▪ Reminder: My weekly day-after Seahawks chat is back! It starts at 12:30 p.m. PT today at thenewstribune.com/sports. Be (on) there.
Dion Bailey spent a few moments alone on the Seahawks’ bench after he fell down to allow the Rams’ Lance Kendricks to score the touchdown that tied the 2015 opener in Sunday’s final minute of regulation.
The second-year fill-in for holdout Kam Chancellor at strong safety looked into the ground with his forearms on each thigh and hands on his chin. A parade of veterans, including All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, later came up to try encouragement -- both at the bench and in the locker room at the Edward Jones Dome minutes after Seattle’s 34-31 loss in overtime to St. Louis ended.
The vets were being good teammates. They also know Bailey is likely to be in there again Sunday night in Green Bay against the Packers – that is, unless Chancellor’s holdout suddenly has an ending no one foresees.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
So they need him about as much as he needs them right now.
"I just fell down," a dejected Bailey said, sitting deep into his locker. "It’s something that just can’t happen.
"I was just too flat-footed. My foot got stuck in the turf and I tried to open up. Fell down. At that point, I’ve got to tackle him. Tackle him and just fight to live another day.
"I gotta go 100 percent on my opportunities. I missed a big one today. I’ve got to learn from it."
Sherman’s locker was next to Bailey’s in St. Louis. That came in handy after this one.
“He’ll get over it,” Sherman said. “He did everything he could on that play. Sometimes, you just try too hard.”
Sherman said his message to the glum Bailey was “just keep your head up. We’ve got a long season to play.”
Then Sherman uttered the most fitting quote of this Sunday in Missouri, Seattle’s first overtime in its 15 trips inside St. Louis’ dark cavern of Seahawks peril: “It’s always weird with the Rams.”
THAT KICKOFF THOUGH...
Again, just to be clear, coach Pete Carroll just about scoffed at the thought he had called an onside kick to start OT.
"No, no. We just didn’t execute that. That is not what was supposed to happen," the coach said. "No, we were kicking the ball to a certain area of the field, and we didn’t hit it right."
Yet he and special-teams coach Brian Schneider called an unusual kick to try to exploit what they thought would be a hole in the Rams’ kickoff-return unit: A skied, shorter boot downfield into a dead spot of St. Louis’ alignment, when yet another kickoff touchback wouldn’t have exactly killed Seattle.
"The plan was to get the ball," said defensive back DeShawn Shead, who was aligned just to the left of kicker Steven Hauschka on the the kickoff team. "I think it was a bloop, I believe, a bloop kick. But our plan was to get the ball back, by any means."
Hauschka said he’s never struck an attempt to loft a kickoff so poorly.
"No, not like that," he said. "So that was a mistake on my part."
One of so many in game one.
"I disappointed across the board that we weren’t sharper," Carroll said.
"We had a chance to finish the game. We didn’t finish it."