View Full Version : Looks like a bad time for the Seahawks to come to Heinz

09-13-2011, 01:20 AM
Looks like a pretty bad time for the Seahawks to come to Heinz Field
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 56455.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_756455.html)

Las Vegas oddsmakers are often maddeningly close when it comes to predicting the outcome of games.

And they've established the Steelers as 14-point favorites Sunday, a whopping number considering this is the NFL and that the Steelers played their worst game of the Mike Tomlin era in losing 35-7 to the Ravens.

But Vegas recognizes, along with a lot of other people, that the Seattle Seahawks could not be visiting Pittsburgh at a worse time.

The Seahawks couldn't manage any points the last time they played the Steelers at Heinz Field, a 21-0 loss in October of 2007. Imagine how hard it will be for them Sunday.

Seattle has to try and move the ball against a proud, wounded defense. And they have to do so behind an unproven quarterback making his 22nd career start and a running back that averaged 2.5 yards per carry in a 33-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Good luck with that, Tarvaris Jackson and Marshawn Lynch.

That sort of thinking, of course, is what coach Mike Tomlin will be trying to discourage this week at Steelers headquarters.

The Steelers showed up Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, but they didn't match the sense of urgency or intensity with which the Ravens played.

Maybe that was inevitable considering the Ravens have been stewing over their second-half implosion in a playoff loss to the Steelers for almost nine months.

But if Tomlin wants to make sure the 28-point loss to the Ravens holds the attention of his players, he need look no further than starting free safety Ryan Clark.

While still fully clad in uniform late Sunday afternoon in the Steelers' locker room, Clark talked about the team needing to shed its "been there" attitude.

"We need to focus on where we are this year," Clark said. "Somebody posed the question of 'How do you get better when you know you are better than this?' How do we know? This is the 2011 version of the Steelers so far. We're 0-1, and what we did last year doesn't count."

Like many of his teammates, Clark said he didn't think the loss to the Ravens would leave any scar tissue. But he was as blunt as anyone in saying what mindset the Steelers have to adopt moving forward.

"Right now, we're a winless football team," Clark said, "no better than 15 other teams in the league."

Read more: Looks like a pretty bad time for the Seahawks to come to Heinz Field - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1Xo4ySnRG (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_756455.html#ixzz1Xo4ySnRG)

09-13-2011, 02:51 AM
slightly surprised that the line is this high, but the Vegas bookmakers have us favored by 16 points over the Seahawks this Sunday.


09-13-2011, 08:40 AM
Read this somewhere--

Bill Leavy, the referee in Super Bowl XL, has been assigned to this Sunday's Steelers- Seahawks game.

I believe he was in Seattle last summer and did somewhat of an apology to the 'Hags for some blown call in SB XL.

More bad news :?:

Kindle :tt2

09-13-2011, 09:30 AM
The seahawks DLine will have a good game. The rest of the team. Not so much.

09-13-2011, 11:29 AM
Steelers will dominate T-Jack.

If Steelers offense don't turn the ball over i think Steelers Defense will take over this game.

09-13-2011, 04:25 PM
Good teams bounce back after humiliating losses. We got the furry of NO and NE last year the weeks after they lost to the Browns.

We'll see how this years Steelers deals with humble pie.

09-13-2011, 05:36 PM
Read this somewhere--

Bill Leavy, the referee in Super Bowl XL, has been assigned to this Sunday's Steelers- Seahawks game.

I believe he was in Seattle last summer and did somewhat of an apology to the 'Hags for some blown call in SB XL.

More bad news :?:

Kindle :tt2

Seahawks-Steelers game will have a familiar referee

Posted by Mike Florio on September 13, 2011


There’s nothing like picking at an old scar to generate some page views.

When the Seahawks visit the Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh, the same man who served as the referee for Super Bowl XL will be wearing the white hat.

Bill Leavy, the man whom many Seahawks fan believe should be wearing a shirt that has not black and white stripes but black and yellow, has gotten the assignment, per Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times.

“I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter, and I impacted the game,” Leavy admitted in August 2010. “And as an official, you never want to do that.”

Someone has a great sense of humor. Or, as Seahawks fans would likely put it, a very sick one.

For the Steelers, it’ll be a trip down memory lane, to a time when everyone thought the franchise had the league office in its back pocket, instead of the current perception that the NFL is constantly trying to get into the Steelers’ wallets.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... r-referee/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/13/seahawks-steelers-game-will-have-a-familiar-referee/)

09-13-2011, 08:20 PM
Good. We are bringing in our referee crew. We must still have some room under the salary cap.

We may have more fans living in Seattle than the Seahawks do.

09-13-2011, 08:34 PM
Last August 2010 I was in Seattle when this referee came to town. The news media was a buzz with this-- it played on TV, newspaper and radio. If one didn't know the history of this, you would think it just happened.

Of course, it doesn't help when you wear your Steeler colors into another franchise city :stirpot



09-13-2011, 10:56 PM
On The Steelers: Game against Seattle could be temporary fix

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mike Tomlin asked for it one week ago today when he beseeched those at his news conference to keep hammering away at the oldest defense in the NFL.

"Keep talking about how old they are," Tomlin begged his audience last Tuesday. "I appreciate that. You make my job easy."

It doesn't look quite so easy today, not after his defense looked even older after absorbing a 35-7 thumping Sunday at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. No matter how many reminders are issued the next few days about that old Steelers defense, their job won't be so difficult this week because they play the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field.

Think of the Seahawks as soothing ointment for old muscles.

But the game against the Seahawks might be a temporary fix if what everyone saw Sunday in Baltimore wasn't just some blip, an out of control bus that no one could stop.

More tests are on the horizon, if not the Peyton Manning-less Colts in Indianapolis in the third game, then at Houston in game No. 4. Somewhere, Tom Brady lurks near Halloween, followed the next week by the rejuvenated Ravens.

The Steelers do not have a difficult schedule this season; they may be playing their toughest one in their own locker room this week.

"I got confidence in every guy in this locker room, every guy on defense, I'm not worried about nobody," Casey Hampton insisted shortly after the Ravens dropped 35 points, 170 yards rushing and three touchdowns passing on them Sunday. "The answer is with us. The answer is not outside this locker room, the answer is with us, so that's the good thing."

He tried to explain.

"I know what we're capable of doing when we play like we're supposed to play. I'm not taking nothing away from them because they whupped us but I know the answer's with us so that makes me feel good about it."

