Game at a glance

PITTSBURGH – A recap of the Seahawks’ 24-0 loss to the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ben Roethlisberger. Unlike his performance in the Steelers’ victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger was the biggest reason his team won. Again.

The player who goes by “Big Ben” came up big, time and again, while completing 22 of 30 passes for 298 yards. He threw for one TD – a 2-yarder to Mike Wallace – and did not throw an interception. That was good for a passer rating of 115.7.

He was especially efficient – and effective – on third downs, hitting 9 of 13 for 171 yards.

“The quarterback was tremendous making his plays,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He was able to make the plays throughout when they needed them.”

Honorable mention to Wallace, who caught eight passes for 126 yards; and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who was credited with a eight tackles but seemed to have twice that many.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: Roethlisberger and Wallace hooked up on a 53-yard completion on a third-and-9 play, but let’s go with the TD pass – as Wallace made a nice grab of a nice throw in the end zone against Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.

Defense: James Harrison’s sack of Tarvaris Jackson in the fourth quarter. It was one of the Steelers’ five sacks, but this one came on a fourth-and-eight play after the Seahawks had reached their deepest penetration of the game – the Steelers’ 26-yard. There was a chance to perhaps kick a field goal and avoid the shutout, but Harrison prevented it.

Special teams: Another Sunday, another big return allowed by the Seahawks’ special teams. This time, it was a 41-yard punt return by the Steelers’ Antonio Brown. He didn’t score, as the 49ers’ Ted Ginn Jr. did in the opener. But Brown’s return set up the Steelers’ second touchdown.

INJURY REPORT

Carroll said there were no serious injuries from the game, but the Seahawks played without wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle), fullback Michael Robinson (ankle) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring).

There was a report on Sunday that Rice has a labrum injury similar to the one that put tight end John Carlson on injured reserve for the season. But Carroll said that is not the case and he still is hoping that Rice will be able to make his Seahawks debut in Sunday’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.

THIS ’N THAT

Strong safety Kam Chancellor had a game-high nine tackles to lead the Seahawks for the second consecutive game.

Linebacker Matt McCoy had seven tackles on defense and two more on special teams.

Rookie wide receiver Kris Durham caught three passes for 30 yards in his NFL debut.

The Seahawks’ longest play was turned in by fullback Eddie Williams, who was just signed on Tuesday. He caught a 17-yard pass.

Neither team turned the ball over, despite entering the game ranked 31st (Seahawks at minus-3) and 32nd (Steelers at minus-7) in the league in turnover ratio.

The last time the Seahawks were shutout was in 2007, in a Week 5 game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have won nine home openers in a row.

The Seahawks are 0-2 for the first time since 2008 and the second time since 2002.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It had nothing to do with the quarterback spot. I don’t feel like that at all. … It does not feel like it’s a one-guy situation.” – Carroll when asked if he was contemplating a switch at quarterback.


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Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

The identity of the Seahawks’ offense. Just who are these guys? The unit that failed to score and generated only 37 yards of total offense in the first half of the season opener against the 49ers? Or the one that put up 17 points and 182 yards in the second half of the 33-17 loss at Candlestick Park on Sunday?

Coordinator Darrell Bevell was asked exactly that after practice today, when the Seahawks began preparing for Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

“We’re still searching for a lot of things,” Bevell said. “We know the identity that we want to be. We’re not there yet. We’re still trying to find that.”

Frustrating the process is the fact that wide receiver Sidney Rice and left guard Robert Gallery did not play in the opener, and then fullback Michael Robinson went down with a sprained ankle in the first quarter – which forced tight end Zach Miller to slide to fullback on occasion.

“In the second half, we came out and played better,” Bevell said. “We got a little of rhythm going, we were able to gain some first downs – which helps get the rhythm going, obviously – and then we were able to get some points on the board.

“There are some positives that we can take away from it, but there’s a lot of work for us to do as well.”

