Despite having coaches with opposite personalities, warring fan bases and contrasting traditions — See San Francisco’s five Super Bowls — the 49ers and Seahawks mirror each other in more ways than Pete Carroll or Jim Harbaugh would like to admit. That’s probably part of why they don’t like each other.
Both teams are renowned for playing physical, cantankerous defense and game-breaking special teams, who prefer that offense start with the run.
Both teams have a core of young, talented wide receivers that, when healthy, stack well against the rest of the league.
Ultimately, each team’s Super Bowl chances likely hinge on the play of captivating, dual-threat quarterbacks.
“They certainly have the same feeling,” Carroll said of the 49ers Wednesday at the VMAC in Renton. “They like to mix it, and they’ve come up with a fantastic passing game with their quarterback. They’ve really shown that they’ve expanded that in the first game (a 34-28 win over the Packers).
“I just think it’s good ball. I do see some similarities in their overall formula.”
Pressed to offer more than a vague response, Harbaugh agreed with the assessment, in a teleconference with Seattle media that coincided with Carroll’s weekly appearance.
“I’d like to think that,” Harbaugh said of the similarities. “We have great respect for the Seahawks, their players and coaches, front-office decisions, the way they’ve drafted, the way they’ve constructed their team, and how they play.”
Like Seattle, the 49ers opted in the off-season to acquire a deep-threat wide receiver, trading a sixth-round draft pick to the Ravens for Anquan Boldin. In San Francisco’s win Sunday, Boldin hauled in 13 catches for 208 yards and one touchdown.
The Seahawks will have to wait until at least Week 7 to welcome WR Percy Harvin, who signed a six-year, $67 million contract in March, then needed hip surgery early in training camp.
Carroll didn’t downplay the influence Boldin could have when the division rivals play Sunday night at CenturyLink Field (5:30 p.m., NBC).
“There’s nobody like Boldin. He’s just a fantastic football player. As their growing with him, they’re finding out there are all kinds of ways to use him,” Carroll said. “There’s really nothing that he can’t do. He’s a really, really well-equipped football player.”
Added S Kam Chancellor:
“The thing about Anquan is, if he’s covered by two or three people they’ll still throw the ball to him,” he said. “He’s a competitor. He’ll try to go up and make that grab.”
The Seahawks hope to be well-suited to slow down Boldin and QB Colin Kaepernick. In their last meeting, Seattle crushed the 49ers 42-13 at home in front of a Sunday Night Football audience.
“That whole stretch of games we were pretty much on it,” Carroll said, referring to the three-game run in December when the Seahawks outscored opponents 150-30. “They were the best opponent that we played well against.”
Last week, Seattle beat Carolina 12-7 and for the second consecutive year contained QB Cam Newton (16 for 23, 125 yards and one touchdown), a player who in some ways mirrors Kaepernick’s arm strength, size and mobility. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner said that experience could help the Seahawks limit Kaepernick, who against Green Bay connected on 69 percent of his passes for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
“They have similar plays,” Wagner said. “You definitely have to watch out for his running capabilities. We’ll be ready for it.”
The latter is a necessity if Seattle has a plan to dethrone a 49ers team that has captured the NFC West title the past two years.
Carroll tried to downplay the well-documented rivalry and the view that Seattle’s home opener holds added importance.
“It’s a championship opportunity for us, as it was last week,” he said. “It’s no different. These games will all weigh in at the end . . . This is a long trip to get through the season, and to go up and down with who you’re playing . . . the storyline doesn’t suit us.”
Seahawks pick up another tight end
The Seahawks released LB Allen Bradford to make room for TE Kellen Davis, adding to arguably the team’s thinnest position on the roster.
Davis failed to make it out of training camp with the Browns after spending the previous five seasons with the Bears, totaling 47 catches for 529 yards and 11 touchdowns. The former fifth-round pick out of Michigan State will back up starter Zach Miller and rookie Luke Willson
Roster moves/injury report
Those who didn’t participate in practice: DT Jordan Hill (biceps), CB Brandon Browner (hamstring), DT Brandon Mebane (ankle), S Jeron Johnson (hamstring).
Limited: DE Chris Clemons (knee), DE Cliff Avril (hamstring), T Michael Bowie (shoulder), WR Sidney Rice (knee).
Carroll said Clemons will likely practice without limitations Thursday and hopes to make his season debut against the 49ers.
The Seahawks signed G Ryan Seymour and LB Ty Powell to the practice squad and released OL Jared Smith and DT Michael Brooks to make room.
Not shaving their eyebrows
Russell Wilson and Kaepernick made a bet on a recently released TV commercial that the loser of the game had to shave an eyebrow. The commercial made it seem as if they were friends. Kaepernick quickly dismissed both assumptions.
“Not planning on it,” he said when asked about shaving an eyebrow. Of the perceived friendship with his NFC West counterpart:
“I’ve only met him the one day, so it’s not a relationship. No.”