Seahawks coach moves practices earlier to prepare for 10 a.m. game in Pittsburgh.
RENTON — This week started early for the Seahawks.
That’s true for their practice times and their alarm clocks as they prepare to play in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
“We’re on schedule with the wake-up call for Sunday morning, which is going to come at 6 a.m. our time,” coach Pete Carroll said. “So we’ve just adjusted to make sure that we’re doing what we can to compete for a level of comfort at that time frame.”
Better try something. The Seahawks are bigger underdogs than they’ve been in any game since 1992, and they’re playing in the home opener for the Steelers, who pitched a shutout the last time Seattle was in town, in 2007.
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On top of all that, there’s the whole cross-country travel thing to worry about. Seattle is 1-10 in games played in the Eastern time zone the past four seasons.
“It’s hard to win these games when you go that way,” Carroll said. “It’s not unique to any one program, it’s unique to West Coast-East Coast. So we’re going to try to even that out.”
These Seahawks have already shown a tendency to snooze through the first half. They were scoreless in the first half last week, and didn’t score a touchdown in the first half of their first three exhibition games.
Of all the things football coaches seek to control, geography is one thing that remains beyond their purview. All they can do is adjust and tinker and hope that helps.
So the Seahawks decided to wind back their clocks a little bit this week.
Seattle played only one game in the Eastern time zone last year, a 38-15 loss at Tampa Bay on Dec. 26, and Carroll didn’t dramatically alter the team’s schedule that week.
The Seahawks will be playing three games in the East this year, so Carroll plans to adjust preparation time. That’s not just what time the day starts, but Seattle’s practices, which began at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, compared to 1:30 p.m. in Week 1. Seattle plans to start its workout at 10:30 Friday morning and fly to Pittsburgh afterward.
Carroll is not the first Seattle coach to switch routines. Coach Mike Holmgren tinkered, too. He started flying out Friday for games back East, with no discernible effect.
The time change might be the least of Seattle’s problems Sunday. The Steelers are coming off their largest season-opening loss since 1997, so they’re sure to be extra salty.
“We know how they’re feeling because we felt the same way last week. We lost,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. “We felt like we should have won the game, we had a chance to win the game, but we’re 0-1 just like they’re 0-1. It’s a new season.”
The Steelers have appeared in two of the past three Super Bowls and have been notoriously tough on visitors.
“It’s as hard as it gets,” Carroll said of playing at Pittsburgh.
Starting things off a little earlier is just one little way Carroll is trying to make Sunday feel like any other week for his team.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Tough times in the East|
|The Seahawks, who play at Pittsburgh on Sunday, are just 1-10 in games played in the Eastern time zone since the 2007 season:|
|Dec. 26, 2010||Tampa Bay||L, 38-15|
|Oct. 4, 2009||Indianapolis||L, 34-17|
|Nov. 9, 2008||Miami||L, 21-19|
|Oct. 19, 2008||Tampa Bay||L, 20-10|
|Oct. 5, 2008||NY Giants||L, 44-6|
|Sept. 7, 2008||Buffalo||L, 34-10|
|Dec. 30, 2007||Atlanta||L, 44-41|
|Dec. 16, 2007||Carolina||L, 13-10|
|Dec. 2, 2007||Philadelphia||W, 28-24|
|Nov. 4, 2007||Cleveland||L, 33-30|
|Oct. 7, 2007||Pittsburgh||L, 21-0|