RENTON – Looking to add more depth to the backfield, the Seattle Seahawks signed fullback/tight end Eddie Williams to the 53-man roster on Tuesday.
The team waived tight end Dominique Byrd in order to make room for Williams.
With fullback Michael Robinson unavailable for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh because of a second-degree ankle sprain, Williams likely will see some playing time. Williams was on Cleveland’s practice squad to begin this season.
He was a tight end coming out of Idaho, and was selected by Washington in the seventh round in the 2009 draft. He spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Redskins’ practice squad before being elevated to the 53-man roster in November. Williams was inactive for three games before being placed on injured reserve Nov. 24.
Released by Washington in March, Williams signed with Chicago and spent the entire 2010 season on the Bears’ practice squad.
Williams was with Chicago in this year’s training camp but was released during final roster cuts. He signed with Cleveland’s practice squad Sept. 7.
At 6-foot-1, 239 pounds, Williams finished with 54 catches for 687 yards and six touchdowns his final year at Idaho, earning team MVP honors. He also ran for 195 yards and three scores while with the Vandals.
Williams, 24, provides versatility because of his ability to play fullback and tight end.
Byrd, who played for Seattle coach Pete Carroll at Southern California, had been impressive during the exhibition season, finishing with seven receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown.
But fellow USC product Anthony McCoy is more versatile because of his ability to run block, and the Seahawks expect tight end Cameron Morrah to return form the physically unable to perform list after sitting out the first six weeks of the season with a toe injury. And Morrah is more explosive in the passing game than Byrd.
The Seahawks also released guard Brent Osborne from the practice squad and signed tight end Fendi Onobun.
ANGST IN THE EAST
Since 2007, the Seahawks are 1-10 in games in the Eastern time zone, with the lone win a 28-24 victory at Philadelphia on Dec. 2, 2007. Seattle has not really competed in any of those losses, losing by an average of 15.4 points a game.
Carroll is trying to get his players’ body clocks ready for the time zone shift by using the usual tactics coaches lean on when heading east.
The Seahawks moved their meeting schedule up an hour, to 7 a.m. from 8 a.m., and will begin practice two hours earlier at 11:45 a.m – about the same time they will be on the field playing Sunday.
The Seahawks also will leave for Pittsburgh a day earlier, on Friday afternoon right after practice, to help adjust to the time change.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437
Seattle (0-1) at Pittsburgh (0-1), Heinz Field, 10 a.m., Ch. 13, 710-AM, 97.3-FM SEAHAWKS’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
10 a.m., Sunday, Heinz Field, Ch. 13, 710-AM, 97.3-FM
against the seahawks: Seattle holds an 8-7 edge, but lost the last game, 21-0 , in Pittsburgh on Oct. 7, 2007. Seattle is 2-6 at Heinz Field. Pete Carroll is 1-1 against the Steelers, winning at Pittsburgh as with New England in 1998 and losing at home in 1997. The Seahawks have won four of the past six regular-season games against the Steelers.
Stats and stuff: The Steelers turned the ball over seven times and gave up 170 yards on the ground in a 35-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday in the season opener. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was responsible for five of those turnovers – three interceptions and two fumbles. ... With eight players at least 30 years old, Pittsburgh has the oldest defense in the league. ... Pittsburgh linebackers coach Keith Butler played linebacker for the Seahawks from 1978 to 1987. Current Seattle defensive tackle Al Woods spent time on Pittsburgh’s practice squad last season. ... Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 when Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell served as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. ... The Steelers have won 23 of their past 28 regular-season games against NFC teams, dating back to 2003. ... Pittsburgh has the best home record in the NFL since 1970 at 227-88-1 (71.8 percent).
Quotable: “I know what we’re capable of doing when we play like we’re supposed to play. I’m not taking nothing away from them because they whupped us. But I know the answer’s with us, so that makes me feel good about it.” — Pittsburgh nose guard Casey Hampton after his team’s loss at Baltimore.
Sept. 11, Ravens 35, Steelers 7Nov. 13, at Cincinnati
Sunday, SeattleNov. 20, bye
Sept. 25, at IndianapolisNov. 27, at Kansas City
Oct. 2, at Houston Dec. 4, Cincinnati
Oct. 9, TennesseeDec. 8, Cleveland
Oct. 16, JacksonvilleDec. 19, at San Francisco
Oct. 23, at ArizonaDec. 24, St. Louis
Oct. 30, New EnglandJan. 1, at Cleveland
Nov. 6, Baltimore
Eric D. Williams, staff writer