They were a dominant defense last season, so there is reason to think that Hampton is correct. But they weren't a dominant defense against Green Bay in the Super Bowl and they've now allowed an average of 386 yards in each of their past two games. They also have changed no starters since last season and have two veterans back at full strength, end Aaron Smith and safety Troy Polamalu.

Those are two of the eight starters on defense in their 30s, and one year older than last season too. With no intention to make Tomlin's job any easier, the fact is this defense is the oldest of any in the league over the past decade, according to the research blog Football Outsiders. That does not mean it will continue to look like Billy Gardell chasing Usain Bolt, as the Steelers looked against the Ravens.

But, as Tomlin would say, it's on video, and it's the only thing anyone has to go by.

A few Steelers sounded some warning signals in the locker room Sunday, as if sending messages to their teammates.

"Last year doesn't count," safety Ryan Clark said. "That's what we have to realize and that's the thing we have to focus on. What we did last year doesn't count. What we did three years ago and won the Super Bowl doesn't matter. This is 2011 and in 2011 we're a very bad football team, we're 0-1 and it wasn't close, it wasn't close at all."

Polamalu tweeted on Saturday after signing his $36.5 million contract that he was happy he would retire as a Steeler and then on Sunday made it seem like it might be sooner than that contract's end in 2014. Polamalu offered some curious comments after the shellacking about his team needing to be humbled.

"It's incredibly humbling which, obviously, we needed at this point. ... It'll be interesting to see how we persevere. This is a big step toward humility."

Don't know about any steps toward humility, but the oldest defense in the NFL looked much older than advertised Sunday in Baltimore. Maybe that sentence will help make Tomlin's job easier this week.

Veteran decision by Sanders

Emmanuel Sanders combined with kicker Shaun Suisham to score the only points of the game when he improvised to catch an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter. It cut the lead to 14-7, the last time they would cut into the Ravens lead.

"I was running a corner," Sanders said of the original route that took him to the back left corner of the end zone. "I saw Ben scrambling and I rolled back away from the coverage and he ended up seeing me."

Sanders scraped back along the end line to catch the touchdown pass wide open in the back middle of the end zone. It showed a moment of mature play on his part in an otherwise disastrous go-round for the offense Sunday.

Sanders, who has overcome two broken feet and slow healing on one of them, looks to have come all the way back, and he says the offense will too.

"You can't have seven turnovers and expect to win. Everyone knows how explosive this offense can be, we just have to put the pieces together.

"We just didn't bring our 'A' game. The good thing about this league is, this is just the first game. This is not going to make or break our season, it's not going to make or break who wins the title in the AFC North. They still have to come to Pittsburgh."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11256/11 ... z1Xss7gHop (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11256/1174295-66-0.stm#ixzz1Xss7gHop)

09-14-2011, 03:29 AM
Read this somewhere--

Bill Leavy, the referee in Super Bowl XL, has been assigned to this Sunday's Steelers- Seahawks game.

I believe he was in Seattle last summer and did somewhat of an apology to the 'Hags for some blown call in SB XL.

More bad news :?:

Kindle :tt2

Maybe this will add some interest to this game. You know, it seems like we just got done playing this team but I did check and it was way back in 2007 they were here and lost 21- 0. I expected them to come in here full of fire and seeking revenge. What? No interest at all on their part. It was as if they finally realized they were very wrong.

They do not travel well. That jet lag factor did seem to get them last year.

Anyway, having Bill Leavy assigned to this game ---ehhh! I suppose it is just a coincidence.

09-14-2011, 09:02 AM
If I were the Seahawks (or any other team), I would not be afraid of the Steelers right now. Just follow the blueprint, play to the Steelers' weaknesses rather than to their strengths, and you have a decent chance of winning.

09-14-2011, 10:22 AM
Read this somewhere--

Bill Leavy, the referee in Super Bowl XL, has been assigned to this Sunday's Steelers- Seahawks game.

I believe he was in Seattle last summer and did somewhat of an apology to the 'Hags for some blown call in SB XL.

More bad news :?:

Kindle :tt2

Maybe this will add some interest to this game. You know, it seems like we just got done playing this team but I did check and it was way back in 2007 they were here and lost 21- 0. I expected them to come in here full of fire and seeking revenge. What? No interest at all on their part. It was as if they finally realized they were very wrong.

They do not travel well. That jet lag factor did seem to get them last year.

Anyway, having Bill Leavy assigned to this game ---ehhh! I suppose it is just a coincidence.

Leavy is assigned for drama...

Is there anyone left from their SB team in 2005 or 2007? I think they have all retired or moved on.

09-14-2011, 10:23 AM
Read this somewhere--

Bill Leavy, the referee in Super Bowl XL, has been assigned to this Sunday's Steelers- Seahawks game.

I believe he was in Seattle last summer and did somewhat of an apology to the 'Hags for some blown call in SB XL.

More bad news :?:

Kindle :tt2

Maybe this will add some interest to this game. You know, it seems like we just got done playing this team but I did check and it was way back in 2007 they were here and lost 21- 0. I expected them to come in here full of fire and seeking revenge. What? No interest at all on their part. It was as if they finally realized they were very wrong.

They do not travel well. That jet lag factor did seem to get them last year.

Anyway, having Bill Leavy assigned to this game ---ehhh! I suppose it is just a coincidence.

Leavy is assigned for drama...

Is there anyone left from their SB team in 2005 or 2007? I think they have all retired or moved on.

LB LeRoy Hill and CB Marcus Trufant. That's it.

09-14-2011, 12:53 PM
It's tough to get excited about Seattle after the display they just put on against one of the upper echelon teams. Beating up on a weak Seattle team, is really not much of an elixir. That said, they better dominate the Seahawks the way they were dominated last Sunday.


09-14-2011, 03:01 PM
Seattle’s young offensive line faces tougher test this week

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on September 14, 2011


The Seahawks have the youngest offensive line fielded by any team in 16 years, according to our Seahawks sleuth Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times.

It’s no surprise that the group struggled in the season opener against San Francisco. The team installed a new scheme under offensive line coach Tom Cable and hired a new offensive coordinator.

“It’s going to take us some time to get comfortable in all settings,” coach Pete Carroll said. “I think we just weren’t quite there.”

