Cyber surfing: Sunday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 11:

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times “eavesdrops” on Pete Carroll’s pregame talk to his players at Candlestick Park before today’s regular-season opener against the 49ers. Offers Kelley: “Moments before the Seahawks take the field for Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, coach Pete Carroll gathers his players in the cramped, Spartan locker room underneath Candlestick Park and lights their fuses for the fight ahead. Talking in one long, run-on sentence, he sounds like the pitchman at a carnival. His words come in oral blasts that have the force of a water cannon. As he begins, Carroll flashes back to some of the road games from last season and the anger starts to build. You can almost hear him above the roar of the jet engines in Burlingame.”

Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil looks at Carroll’s 4-1 record in previous openers as a head coach in the NFL.  Offers O’Neil: “But Carroll has a history that’s relevant here. After years at USC, he’s accustomed to incorporating new staff members and dealing with roster turnover, which he estimated at 30 percent a year. He’s also got a track record that shows he’s ready more often than not when the season begins. He is 4-1 in season openers as an NFL head coach, the lone loss coming with the Patriots in 1998. He was 9-0 in season openers at USC. Sure, there were a couple cupcakes, but the Trojans also opened with Virginia Tech, Arkansas and Auburn (twice) under Carroll.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune runs through the indicators for this opener, with an eye to last season’s misleading results against the 49ers in Seattle. Says Boling: “After last season’s experience, we might want to add a key factor for fans watching this one: Remember, it’s only the first game, and a lot can happen in either direction in the 15 games that follow.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at the collaboration between Carroll and GM John Schneider that has produced the team that will take the field today. Says Boyle: “Yet 1½ years after Schneider was hired, all signs point to (Tod) Leiweke’s “fantastic collaboration” being a very real thing. And if the 2011 season, which kicks off in San Francisco today, turns out to be a success, Carroll believes his relationship with Schneider will be the biggest part of it. ‘By far the best advantage I have is John,’ Carroll said. ‘Making the transition, putting it all together, he’s been phenomenal. We get along great and have a ball doing what we’re doing.’ “

Also at the Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “The Game of My Life” series with former wide receiver Sam McCullum. Says Johnson: “The greatest game of Sam McCullum’s six-year career in Seattle wasn’t a memorable, come-from-behind victory that changed the course of a season. In fact, it wasn’t even a victory. And to call it memorable would actually be misleading because McCullum doesn’t remember a thing that happened after halftime. After suffering a concussion at the hands of a man that many consider the hardest hitter in NFL history, McCullum blacked out but still set a franchise record for receiving yards in the game.”

Christian Caple at PI.com has five things to watch in today’s game. No. 1 on the list? The newest look for the Seahawks’ new-look offensive line. Says Caple: “Want to hear something a tad unsettling? Seahawks center Max Unger, he of 17 career NFL starts, will be the most experienced player on the team’s starting offensive line Sunday.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got a look at the team Carroll and Schneider have compiled. “The question now: How long will it take this mix to mesh? ‘We don’t know. Nobody knows right now,’ a candid Carroll admitted after Friday’s final practice to prepare for Sunday’s opener. ‘You’ve got to find out what happens when you start playing the games. It’s going to be interesting to watch our team as we grow together. We’re going to have to learn. We don’t know everything about them yet, but we’ll learn as we go.’ ”

There’s also Tony Ventrella’s video preview of the game, as well as a look at the other meaning in today’s game.


Comments Off