Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 2:00 p.m. practice and preparation for their Week 15 road matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Coach Carroll was quick to recognize original season ticket holder Paul Poliak, age 92, who is on hand at Virginia Mason Athletic Center today as part of the Seahawks celebration of the 12th Man on December 12, 2012 (12.12.12), or #12Day. Poliak raised the 12th Man flag at the facility prior to today’s practice. Carroll transitioned to the announcement that the club will debut their all wolf grey jerseys this Sunday before getting into discussion of the week ahead.
Carroll made the point that this weekend’s game against the Bills, which will actually be played in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as part of the Bills Toronto series, is the final opportunity of the regular season for the club to go on the road and get a win.
“We need to see if we can carry some momentum into this last road opportunity,” he said. “It’s a big chore. We have tremendous respect for C.J. Spiller and their offense, he has really torn it up.”
Carroll noted that veteran linebacker Leroy Hill will return to practice on a regular load this week. Hill did not play in the team’s Week 14 58-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but was available if needed. In Hill’s place, second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith out of USC saw playing time, and played well.
“He can do everything,” Carroll said of Smith. ” He’s a well-rounded athlete, potentially he’s always had everything. This is the best he’s looked since I’ve known him.”
Carroll said Smith will split time with Hill during the week and that the competition is on at the position.
Carroll also noted that wide receiver Sidney Rice will not practice today while resting a sore foot. Carroll said the foot has been a bother most of the season, but flared up on Monday of this week. Rice’s status for Sunday’s game is unknown at this point.
On cornerback Marcus Trufant, Carroll said the veteran defensive back is still not ready to return from a hamstring strain and will not practice today.
Today’s practice marks the first Wednesday practice without pads, per the NFL Player Association rules on how many padded practices teams are allowed in a season.
Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.