Rookies James Carpenter and John Moffitt struggled against the 49ers. Now they have to play a Steelers front that was pushed around in Week One by Baltimore. Pittsburgh will be told all week how old they looked.

In Sunday’s battle of experience versus youth, we’d expect the Seahawks young guys to learn another painful lesson.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... this-week/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/14/seattles-young-offensive-line-faces-tougher-test-this-week/)

09-15-2011, 09:26 PM
Steelers Vs. Seahawks: Pittsburgh Should Level Record at 1-1 Provided They Do Two Simple Things

by Michael Bean on Sep 15, 2011

There's really only two ways that Seattle can win this game:

Special Teams: Yeah, yeah, kickoff rule, schmick-off rule. There were three kickoff return touchdowns on Kickoff Weekend, the most in NFL history. I guarantee you Leon Washington will take some chances in the return game at the instruction of his coaches. Seattle absolutely has to get any edge they can in the return game. They'll need to punt well, cover well, and perhaps even try something creative like a fake punt or FG.

Turnovers: The Steelers were +17 in the turnover department a year ago; Seattle finished at -9. After turning the ball over 7 times in the season opener, it's hard to imagine Pittsburgh finishing too far in the black again this year, but so long as they win the TO matchup most weeks, that;s okay. Interestingly enough, Seattle is ranked 31st so far in turnovers (-3), with only the Steelers carrying a worse differential into Week 2. Ben Roethlisberger must protect the ball, trust the offense and his reads, and get rid of the ball quickly. Two fumbles big Big Ben last week; can't have that again this coming Sunday.

I don't want to oversimplify a game as nuanced as football, but really those two things should be what determines whether the Steelers get a win on Sunday. Seattle just doesn't have the offensive firepower to hang with the Steelers unless they're aided by good field position from turnovers or splash plays on special teams. Frankly, I think the Steelers should try to run the ball 35 times on Sunday and keep Ben Roethlisberger in the 20-25 passes range. But a part of me is concerned that Bruce Arians and Big Ben will try to build back the confidence offensively by airing it up more often than might be prudent.


09-16-2011, 01:37 AM
Injury report
Dexter Davis DE Hip Did Not Participate In Practice --
Jarriel King T Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice --
Byron Maxwell CB Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice --
Michael Robinson RB Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice --
Malcolm Smith LB Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice --
Robert Gallery G Knee Full Participation in Practice --
Sidney Rice WR Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice --
Jerricho Cotchery WR Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice --
James Farrior LB Not Injury Related Did Not Participate In Practice --
Aaron Smith DE Not Injury Related Did Not Participate In Practice --
Hines Ward WR Not Injury Related Did Not Participate In Practice --
Curtis Brown CB Ankle Full Participation in Practice --
Chris Kemoeatu G Knee Limited Participation in Practice --
Bryant McFadden CB Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice --

09-16-2011, 03:16 PM
Sidney Rice unlikely to play Sunday

Posted by Mike Florio on September 16, 2011

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/sidneyriceminnesotavikingsvseattleseahawkss11njpme _cil-e1316191137254.jpg?w=250

The last time receiver Sidney Rice played at Heinz Field, he caught 10 passes for 136 yards. (Playing with Brett Favre tends to do that.)

This time around, Rice likely won’t be playing at all.

Per Liz Matthews of 710 ESPN, via our corporate brethren at Rotoworld, coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Rice “won’t play in this game unless something goes crazy here in the next day in our travel if he can just get healed.”

(Apparently, someone bought Carroll an espresso machine for his 60th birthday.)

Rice struggled with a hip injury in Minnesota last year, and he will have now missed 1/8th of the 2011 season, “unless something goes crazy here in the next day in our travel if he can just get healed.”

Barring the presence of Mr. Miyagi and/or E.T. on the team’s charter to Pittsburgh, it’s safe to say Rice won’t be playing.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ay-sunday/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/16/sidney-rice-unlikely-to-play-sunday/)

09-17-2011, 01:23 PM
Steelers seeking rebound in home clash with Seahawks

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sns-tsn-a ... 9797.story (http://www.latimes.com/sports/sns-tsn-abn-preview-sea-pit-20110916,0,5379797.story)

September 16, 2011, 2:18 p.m.

Expected to contend for another Super Bowl championship, the Pittsburgh Steelers hardly looked like the defending AFC champions last weekend.

The Seattle Seahawks didn't open defense of their NFC West title much better.

A humbled Pittsburgh club will try to get on track and win its ninth straight home opener when it welcomes Seattle to Heinz Field this Sunday.

Taking the field in a meaningful game for the first time since a loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers were routed by the rival Baltimore Ravens, 35-7, in their 2011 regular-season opener. Pittsburgh's offense struggled mightily in the game, getting forced into seven turnovers while trailing by 14 points (21-7) at the half.

"We came into a tough place to play," said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had of the team's seven giveaways. "[The Ravens] got after it, and we didn't play so well. We turned the ball over, which is [mostly] my fault. But it's the first game of the year. The season's not won or lost [in Week 1], the division's not won or lost."

Pittsburgh now returns to Heinz Field in an effort to rebound. History says that could very well happen, as the club has won all four of its home openers under head coach Mike Tomlin, while Roethlisberger is 4-0 with 960 passing yards and a 110.7 quarterback rating in the four home lid-lifters he has started.

The Steelers have also won 23 of their last 28 games versus the NFC during the regular season.

While the stats seem to favor Pittsburgh, Tomlin's team should also be more focused after last weekend's defeat.

"That's just an example of the many ways you can be humbled," Pittsburgh's head coach said. "I think that's more of a catch phrase than anything else. I think the people that know and competed in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes. Obviously last weekend we were grape squashers."

The Seahawks were also left with empty drinking cups last Sunday, when they dropped a 33-17 decision to San Francisco. Seattle trailed by two points late in the divisional matchup before watching 49ers returner Ted Ginn Jr. take both a kickoff and a punt to the end zone to dash any comeback hopes.

Like Roethlisberger, Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson also struggled in the turnover department. He was intercepted once and lost two fumbles in his Seahawks debut.

"It's a very disappointing first game for us," said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, whose team was penalized 11 times. "It felt like we were right there to take this game over, and then it fell apart in the kicking game."

Seattle is opening with two straight on the road for the first time since 2004 and was without three starters last Sunday in wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), guard Robert Gallery (knee) and linebacker David Hawthorne (knee). Both Gallery and Hawthorne returned to a full practice on Wednesday, while Rice was limited.


