A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Finishing. As in playing 60 minutes – the full 60, from start to finish. That was a point of emphasis today when the coaches met with the players in the wake of Sunday’s 33-17 loss to the 49ers in the Seahawks’ season opener in San Francisco.
“It really is, it’s 60 minutes,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly day-after news conference. “You can play real well and it doesn’t matter, it’s how it ends up and how you finish. And our finish was not right yesterday.”
Sunday’s game wasn’t as lopsided as the final score indicated. The Seahawks pulled to within 19-17 on a 55-yard pass play from Tarvaris Jackson to rookie wide receiver Doug Baldwin for a touchdown with 3 minutes, 56 seconds left in the game. But kickoff and punt returns for scores in the next 59 seconds by Ted Ginn Jr. left the Seahawks kicking themselves, and wondering what could have been – if they had finished.
“That’s really where our focus has to go, is to do things right all the way till the ball game is over and see what happens,” Carroll said. “We didn’t get that done.
“So it’s frustrating in that we did make a comeback, but also there were some encouraging signs in there that we can build from and that’s what we plan to do.”
And this week, they need to do it quickly, as the team leaves Friday for Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Fullback Michael Robinson and backup cornerback Byron Maxwell had to leave Sunday’s game with what Carroll has been told are second-degree ankle sprains. They’re not expected to play this week, but Carroll is not ready to predict how much time they might miss until he gets additional information.
“We’re going to have to wait and see how they respond,” Carroll said.
Losing Robinson in the first quarter hurt the running game because he is the only fullback on the roster. But his loss coupled with Maxwell going down on the second-half kickoff really impacted the special teams. Robinson is a co-captain on special teams, while Maxwell led the club in coverage tackles during the preseason and was what Carroll labeled “the most impacting player.”
“So those force us, not being available this week, to have to do some things and shuffle some stuff around,” Carroll said. “That will call for other guys who generally don’t have to be called on the first team of special teams to step up and play.”
The Seahawks also played Sunday without left guard Robert Gallery (knee) and middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee). Carroll said Hawthorne will practice fully Wednesday when the players return from their off day. Gallery worked out today and will have another session Tuesday, which will help determine his status for this week.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks emerged from Sunday ranked No. 2 in the NFL in defense, after allowing 209 yards to the 49ers. But the Seahawks lead the league in average gain allowed on first downs – 3.27 yards, or 72 yards on 22 plays.
After being off Tuesday, the players will return to an East Coast schedule on Wednesday because they’re playing in Pittsburgh this week. The walk-thrus on Wednesday and Thursday will begin at 10:15 a.m. – or 1:15 p.m. EDT. Practice those days will start at 11:45.
YOU DON’T SAY
“How could you ignore the fact that they’re the Pittsburgh Steelers and what they’ve done and stood for? These guys have all grown up watching these guys. We haven’t matched up with these guys. But there won’t be any problem (motivating this team). So I’m not looking for any easy sell. But it’s as obvious as it gets.” – Carroll, when asked about having an easy sell when it comes to motivation for this week’s game