Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 16:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times write on coach Pete Carroll altering the team’s schedule this week as the Seahawks prepare for another adventure into the Eastern time zone. Offers O’Neil: “Better try something. The Seahawks are bigger underdogs than they’ve been in any game since 1992, and they’re playing in the home opener for the Steelers, who pitched a shutout the last time Seattle was in town, in 2007. On top of all that, there’s the whole cross-country travel thing to worry about. Seattle is 1-10 in games played in the Eastern time zone the past four seasons.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribune looks at the big body who can help  with the big task awaiting the Seahawks’ defense: Big Ben. Says Williams: “The Seahawks will need (Alan) Branch at his best when they take on Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. At 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, the Steelers’ quarterback is one of the toughest players to bring down when he breaks out of the pocket, so Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley understands the importance of his players staying disciplined when they pursue. ‘The big thing for us is just our principles,’ Bradley said. ‘OK, he breaks loose. Who’s coming up to re-contain and what does everybody else do? Because he doesn’t scramble to throw it short, or hit a check down and dump it to the back.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks at the Steelers’ demeanor after they lost their opener 35-7 to the Ravens in Baltimore. Says Boyle: “The Pittsburgh Steelers took a beating last weekend. One of the league’s best teams in recent year, the Steelers looked flawed and vulnerable. They were humiliated. ‘We got beat like we stole something,’ Steelers linebacker James Harrison said in a conference call. And all of this is very bad news for the Seahawks, who play in Pittsburgh Sunday.”

Pat McManamon of FoxSports.com also tests the emotional waters in Pittsburgh after that loss to the Ravens. Says McManamon: “Was that train wreck of a season opener a bad game, or a bad sign? That’s the question that lingers for the Pittsburgh Steelers after Sunday’s skunk-smell loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Usually losses are one-day events to the Steelers. But this 35-7 loss was so bad, so complete, so thorough a shellacking that even the players understand why so many questions linger days later. ‘You expect it when the outcome is like that,’ guard Chris Kemoeatu said. ‘It is what it is.’ And ‘it’ was not pretty.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the man who puts the Blitz in Blitzburgh: Dick LeBeau. “LeBeau’s scheme features overloading the defense to one side. Then it becomes a guessing game for the offense as it who’s rushing and who’s dropping into coverage – as opposed to the send-an-entire-side-of-the-field style of blitzing the late Jim Johnson used while defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles. LeBeau, 74, is in his second stint with the Steelers. He was their defensive coordinator in 1995-96, when Blitzburgh was populated by linebackers Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd and Chad Brown, cornerback Rod Woodson and safety Carnell Lake – all Pro Bowl selections; or “Hawaii guys,” as LeBeau refers to them. His second stint began in 2004. The names of the players have changed, but the results have been the same thanks to defensive tackle Casey Hampton, safety Troy Polamalu, linebackers James Harrison, James Farrior, Joey Porter and LaMarr Woodley and defensive ends Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel – this generation of LeBeau’s ‘Hawaii guys.’ ”

We’ve also got Thursday’s practice covered in words and video. And there also are written and video reports on the unique way Carroll celebrated his 60th birthday: “He turned his 60th birthday – which just happened to be Thursday – into a fundraiser for “A Better Seattle.” Carroll asked fans to donate to the program, and he will match those donations. The goal was $10,000, and it had been reached by 3 p.m. ‘That’s where the benefit is. Because we do it, people find out about it,’ Carroll said. As for the outpouring of funds that were donated, Carroll offered, ‘It’s a beautiful thing.’ ”

The marquee matchup in the NFL this week is Michael Vick returning to Atlanta. That’s all over the place in cyber space, including this report on NFL.com by Steve Wyche, who covered the Falcons when Vick was playing for them. Says Wyche: “Vick is still an icon in Atlanta. The fan base is resoundingly behind Matt Ryan, who has led the team to an unprecedented run of sustained success. But some of those fans still love Vick and remember what he did for the franchise last decade. There also are those who hate Vick, the person and player. They’ll all be in the dome, making for a potentially combustible environment in the stands.”


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