Seattle possesses an 8-7 edge in its all-time regular-season series with Pittsburgh, but suffered a 21-0 defeat to the Steelers at Heinz Field in the teams' most recent meeting, which took place in 2007. The Seahawks had recorded two straight non-postseason wins over Pittsburgh prior to that defeat, including a 29-10 decision at Three Rivers Stadium in 1999. That win is one of only two for Seattle in eight lifetime stops in the Steel City.

The most significant game between the teams occurred at Detroit's Ford Field in February of 2006, when Pittsburgh captured its fifth Lombardi Trophy with a 21-10 victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

Tomlin won his only previous matchup with Seattle, while Carroll is 0-2 lifetime against the Steelers and will be going head-to-head against Tomlin for the first time. Both of Carroll's losses to Pittsburgh came as the head coach of New England in 1997, with the last of those setbacks occurring in that season's AFC Divisional Playoffs.


Jackson didn't exactly silence critics who say he isn't a capable starting quarterback in the NFL, throwing for 197 yards on 21-of-37 passing in the opener. However, he was playing behind an offensive line that featured three players making their first career starts: rookies James Carpenter (left guard) and John Moffitt (right guard) and right tackle Breno Giacomini. This led to Jackson getting sacked five times, though he did throw a pair of touchdown passes. One was an eight-yarder to wide receiver Golden Tate, his lone catch of the game, while rookie Doug Baldwin raced one of his four receptions 55 yards for a score on a short slant. Wide receiver Mike Williams matched Baldwin's team-leading catch total, while tight end Zach Miller made just a pair of catches for 19 yards in the ex-Raider's Seattle debut. Miller was forced into a blocking role during the contest when fullback Michael Robinson was lost due to an ankle injury, and the latter won't play this weekend. Seattle signed Eddie Williams off Cleveland's practice squad to replace Robinson. Top running back Marshawn Lynch had 13 of Seattle's 22 rush attempts for 33 yards.

09-17-2011, 01:28 PM
Pete Carroll tries time travel to get Seahawks ready

Seahawks coach moves practices earlier to prepare for 10 a.m. game in Pittsburgh.

By Danny O'Neil

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/s ... awk16.html (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawks/2016221999_hawk16.html)


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.

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.

09-17-2011, 01:29 PM
Hawks face a surly Steelers bunch
seahawks: Road game made tougher because of absence of Rice, several key special-teams guys

http://www.theolympian.com/2011/09/17/1 ... bunch.html (http://www.theolympian.com/2011/09/17/1803277/hawks-face-a-surly-steelers-bunch.html)

RENTON – Early this week, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll speculated that the challenge of facing a grumpy Pittsburgh Steelers team in front of its home fans was “as hard as it gets.”

Actually, it’s gotten a little harder because receiver Sidney Rice has been ruled out for the game due to his injured shoulder, and at least three (possibly four) key players on special teams will be sidelined with injuries.

“Sidney won’t make it in this one,” Carroll said of Rice, the team’s pricey free agent who has yet to see action. Rice missed the opener at San Francisco, too, and the Hawks struggled offensively in a 33-17 defeat.

“He had a lot of work (this week),” Carroll said of Rice. “And (that) gave us the thought that he has a pretty solid chance next week.” The Seahawks face Arizona a week from Sunday in their home opener.

Ankle injuries to fullback Mike Robinson and cornerback Byron Maxwell against San Francisco contributed to the Seahawks’ coverage problems as 49ers returner Ted Ginn Jr. brought back a kickoff and a punt for fourth-quarter touchdowns.

In addition, injuries to backup defenders and special-teams performers Dexter Davis (listed as out Friday, hip) and Malcolm Smith (doubtful, hamstring) complicate the problems faced by a unit already short on manpower.

However, Robert Gallery is expected to return to the starting lineup at left guard after having missed the opener with a knee sprain. His return allows rookie James Carpenter to move back to his spot at starting right tackle. Carpenter opened his NFL career last week at Gallery’s guard spot, and Breno Giacomini started at right tackle.

Veteran middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) is listed as the probable starter this week after being inactive and watching rookie K.J. Wright start against San Francisco.

In the absence of Rice, Carroll said rookie receiver Kris Durham likely will be active.

Other than the injury-mandated personnel shifts, Carroll made some schedule changes as the Hawks prepared for the first of three games this season in the Eastern time zone. Meetings, lifting and practices started earlier all week in an attempt to reset the team’s biological clocks.

“We’ve had a very solid week in preparations,” Carroll said. “We’ve asked the guys to make a commitment to the time frames we’re dealing with, so we can adjust a little bit, and everybody did it to a tee.”

Carroll had the Hawks fly out Friday afternoon, too, to give them a day to acclimate to the time change in hopes of overcoming the team’s historical problems since 2007 in games that start at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. on the East Coast).

Other changes this week were aimed at bolstering the offensive line, which allowed quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to be sacked five times by the 49ers. Carroll said that line coach Tom Cable suspected they were more concerned with assignments than being physical and finishing their blocks.

“(Cable) did a couple things, and the guys understood it and it absolutely showed up on the practice field this week,” Carroll said. “I’m really anxious to see that generate a little something different for us.”

The Seahawks are heavy underdogs to a Steelers team that is returning home after suffering a 35-7 thrashing to rival Baltimore in the season opener. Carroll said he never paid attention to betting lines. He doesn’t need Las Vegas to tell him anything about the problems of playing Pittsburgh.

“It’s a big matchup for us,” he said. “It’s going to be as difficult as it can get.”

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 dave.boling@thenewstribune.com

Read more: http://www.theolympian.com/2011/09/17/1 ... z1YERGa9BF (http://www.theolympian.com/2011/09/17/1803277/hawks-face-a-surly-steelers-bunch.html#ixzz1YERGa9BF)

09-17-2011, 01:30 PM
« Seahawks injuries: Robert Gallery full-go for second straight day | Main |
Carroll says Robert Gallery will start this weekend, but Sidney Rice still out
http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2011 ... still-out/ (http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2011/09/16/carroll-says-robert-gallery-will-start-this-weekend-but-sidney-rice-still-out/)

Robert Gallery will start on Sunday. (Photo by Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

RENTON — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on Friday that left guard Robert Gallery will start against the Steelers this week.

