Thursday in Hawkville

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

FOCUS ON

Pete Carroll’s birthday. The Seahawks’ coach not only turned 60 today, Carroll turned the milestone moment into an opportunity to raise funds for “A Better Seattle,” a community campaign to increase awareness and funds to prevent gang violence in Seattle and south King Country.

The fund-raising aspect is where Carroll’s birthday merged with Alive & Free, a program aimed at the same goals through the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Carroll asked fans – and anyone, for that matter – to donate money to the program to “celebrate” his birthday. The goal was $10,000, and it had been exceeded by 3 p.m.

But that’s only half the story, literally, because Carroll will match those donations. Even more important than the money, however, is the attention that the involvement of Carroll and the Seahawks brings to the work that already is being done.

“The money comes and goes, and it does affect the work,” said Paul Patu, the supervisor for the Alive & Well team. “But this enhances the work. What it speaks to is that an issue such as youth violence that seems to affect our entire community can’t be done by one individual, or even one organization. So what it comes down to is kind of the old saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’

“That’s what we’re doing. We have our sights set on the big picture, and that’s a violence-free community for our kids to grow up in.”

On hand to help Carroll launch “A Better Seattle” were Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn, YMCA volunteer and board member Matt Griffin and Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin.

PLAYER WATCH

Sidney Rice. It was difficult to keep your eyes off him during today’s 105-minute practice, because the Pro Bowl receiver who was added in free agency took a limited part in drills for the first time since the week before the third preseason games.

Rice has been sidelined with a sore shoulder. Whether today’s next-step progression means he’ll play in Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh remains to be seen, but QB Tarvaris Jackson was among those glad to see Rice out there and doing his thing.

“It was nice,” Jackson said when asked about Rice returning to team drills after he was limited to individual drills on Wednesday. “That’s a comfort zone for me. I know Sid well as a player.”

That’s because they played together with the Minnesota Vikings the past four seasons.

“I don’t know his status for this weekend, but we’re going to keep plugging away,” Jackson said. “I know he’s going to do his best to get out there.”

IN AND OUT

Left guard Robert Gallery (knee) and middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) participated in all phases of practice for the second consecutive day, a positive sign that they will be able to play this week after sitting out the opener against the 49ers.

Defensive end Dexter Davis (hip) did not practice, but was able to do agility work on the side with assistant trainer Donald Rich.

Also still sidelined: fullback Michael Robinson (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle), linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and tackle Jarriel King (ankle).

For the Steelers, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) did not practice, while cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) and guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) were limited.

STAT DU JOUR

The Steelers had not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 17 consecutive games until the Ravens’ Ray Rice ran for 107 yards on Sunday. In fact, the Steelers have allowed only two 100-yard rushers in the past 51 games – both by Rice, who also had 141 yards against them in 2009.

UP NEXT

The players will practice Friday at 10:30 a.m. before the team flies to Pittsburgh for Sunday’s game.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s about winning, at all costs. I’ve never been big on stats. My main stat that I pride myself in is getting the team a win and helping my team to a win. That’s what I’m here for. I’m not here to count my stats, yards, touchdowns and all that. All that stuff is nice, but I rather get the win.” – Jackson, when asked if it is important to win to have good statistics to backup a win


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