Taking his cue from quarterback Russell Wilson — or is it the other way around? — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wants all the attention in the moment, and none it focused on his team’s bleak history on the road, especially in the Eastern time zone. That was then, he inisisted, and these are the 2013 Seahawks.
“No, no, no,” he said Friday after practice, responding to a reporter’s question. “That has no bearing on what’s going on right now. (Sunday’s opener in Carolina) has nothing to do with all of the past stuff, and matchups in history. It doesn’t really matter right now. We’ve found our way to make these trips go real well and we plan on doing that again.”
In fact, the Seahawks found a way to win a year ago in Charlotte — barely. The 16-12 triumph in week 5, which came down to a last-second, goal-line stop, was Seattle’s first away win after two losses, part of 3-5 road record that seemed a mark of vulnerability until the Seahawks made the playoffs and beat the Redskins in Washington.
Over the past six seasons, the Seahawks are 8-17 in Eastern zone games starting at 10 a.m. PT.
In 2012, the Seahawks lost in Phoenix and St. Louis before the victory in Charlotte. They also lost after that in San Francisco, Detroit and Miami. But the cumulative margin of defeat was only 24 points, less than five a game, the biggest being a 13-6 defeat to the 49ers. So the Seahawks were, more or less, a play away from a triumph — and a play away from a loss in Carolina.
The Seahawks’ strong finish tended to obscure the the slower start, none of which was Carroll’s concern Friday.
“It doesn’t really matter right now,” he said. ” We’ve found our way to make these trips go real well and we plan on doing that again.
“We always have to play really good at the start and all the way through to the end, if we could. We are going to try to do that again. We weren’t rope-a-doping it last year. It may have looked like that. But we weren’t.”
What was in the moment for the Seahawks Friday was news that CB Brandon Browner injured his hamstring during practice and is listed as questionable Sunday.
“We are going to have to wait and see on game day,” Carroll said. “If Browner can’t go, both Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell will play.”
That would make the Seahawks probably three key defensive starters shy of a full load. DE Chris Clemons, almost fully recovered from ACL knee surgery, is “a full go” for practice next week, but not this Sunday. In the doubtful category is DE Cliff Avril (hamstring), who looked midweek as if he might be ready.
“He’s had a very good week of practice,” Carroll said. “We are going to take him all the way up to game time and run him and see how he does then.”
Two players nagged by groin injuries, DT Brandon Mebane and DT Tony McDaniel, were advanced to probable status.
“Yeah, those guys look great,” he said. “They finished the week practicing full go.”
Also probable are WRs Sidney Rice (knee) and Stephen Williams (concussion). Out are two reserves, rookies OT Michael Bowie (shoulder) and DT Jordan Hill (biceps).
Asked about Percy Harvin’s tweet this week that he is hoping to be back for Week 7, Carroll said, “That was a real positive, optimistic thought from Percy. I thing he’s going to surprise the doctors.
“There have been nothing but positive reports about it. He has been great about it in every way, doing things twice a day here. He’s giving himself a chance to hit that mark.”