Staying focused. That has been coach Pete Carroll’s directive to his players for this short work week, as the Seahawks crammed several days’ worth of preparation into a few days before they play their preseason finale against the Raiders in Oakland on Thursday night.
The starters traditionally don’t play much – if at all – in the finale preseason game, but Carroll doesn’t want them approaching this game with that attitude.
“We’re going to suit everybody up, get everybody ready to go and I want to keep us in a competitive mindset about getting ready for a game and all of that,” he said. “We’ll make our adjustments on who we play and how we do that.
“But still this is another opportunity for us to get better. It’s also a final opportunity for us to make our final choices on some guys, too. So it’s going to be a critical ball game for a bunch of players.”
That’s because the current 75-man roster must be reduced to 53 players by Saturday.
ON THE FIELD
The players had a short walk-thru this morning before boarding buses for the trip to the airport and the flight to the Bay Area.
Cornerback. The new No. 1 nickel alignment was on display this morning, following Tuesday’s draft of Josh Wilson to the Baltimore Ravens. Kelly Jennings was at right corner, opposite Marcus Trufant, with rookie Walter Thurmond stepping in as the nickel back to replace Wilson.
As Carroll explained the move, “Because of a good draft this year and other players that have been here, we’ve got some good pieces in place that will seize this opportunity. We’re really excited to see how Kelly, Walter and Roy (Lewis) rise up and make the most of this chance.”
For Wilson’s reaction to the trade, click here.
Five players definitely will not see action against the Raiders because they continue to recover from injuries: linebacker Leroy Hill (knee), defensive lineman Nick Reed (knee), offensive linemen Russell Okung (ankle), Ray Willis (knee) and Chester Pitts (knee).
Those in question, because they missed practice time this week: linebackers Aaron Curry (elbow) and David Hawthorne (hip), defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer (ankle) and tight ends Chris Baker (hamstring) and Anthony McCoy (ankle).
A long break before the long haul. The players will have meetings on Friday, but are off Saturday and Sunday before returning Monday to begin preparing for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field.
Not all the players will return, of course, because of the roster reduction on Saturday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We take this with great sincerity; this is an important week again.” – Carroll, continuing to treat the preseason games as more than just preseason games