PLAYER WATCH

Eddie Williams. With Robinson out this well, as well, Williams was signed off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad on Tuesday and practiced with the Seahawks for the first time today.

Usually when a new player is added, he gets to wade into things. Not Williams, who was dropped off the deep end by stepping right in with the No. 1 offense.

“It’s fast. It’s my first time doing it,” Williams said. “But I’m up for the challenge. It’s a lot different, but I’ve got to get better. I feel like I’m slipping right in.”

Williams is getting plenty of help in his hurry-up drill to be ready for Sunday. There’s Bevell. There’s running backs coach Sherman Smith. There’s Robinson. But there’s also Justin Griffith, a former Seahawks fullback who is a season-long coaching intern.

“He’s out there quizzing me on all the defenses,” Williams said of Griffith. “It’s just making me a more complete player, and I can take that wherever I go for the next however long I play – 10 years, five years, whatever.”

This week, the only place Williams is going is Pittsburgh – as the Seahawks’ only healthy fullback.

“It’s a lot better than anything I’ve done before,” said Williams, who played H-back and slot receiver in addition to tight end at Idaho; fullback and tight end with the Washington Redskins, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft; and fullback and tight end with the Chicago Bears and Browns.

“I honestly feel like the way the scheme is here you’re a combo block on the tight end or you’re getting up on the safety. You’ve got to use your quickness and speed. Whereas other systems it’s downhill (to block) the middle linebacker. But this is a lot different, and it fits my skill set a lot better.”

UNIT WATCH

Offensive line. Gallery was back at left guard today after sitting out last week and the opener against the 49ers after spraining an ankle in the preseason finale against the Raiders. That allowed first-round draft choice James Carpenter to return to right tackle after subbing for Gallery.

The rest of the No. 1 line included left tackle Russell Okung, who played against the 49ers after being sidelined since spraining an ankle on the first series of the preseason opener; center Max Unger; and right guard John Moffitt.

“That was great to see Robert back out,” Carroll said.

As for who starts against the Steelers, Carroll said, “We’ll work our way through the week and see what that means.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Ben Roethlisberger. Carroll calls the Steelers’ 6-foot-5, 241-pound quarterback “a very, very volatile football player,” and here’s why:

“He’s an amazing player, in general,” Carroll said. “But when he really goes off the charts is when the play rhythm changes and he moves out of the pocket or he moves in the pocket and throws somebody on the ground and finds an open receiver and makes a great throw.

“He’s incredible at finding guys downfield with all the chaos going around him as the pocket breaks down and the play breaks down. So he’s more dangerous when he gets on the loose, even. It’s a number of factors. He’s such a big, strong guy, that he can just shed the rush. You have to really work to get him down. And he does not give up on a play. He won’t throw the ball away. He won’t waste a play. He’s going to go find something to do with it, because he’s been so good at it. So, boy, there’s just a big play waiting to happen with him. So he’s a very, very volatile football player that we have to do a great job in coverage, we have to stay on top and then we have to stay alive in our rushes so we can get to him and hopefully keep him from making those kinds of plays. Not very many people do. He basically gets out and does things in every game.”

IN AND OUT

In addition to Gallery, middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) returned to practice and was working with the No. 1 defense, while Rice (shoulder) was limited. Both missed the opener.

“Having Sidney back on the practice field was great today, along with Robert and ‘Heater,’ ” Carroll said. “Sidney ran around a lot and caught a lot of passes today. What that means, I don’t know. But it’s better than not seeing him do it.”

In addition to Robinson, cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle), defensive end Dexter Davis (hip), linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and tackle Jerriel King (ankle) did not practice.

STAT DU JOUR

The Steelers have averaged 49.8 sacks the past four seasons, when they have led the NFL twice (2007 and 2010) and finished second twice (2008 and 2009).

UP NEXT

Carroll has a milestone event on Thursday, and the Seahawks’ coach has chosen a unique way to mark his 60th birthday. His wish is to raise funds – and awareness – for “A Better Seattle,” which is designed after his already successful “A Better L.A.” program that connects highest-risk, gang-influenced youth with positive support systems.