Gallery sat out the season opener with a sprained knee before returning to practice this week. Gallery’s return — though he’s listed as questionable on the injury report — means rookie James Carpenter will start at right tackle, and Breno Giacomini will come off the bench.

Receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder) still isn’t able to play. But Carroll seemed optimistic that Rice could make his season debut next week against Arizona.

“He had a lot of work and gave us the thought that he has a pretty solid chance next week,” Carroll said.

Linebacker David Hawthorne, who was inactive for the season opener due to a sore knee, is also expected to play. Hawthorne fully participated in practice all week.

Gallery’s return brings experience to an offensive line that sorely lacked it in the opener, with three players (Carpenter, John Moffitt and Giacomini) making their first career starts.

“He’s rock solid and a guy and a worker and his dedication to the system and the scheme and all that it calls for,” Carroll said of Gallery. “He really helps us. So hopefully we should be sharper and cleaner.”

Staying with injury news, it sounds as if defensive end Dexter Davis may have a serious problem with his hip. He played Sunday, but didn’t participate in practice this week.

Here’s the full Friday injury report for both the Seahawks and Steelers:



DE Dexter Davis (hip)

T Jarriel King (ankle)

CB Byron Maxwell (ankle)

FB Michael Robinson (ankle)

WR Sidney Rice (shoulder)


LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)


LG Robert Gallery (knee)


LB David Hawthorne (knee)



WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring)


OG Chris Kemoeatu (knee)

CB Bryant McFadden (hamstring)


CB Curtis Brown (ankle)

09-17-2011, 06:15 PM
Seahawks at Steelers: 5 things to watch
http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2011 ... -to-watch/ (http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2011/09/17/seahawks-at-steelers-5-things-to-watch/)

WHAT: Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) (Week 2)

WHEN: 10 a.m. PT Sunday

WHERE: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.

TV/RADIO: FOX (channel 13) / 710 AM, 97.3 FM

What to watch for:
1 of 6 | Share
Seahawks at Steelers: 5 things to watch

1. Picking up the Blitz-burgh

Tarvaris Jackson knows full well what the first priority of the Seahawks’ offense will be against the Steelers on Sunday.

“We’ve got to take care of the football first,” Jackson said. “Make sure we take care of the football. They’re going to bring different blitzes and stuff at us.”

Yes, they are. The Steelers have earned a reputation across the league as an aggressive, hard-hitting defense full of experience and a whole bunch of dudes who don’t mind picking up a personal foul or a fine here or there.

And that doesn’t bode particularly well for a Seahawks offensive line that allowed five sacks of Jackson by the San Francisco 49ers in the season opener.

The good news: Robert Gallery is expected to start at left guard this week after missing the San Francisco game with a sore knee. That moves James Carpenter back over to right tackle, where he’d spent the majority of the season working out before sliding over to left guard in Gallery’s absence.

Still, we’ve yet to see any reason to think that unit has it figured out.

“It’s about finishing and working their feet the way they have to properly,” coach Pete Carroll said. “I’m really anxious to see that generate something different for us. They know they’ve got to get it going. Robert coming back helps us. He’s experienced. The reason we got him here is to help those guys up front communicate well and make the game move more smoothly for us.”

The key, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said, is that Pittsburgh has so many players with an intimate understanding of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s blitzing schemes.

“They have a bunch of players that have been there a long time,” Bevell said. “There are veteran players. You can keep going back years and years and years and you keep seeing the same guys in there, so they understand the scheme very well, they know the ‘why’s’ and ‘what for’s’ of all their spots and where they need to be. He could probably call just about anything and they could get it done.”

And how do the Seahawks combat the Steelers’ pass rush?

“We want to make sure that we target it right. If we don’t, we won’t have a chance,” Jackson said. “We know they’re going to mix it up, they’re going to give good disguises. They run some of the same blitzes, but they kind of mix it up a little, they kind of keep you off guard. So we’re going to make sure we use our indicators and just follow our rules.”

2. East Coastin’

Much has been made of the Seahawks’ recent struggles with 10 a.m. PT start times against East Coast teams on the road.

And much should be made. After all, the Seahawks haven’t won a 10 a.m. start in the Eastern Time Zone since beating Philadelphia 28-24 on Dec. 2, 2007. Just how long ago was that? Shaun Alexander was still Seattle’s running back.

(And for those recalling the Seahawks’ 10 a.m. victory over the Bears last year, remember that Chicago is on central time.)

Carroll is doing everything he can this week to calibrate his players’ body clocks to the long-distance trek.

That’s why Seattle practice a couple hours earlier than normal on Wednesday, and that’s why the Seahawks are flying to Pittsburgh on Friday and conducting a practice at an undisclosed site on Saturday.

“It’s just to get our habits right, and make sure we’re real disciplined in going to sleep at night so that we have a good solid week of preparation, the guys are rested,” Carroll said. “They’re going to get a wake-up call at 6 a.m. West Coast time to go get ready for the football game. And so all week long that’s what we dealt with. It’s just to make everybody aware and make the commitment solid for this preparation.”

3. Bruising Big Ben

When facing Ben Roethlisberger, pressuring the quarterback is only half the battle.

Actually getting the dude on the ground is a different story.

“If you can hit him when he’s not looking,” defensive end Raheem Brock said, asked the best way to take down the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Steelers quarterback. “You know how to hit the big guys. You’ve got to get them off their feet. If you don’t take him down right away, he’s just going to toss you aside. You’ve got to hit him.”

The Seahawks didn’t do much to pressure Alex Smith last week, though San Francisco’s offensive game plan didn’t lend much opportunity for a ton of quarterback hits.

The Steelers, on the other hand, didn’t protect Roethlisberger nearly as well against the Ravens. He was sacked four times and threw two interceptions, part of the seven turnovers Baltimore forced.

A similar effort from Seattle will be required if the Seahawks harbor any hopes of covering the 15-point spread.

But that’s a tall task against a quarterback like Roethlisberger, who scrambles well and prefers to throw the ball deep when he leaves the pocket.

“He’s really tough. He has a good pocket presence,” Brock said. “He’ll get out of the pocket and when he sees something open up, he’ll run for like 20 yards. He’s a good vet. He’s a great quarterback. So we have to be on our toes and try to get after him as much as possible.”

Forcing an early turnover or two seems critical for the Seahawks defense.

