out of Hueneme High School in Oxnard, Calif., where Pinkard was a Prep All-American. Carroll then coached Pinkard during his career with the Trojans, where Pinkard was a three-year starter and second-team all-Pac-10 choice his senior season.

“That didn’t surprise me a bit,” Carroll said about Pinkard’s latest edition of his signature play. “I’ve seen him do so many things like that. It was a very good play. It was a great play.”

Told of Carroll’s words in the locker room, Pinkard responded with a smile as big as the play.

“I think it’s just all the years my uncle telling me, ‘When you get out there, just go for the ball; go get the ball,’ ” he said. “It just kind of stuck with me.

“My junior year, that first play, it was almost that same play. I just saw some air around the ball, so it was a great opportunity. I’m just thankful for it happening and being in that position.”

via The Pink zone.