So Carroll is asking fans to donate to the project through http://wishes.causes.com/petecarroll, and he will match the donations. Those donating will be entered to win a day at VMAC, where they will watch practice and get a tour of the facility; a Seahawks helmet autographed by Carroll; or an NFL football signed by the coach.

Thursday also will be the official launch of the “A Better Seattle” program.

“We do have a big event that’s coming up in that we’re making an announcement tomorrow about the start of ‘A Better Seattle,’ and a follow-up to the foundation work that we did in Los Angles that we’re very excited about,” Carroll said today during his midweek news conference.

“It just coincidentally happens to come on my birthday. Of all the things, to me, that’s what’s most significant about it being Sept. 15.”

On the field, the players will continue to follow their altered schedule to help prepare them for playing on the East Coast this week, with a walk-thru at 10:15 a.m. and practice at 11:45.

YOU DON’T SAY

“That’s a real logical storyline to follow, but it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.” – Carroll when asked if Sunday’s game presents an additional challenge because the Steelers lost their opener to the Ravens 35-7


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Cyber surfing: Wednesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 14:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times revisits a training camp discussion with Tom Cable, when the Seahawks’ first-year assistant head coach/offensive line coach said there would be growing pains for his unit: “I keep saying, if you hear me, the system has to kind of start in infancy and grow just like we all do as humans,” he said. Offers O’Neil: “Crawl before you walk, walk before you run and expect some scrapes along the way. Not everyone was listening, though. It was easier to talk yourself into the possibility that things were going to be OK even as evidence piled up in August indicating otherwise.”

Eric Williams of the News Tribune takes a look at the roster moves made by the team on Tuesday, as well as the next opponent – the Steelers. Says Williams: “With fullback Michael Robinson unavailable for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh because of a second-degree ankle sprain, (Eddie) Williams likely will see some playing time. Williams was on Cleveland’s practice squad to begin this season.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald examines how Tarvaris Jackson’s survival skills make the QB a good fit for the Seahawks’ still-growing offense. Says Boyle: “Something became evident over the course of the preseason and Sunday’s regular-season opener. Tarvaris Jackson is the right man for the Seahawks quarterback job. And that’s not necessarily because Jackson is a good quarterback — though despite some people’s shouts for backup Charlie Whitehurst, it’s way too early to know if Jackson will succeed in Seattle. No, Jackson is the right man for the job because, well, he has a chance to survive the job.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got one last look back at the loss to the 49ers in Sunday’s opener in Ben Malcolmson’s weekly view “From the Sidelines.” There’s also a feature on Jameson Konz, who is becoming the epitome of a practice-squad player; an “Up Next” look at the Steelers; and a Tuesday in Hawkville recap.


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Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

Steelers. Past, not present. Yes, the Seahawks play the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. But this is a look at the ex-Steelers who have been very, very good to the Seahawks.

The list of former Steelers who have gone on to play for the Seahawks includes two members of the franchise’s 35th Anniversary team, a receiver who made one of the most memorable catches in team history and last year’s choice for the Steve Largent Award and Man of the Year.

Here’s a close look at the Steelers who would be Seahawks:

Dave Brown – A first-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1975, Brown came to the expansion Seahawks in the 1976 veteran allocation draft. All he did was become the franchise’s all-time leader in interceptions (50) and he also ranks No. 6 in games started (159) and No. 7 in tackles (684). He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1984, inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in 1992 and voted to the 35th Anniversary team last year. Brown died of a heart attack in 2006.

Paul Skansi – A fifth-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1983, Skansi joined the Seahawks in 1984 and played eight seasons. His most memorable play came in 1990, when he caught a 25-yard TD pass from Dave Krieg on the final play of the game in a 17-16 victory over the Chiefs in Kansas City. His best season came in 1989, when he caught 39 passes for 488 yards and five TDs.