“Last week he tried to force a couple, and to Baltimore’s credit they made the plays,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “He rarely makes bad decisions. We’ve got to try to strip the ball from their ball carriers, wide receivers if they do catch it. I think we did a pretty good job last week. We always talk they come in bunches. We’re going to stay aggressive going after it.”

4. Special teams concerns

Antonio Brown returned three kicks for the Steelers last week. He had a long return of 41 yards.

Even if he averages that against the Seahawks, it would be a massive upgrade for Seattle’s coverage units, which were, of course, roasted by San Francisco’s Ted Ginn last week for two touchdowns in a 59-second span.

That can’t happen again. But it may be hard to avoid, with four key special teams players almost certain to sit out. Michael Robinson (ankle), Dexter Davis (hip) and Byron Maxwell (ankle) have already been ruled out for Sunday’s game, with linebacker Malcolm Smith listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.

That leaves the shorthanded Seahawks scrambling for a solution to last week’s problem.

“We had a lot of work to catch some guys up,” Carroll said. “We had to make some decisions to do that and how to get that done, but we feel very good about it and the plan that we have allows hopefully even the alternative guys that have to come off the bench to play and understand what’s happening, so they need to come through. They need to step up. We definitely had a falter last week late, and we can’t have that happen.”

5. Leavy me alone

As you likely know by now, referee Bill Leavy has been assigned to work Sunday’s game. As you likely also know, Leavy was the referee who made a couple of controversial calls against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, which Seattle lost to Pittsburgh 21-10.

Carroll, predictably, had little to say on the matter.

“It’s too far in the past to think that it’s going to be a factor,” Carroll said. “I don’t know why it would be. He’s a pro and I really don’t know all of that story. I know what happened in the game. I know there’s a real sensitive thought about it here for good reason, I would guess. But that can’t be a factor in our minds.”

That’s true. But it’s still worth mentioning and keeping an eye on. Jim Moore raised a good point in his column this week, writing that Leavy has essentially been put in a no-win situation: if calls go the Seahawks way, he’ll be accused of trying to make it up to them. If they go the Steelers way, he’s still a no-good cheat and hey, why the heck did the NFL assign THIS referee to work THIS game in the first place?

Maybe we should cut the guy a break. As Carroll said: “He’d probably like to feel good about it, too.”

09-17-2011, 06:31 PM
Jackson, Lynch will both be a challenge

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
Posted Sep 15, 2011

The Steelers have been watching film on Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson for a few days and the more they watch the more praise they have for him.

“The thing he brings to the table is he is tough,” said linebacker James Farrior. “He is a tough quarterback. He doesn’t get easily rattled. He is going to be tough to bring down because he is strong in his legs.”

Keeping Jackson contained in the pocket is going to be a key, because if they don’t he can wreak havoc.

“He is a leader for them,” said linebacker Lawrence Timmons. “He is a tough guy, he is a scrambler. We have to watch out for him coming out of the backfield. We have to look for him when he scrambles, buying time for his receivers to open up.

“We are going to have to stay in our rush lanes because we don’t want him to escape the pocket. We have to contain him. That is going to be big for us.”

Jackson isn’t the only offensive weapon the Steelers will have to contend with. They also will have to focus on running back Marshawn Lynch.

“They have a great running back and they are going to try to give him the ball,” said defensive end Aaron Smith. “If I was them I would do the same with the running back they have and go from there. He is a fantastic running back. I have a lot of respect for him and the way he runs the ball.”

Lynch didn’t put up big numbers in the Seahawks loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week, gaining just 33 yards on 13 carries. But that isn’t a typical Lynch performance.

“Lynch is their workhorse,” said Farrior. “We expect them to give the ball to him a lot. He is probably going to carry the load for that team. He is a great running back. We expect him to have the ball a lot.”

* * *

Former NFL defensive tackle Warren Sapp, now an NFL analyst, took shots at the Steelers defense and wide receiver Hines Ward on Showtime’s Inside the NFL.

Sapp knocked the Steelers defense overall because of age and took shots at individual players.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers - I have three things: old, slow and it's over,” said Sapp on the show. “It's just that simple.

“James Harrison told us that he was 70-to-75 percent. It looked more like 40 percent to me if you are looking at the ballgame I was looking at. And Hines Ward, Mercedes Sapp can cover Hines Ward right now. You have to be kidding me…Mercedes is my 13-year-old daughter. She will cover Hines Ward in a heartbeat. And Troy Polamalu, Ed Dixon runs this crossing route. Troy Polamalu is trying to grab him to have a pass interference and he can't even get close enough to grab him. (It) looked like he was dragging a wagon behind him. Touchdown Baltimore. Pittsburgh Steelers done.”

Steelers players weren’t angered by Sapp’s comments, but they certainly don’t agree with them.

“The guy has earned the right to say what he wants to say,” said Chris Hoke. “He is one of the best defensive tackles ever to play the game, but I don’t agree with it.”

Cornerback Ike Taylor laughed at the comments, but defended the defense.

“That’s his opinion,” said Taylor. “I don’t have anything to do with what he says. I can’t control what he says. Once you get a certain age, you get labeled as old. That’s kind of understandable. Just the group of guys we do have, age isn’t a factor.”

Harrison wasn’t fazed by Sapp’s comments when asked about them.

“That’s his opinion,” said Harrison. “It don’t matter. He don’t write my checks.”

Harrison said that the Steelers “played terrible. Point blank; period,” against the Ravens and it will take more than a game or two to make people change their opinions of the team.

“You aren’t going to be able to quiet everybody in one week anyway,” said Harrison. “Those who jump on the bandwagon when this is over with let them do what they do.”

* * *

Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday. Guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) and cornerback Bryant McFadden(hamstring) were limited in practice.

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 009e96ad1d (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Jackson-Lynch-will-both-be-a-challenge/8b337877-58b1-4318-849f-44009e96ad1d)

09-17-2011, 09:31 PM
Pittsburgh vs. Seattle
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/gametracke ... 18_SEA@PIT (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/gametracker/preview/NFL_20110918_SEA@PIT)
TIME: 01:00 P.M. EST
VENUE: Heinz Field

The Pittsburgh Steelers made few offseason changes to a roster that was good enough to get to Super Bowl XLV, but in their season opener they looked like a team that was introduced shortly before kickoff.

