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Originally published January 2, 2014 at 6:08 PM | Page modified January 2, 2014 at 9:47 PM

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Seahawks back at practice but don’t know their opponent

The Seahawks must wait until the weekend to find out their opponent Jan. 11, but players say they’re focused on getting better.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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RENTON — The Seahawks practiced Thursday in a rare situation, knowing there is a game soon, but unsure of the opponent.

Seattle players said, though, it doesn’t matter which of the three possible opponents — San Francisco, Green Bay or New Orleans — they end up facing in the NFC divisional playoffs Jan. 11 at CenturyLink Field.

“We just want to find out who we are playing,’’ said middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. “Whoever we play we are going to beat.’’

Said cornerback Richard Sherman: “We’ll play whoever comes. Good luck to everybody. They’ll have a good time (playing this weekend), but they’ll have to deal with us when they get here.’’

With no specific opponent on tap, the Seahawks practiced Thursday against each other, spending much of the session with the starting offense going against the starting defense. They will practice in a similar fashion again Friday before taking the weekend off and resuming a regular week of preparation.

“Just getting better as a team,’’ Sherman said. “We want to get better as individuals. We all want to get better. Got a lot of people who don’t feel like they are at the tops of their games right now, myself included, so you are going to see a lot of guys just working on their game, working on the film, seeing what little small things they can do to get to the top.’’

Quarterback Russell Wilson said working against a defense that ended the season ranked No. 1 in the NFL in fewest points and yards allowed is especially helpful entering the playoffs.

“To be able to go ones versus ones the whole, entire day is always a good thing,’’ Wilson said. “Our defense is really good ... and it's a really good for me too to go against our DBs and what they’re seeing and Earl Thomas back there, trying to talk a whole bunch of trash. So you get excited about it.”

Cold day in Green Bay

Had the Seahawks not beaten the Rams on Sunday to win the NFC West, they would have faced the fate now awaiting the 49ers — traveling to Green Bay, where the temperature Sunday isn’t expected to rise above zero.

Asked if feels bad for the 49ers, Sherman said: “No, not at all. I hope they have fun. It’ll be a Snow Bowl for them.”

Said Wilson, who played his final year of college at Wisconsin: “Yeah, negative-35 degree wind chill is never good. So that’s what you get when you live in Wisconsin.”

Coaching moves no distraction

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is reported to be a possible target of Washington and Minnesota for head-coaching openings, while defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been linked to Cleveland and Minnesota. None of the teams, though, is thought to be close to naming a head coach.

Wilson said whatever happens won’t be a distraction for the Seahawks.

“When you’re around good football teams and good teams just in general, that’s going to happen and that’s a positive thing,” he said. “… You can’t be distracted by that, though. Like I always say to you guys, you’ve got to ignore the noise and just stay focused on what we’re doing and stay focused on the main goal, and that’s to win.”

Note

• Sherman got up slowly Sunday after he collided in the end zone with teammates Earl Thomas and Byron Maxwell going for an interception, but he’s fine.

“Well, you have ballhawks out there going after the ball,” Sherman said. “The ball gets up in the air, and tips and overthrows, you have to get those. I’m fine. Everybody is good after it, and we’re big boys.”

Thomas joked later that Sherman owes him some money for taking away his interception.

“He might owe me some,” Sherman said. “I got there first.”



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