Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll discussed his team’s upcoming contest against Pittsburgh on Sunday, saying the game was another challenge his team needs to meet head on.
“It’s a matchup that we need,” Carroll said. “We need to just keep taking on these tough, difficult situations on to see what we can make of it.”
It looks like he’ll get some key players back to help in that task. Offensive guard Robert Gallery, receiver Sidney Rice and linebacker David Hawthorne all suited up for practice today.
With Gallery back, rookie James Carpenter moved back to right tackle and worked with the first unit there, with Breno Giacomini taking reps at right tackle with the second unit.
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Carroll would not commit to Carpenter starting at right tackle for Sunday’s game, saying he wanted to see how he looked throughout the week, along with how Gallery got through the week.
Rice also was in full pads today for the first time in three weeks, but was a limited participant in practice. Rice went through individual work at the beginning of practice and looked comfortable catching the ball, but did not participate in team drills.
“He ran around a lot and caught a lot of balls today,” Carroll said. “What that means, I don’t know. But it’s better than not seeing him do it, and so it was good to have the legs back there, and I know he felt good to be back in there with his teammates.”
Hawthorne was full-go working with the first unit defense and says he feels ready to go, coming back from a knee issue.
“We’ll work our way through the week and see what that means,” Carroll said. “We got to see how these guys who have been out respond tomorrow, and can they come out and practice at full speed tomorrow. So we’ll take it one day at a time.”
Seattle players who did not practice today for Seattle include rookie offensive tackle Jarriel King (ankle), fullback Michael Robinson (ankle), defensive end Dexter Davis (hip), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring).
Seattle adjusted his practice and meeting schedule by moving everything up a couple hours, which he hopes will help better prepare his team for playing in the Eastern time zone on Sunday.
“This is a big deal for us,” Carroll said about the earlier practices and meetings. “We’re going to have three big weeks to go to the East Coast. And I want to get our guys to learn how to do this and be comfortable with the format.”
Carroll praised Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his ability to make plays outside the pocket.
“He’s such a big, strong guy that he can just shed the rush,” Carroll said. “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.
“And so, boy, there’s a big play just waiting to happen with him. He’s a very, very volatile football player that we have to a great job with in coverage, we have to stay on top. And then we have to stay alive on our rushes so we can get to him and hopefully keep him from making those types of plays.”
For Pittsburgh, receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), linebacker James Farrior (non-injury related), offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee), defensive end Aaron Smith (non-injury related) and receiver Hines Ward (non injury-related) did not practice.
Cornerback Curtis Brown (ankle) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) were limited participants.