Hosting the Seattle Seahawks could help them rediscover a bit of continuity.

Seven turnovers doomed the Steelers in their most lopsided loss in 14 years, one they'll be eager to put behind them Sunday at Heinz Field against a Seahawks team that has plenty of its own issues.

Pittsburgh (0-1) didn't tinker much with a team that finished 12-4 and reached its third Super Bowl in six years, and it went into last Sunday's opener at Baltimore with every reason to believe it could make another deep playoff run this season.

That confidence certainly took a hit after a 35-7 loss, the Steelers' worst defeat since their 1997 season opener against Dallas and the first time they finished minus-seven in the turnover department since Week 1 in 1989.

Pittsburgh, however, insists it's already moved on from a loss safety Troy Polamalu described as "a big step toward humility."

"That game is behind us," receiver Hines Ward told the team's official website. "We are just worrying about Seattle. The guys in this locker room know how bad we played. ... Are we excited about how we played? No. We are embarrassed about it."

Coach Mike Tomlin agreed, pointing to punter Daniel Sepulveda's work as the only performance he was pleased with in Baltimore.

"I think the people that know and compete in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes," Tomlin said. "Obviously, last weekend we were grape squashers."

The Seahawks (0-1) were hardly satisfied with their own Week 1 effort, letting an opportunity slip away in San Francisco. Down 16-0 at halftime, Seattle pulled to within 19-17 with 3:56 left before allowing Ted Ginn Jr. to return both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns to seal the 49ers' 33-17 win.

Aside from the Seahawks' obvious special teams issues, though, coach Pete Carroll wasn't totally upset.

"I made sure (Monday) in the team meeting to show them that there was a big contrast from first to second half. They need to know that they're capable and feel it and have that confidence," Carroll said.

Neither Carroll nor Tomlin was around when Pittsburgh and Seattle met in Super Bowl XL, won 21-10 by the Steelers in a game that featured some officiating controversy, but the man who made those decisions will be at Heinz Field.

The NFL assigned Bill Leavy - who admitted last year that he botched two fourth-quarter calls - as Sunday's head referee, marking just the second Seahawks game he's been given since that Super Bowl.

While Seattle's defense was one bright spot last week - it held the 49ers to 209 total yards and just one third-down conversion in 12 attempts - not much went right for a Steelers unit that's finished no lower than fifth in total defense since Tomlin arrived in 2007.

Baltimore ran for 170 yards, 15 more than Pittsburgh allowed in three playoff games combined last season.

Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks' rushing attack certainly don't figure to follow suit, especially with fullback Michael Robinson (ankle) out, but the Steelers are concerned about the escapability of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson if a play breaks down.

"The difficult part about preparing for him is he can run just as well as he can pass," said linebacker James Harrison, who's expected to play despite suffering a knee injury last Sunday. "You have to be able to keep him contained and not lose containment because he can kill you with his legs, too."

Jackson may be looking to run more often if he doesn't have receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), who is again questionable to make his Seahawks debut after signing a five-year, $41 million contract in July.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will break in second-round pick Marcus Gilbert at right tackle after starter Willie Colon tore his right triceps against Baltimore and was placed on injured reserve.

Ben Roethlisberger, who threw three interceptions Sunday for the ninth time in his career, should be happy to see an NFC team coming into Heinz Field. Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to a 12-1 record in interconference home games he's started, averaging an impressive 8.48 yards per attempt and posting a 92.9 passer rating.

Seattle, meanwhile, has lost its last eight road games against AFC opponents - a streak that began with a 21-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Oct. 7, 2007.

09-17-2011, 09:45 PM
If I were the Seahawks (or any other team), I would not be afraid of the Steelers right now. Just follow the blueprint, play to the Steelers' weaknesses rather than to their strengths, and you have a decent chance of winning.

Unfortunately, I tend to agree with this and the Seahawks may be getting the Steelers at the right time, not the wrong time.


Steeler Shades
09-18-2011, 12:21 PM
Also have to agree. However most of the teams that do well against the Steelers have an accurate passer and I'm not sure that the Seahawks have someone that fits that description.

09-18-2011, 06:05 PM
Steelers right the ship in shutout win

Posted by Josh Alper on September 18, 2011


Here’s a quick way of letting you know how one-sided today’s game in Pittsburgh turned out to be: The Seahawks didn’t run their first play in Steelers territory until the fourth quarter.

It was 24-0 by that point and the Seahawks’ big drive would wind up ending on a James Harrison sack of Tarvaris Jackson. That meant the game would end with the same score and it meant the Steelers could take a big step toward putting their Week One loss behind them. It will take a bit more than a win over a wildly overmatched Seattle club, but anyone looking for signs of serious holes in the Pittsburgh armor will have to wait a bit longer to point them out.

The Steelers followed a pretty familiar path to the win. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 298 yards, including a couple of deep balls to Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders. Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman kept the clock moving and first downs coming on the ground. And Sanders even completed a pass on a gadget play to keep the venerable Pittsburgh tradition of wideouts throwing passes alive in the absence of Antwan Randle-El. They also didn’t turn the ball over, a nice change after the comedy of errors against Baltimore in Week One.

And then there was the defense. They did exactly what you expect a good defense to do when faced by an offense quarterbacked by Tarvaris Jackson that that can’t run the ball. They had five sacks, forced eight punts and, as we mentioned previously, spent most of the game nowhere near their own end zone.

In short, it was the kind of game Pittsburgh needed after last week’s debacle.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... utout-win/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/18/steelers-right-the-ship-in-shutout-win/)

09-18-2011, 11:45 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2011 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.
Seahawks dominated by Steelers in 24-0 loss

By Danny O'Neil
Seattle Times staff reporter
PITTSBURGH — Trips don't get any more pointless than the one the Seahawks just finished.

On Sunday in Pittsburgh, they crossed midfield only twice, never got inside the Steelers' 25 and left town with a 24-0 loss weighing down their carry-on baggage.

The defeat wasn't a surprise. Seattle was a bigger underdog than it had been in any game since 1992. It was the spectacularly one-sided nature of this loss that stood out. The Seahawks had not failed to score in a game since Oct. 7, 2007 — the last time they played in Pittsburgh.

"That's embarrassing," quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. "We just didn't show up as an offense."

That's not technically accurate. The Seahawks were, in fact, present on the field. It was just hard to tell by looking at the scoreboard or the stat sheet.