Chad Brown – A second-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1993, Brown was the Seahawks’ big free-agent signing in 1997. Over the next eight seasons, Brown led the team in tackles three times and was voted to the Pro Bowl twice. He ranks No. 4 in career tackles (744) and No. 5 in sacks (48). He was voted to the 35th Anniversary team as an outside linebacker.

Willie Williams – Once Brown signed, he helped recruit Williams to do the same. The durable cornerback had been a sixth-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1993. In seven seasons with the Seahawks, Williams started 75 games.

Roy Lewis – He joined the Steelers as a rookie free agent in 2008, but signed with the Seahawks in 2009. Last season, he was voted the special teams captain and then won the Steve Largent Award and was named Man of the Year. He is currently on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from the knee injury that ended his season in December.

ROSTER MOVES

The club made moves involving its 53-man roster and practice squad today.

Because Michael Robinson, the only fullback on the roster, is out indefinitely after spraining an ankle in Sunday’s opener against the 49ers, fullback Eddie Williams was signed off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad.

To clear a spot on the 53-man roster for Williams, tight end Dominique Byrd was released.

To address the fact that there are now only two tight ends on the 53-man roster – Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy – tight end Fendi Onobun was signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot, guard Brent Osborne was released.

The 6-foot-1, 242-pound Williams was a seventh-round draft choice by the Washington Redskins in 2009. He spent time on the active roster as well as the practice squad as a rookie, but was released in March of 2010. He then spent time with the Chicago Bears in 2010 and 2011 and was with the Browns in training camp this summer before being released and signed to the practice squad.

Williams played tight end at Idaho, where he was named team MVP as a senior after catching 54 passes for 687 yards and six touchdowns.

Onobun (6-6, 249) caught two passes in three games last season for the St. Louis Rams, who had drafted him in the sixth round. After playing basketball for four years at Arizona, Onobun played football at Houston in 2009.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks (minus-3) and Steelers (minus-7) rank 31st and 32nd in the league in turnover ratio. Neither team forced a turnover its opener, while the Steelers tuned the ball over seven times (four fumbles and three interceptions) and the Seahawks three times (two fumbles and one interception).

UP NEXT

The players return from their off day on Wednesday to start a practice schedule intended to get them ready for Sunday’s 10 a.m. kickoff, PDT, in Pittsburgh. They will have a walk-thru at 10:15 a.m. and practice at 11:45.

YOU DON’T SAY

“What jumped out was the safety play. Earl (Thomas) and Kam (Chancellor) were really active and very effective and they cleaned up some of the miscues on the run and made really big-time tackles and hits and things that showed up in the run packing.” – Carroll on the play of his safeties in Sunday’s opener, when they combined for 17 tackles


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Fullback signed

The Seahawks have addressed their problem at fullback by signing Eddie Williams off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad, a necessary move because Michael Robinson is out indefinitely after spraining an ankle in Sunday’s season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.

Robinson was the only fullback on the roster.

To clear a spot on the 53-man roster for Williams, tight end Dominique Byrd was released. Byrd caught seven passes during the preseason to rank second on the team.

The 6-foot-1, 242-pound Williams was a seventh-round draft choice by the Washington Redskins in 2009. He spent time on the active roster as well as the practice squad as a rookie, but was released in March of 2010. He then spent time with the Chicago Bears in 2010 and 2011 and was with the Browns in training camp this summer before being released and signed to the practice squad.

Williams played tight end at Idaho, where he was named team MVP as a senior after catching 54 passes for 687 yards and six touchdowns.

Entering the draft, one scouting service said Williams “looks like a fullback and plays like a receiver.”

The club also made a move with its practice squad, signing tight end Fendi Onobun and releasing guard Brent Osborne.

Onobun (6-6, 249) caught two passes in three games last season for the St. Louis Rams, who had drafted him in the sixth round. After playing basketball for four years at Arizona, Onobun played football at Houston in 2009.


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