Mike Williams — who led Seattle with 65 catches last season — was not targeted in the first half for the second consecutive game. Zach Miller, the premier free-agent tight end Seattle signed, didn't catch a pass until there was less than nine minutes remaining.

Jackson was 20-for-29 passing for 159 yards, and while he was sacked five times, all were in the second half. Coach Pete Carroll was asked afterward if the offense's persistent struggles made him consider changing quarterbacks.

"It had nothing to do with the quarterback spot," he said. "I don't feel like that at all."

The Seahawks failed to score for just the 11th game in franchise history. Its longest play from scrimmage was a 17-yard pass to fullback Eddie Williams, who has been on Seattle's roster for almost a whole week now. Seattle sustained only one drive longer than six plays.

"The biggest frustration is that we're just better than what we're putting on the field on Sunday," Williams said.

As bad as Seattle's offense was — and it was unambiguously awful — the defense didn't do much better, considering it didn't force the Steelers to punt until the second half. This was a game in which the Seahawks' offense and defense could have sued each other for a lack of support.

Makes you wonder what would have happened if Seattle hadn't changed its practice times last week, instituted early wake-up calls and flown East two days before the game, huh?

Seattle is 0-2 for the second time in the past eight seasons. The Seahawks have never made the playoffs after losing their first two games of the season.

And as the Seahawks prepared to leave Pittsburgh, Carroll was left sounding almost like a politician who was preaching persistence and trying to quell panic.

"We have to stay the course," he said. "We have to keep battling."

This season began with the distinct possibility that Seattle could be worse than it was a year ago, when it won the NFC West. Not only were the Seahawks changing quarterbacks for the first time in 10 years, but they were planning to start an offensive line that included two rookies on the right side and three others who had never started a regular-season game next to each other.

Did Carroll have any idea the offense might be this unproductive?

"We hoped we could make it happen fast," he said, "and hoped that other people would be struggling to get going. But knowing how new we were and how few opportunities we had to bring them along, it's going to take a little while. And that's unfortunate, and it's very difficult to have to live through it."

It's not easy to watch it, either.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

09-19-2011, 03:18 AM
First win nothing to crow about - Let's keep first victory in perspective

Monday, September 19, 2011
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There was a genuine work-a-day, clock puncher's dignity in the way the Steelers broke the beaks of the Seahawks, you could argue, but the full persona of Rebound Sunday didn't reveal itself until Isaac Redman encountered Seattle's Kam Chancellor early in the second quarter.

Chancellor is the Seahawks' oversized strong safety, 6-3 and 232 by the flip cards, which is why Redman figured he was in for some intense punishment after breaking open 20 yards from the goal line with the Steelers leading 7-0.

Four plays earlier, Seattle linebacker Aaron Curry dropped a Ben Roethlisberger pass headed for Hines Ward, and now Chancellor needed to blow up a play to keep the Seahawks from going feathers up before it was even noon in Seattle.

"I knew he was a big guy and that he's not the kind of guy who's going to try and cut the legs out from under you," Redman said. "He's going to come in for the big hit, so I just set him up."

Redman gave him a head fake and hip feint right while flipping his gyroscope left on a dazzling 20-yard touchdown run. Chancellor, it so happens, is perfectly emblematic of the new Seahawks under Pete Carroll: bigger, faster and still not terribly good.

You can genuflect all you want for the any-given-Sunday gospel, but the more accurate reality is that while you don't get to play Norfolk State in this NFL, you still sometimes get to the play the Seahawks.

I was going to say that if this 24-0 Steelers victory were a cable sitcom, it would be called Curb Your Enthusiasm, but then Mike Tomlin said almost the same thing.

"It's not going to take one performance to take that [Baltimore] stench off us," Tomlin said a couple minutes after polishing his record to 5-0 in home openers. "We respect that."

You must respect also that the Seahawks came all this way just to provide the struggling Steelers with a copy of Chicken Soup for the Underachievers' Soul, especially when they're so busy remaking their roster into one that can qualify to draft Stanford's Andrew Luck before anyone else has a chance.

"Good Luck Seahawks" isn't a well-wisher's slogan; it's a directive.

Carroll and Seahawks GM John Schneider have already turned over 81 percent of Seattle's roster in two years, and that includes the deporting of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who spent Sunday throwing for 358 yards and a touchdown to boost the Tennessee Titans over Baltimore's stench spreaders.

Thus it's a nervous time for the remaining 19 percent, including new quarterback Tavaris Jackson, who made a pretty convincing case Sunday for why they had so little use for him in Minnesota.

"I'm just in shock with the offense," Jackson said after eight of his teams 10 possessions ended with a punt. "We just didn't play well at all. We couldn't put two third-down conversions back-to-back. That's embarrassing."

Embarrassment isn't forever, as the Steelers demonstrated by rumbling to a 17-0 halftime lead with an offense that is apparently capable of putting one foot in front of the other without a turnover.

Tomlin told his fellas pretty flatly they're the same team that was blasted only a week ago, but that doesn't mean he won't find some improvement when he analyzes it.

"I think he was just trying to remind us that you don't get too high in this business," said tight end Heath Miller, who caught just one of Ben Roethlisberger's 22 completions. "We have to keep in mind that it's a work in progress, but I think it was better than last week. We didn't turn the ball over."

Coming off a seven-turnover Sunday, a lot's gonna look good. The Steelers offensive line, for example, challenged still again when starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu couldn't start because of a knee injury, got highly professional performances from Ramon Foster and from right tackle Marcus Gilbert in his first NFL start.

"We pretty much knew what they'd do," Foster said of a Seattle defense that didn't have much success doing anything. "They stacked against the run a lot in the box, but we were finishing blocks enough to get the run going and that set up some pass plays."

Having scored once on 13 possessions a week ago, the Steelers got points four of the first six times they had the ball against a defense that wasn't remotely menacing save for the moment defensive end Raheem Brock crashed into Roethlisberger's right leg in the second quarter.

"I didn't feel anything pop so that was the good thing about it," the quarterback said. "Knees are nothing to play around with. It was definitely scary."

So that's on the record then, which means you can't say the Seahawks don't scare anybody. You can say they're perfectly awful though, which should keep the Steelers' first win in perspective.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11262/11 ... z1YNA24ZwB (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11262/1175833-150-0.stm#ixzz1YNA24ZwB)