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Seahawks prep for preseason matchup with Denver Broncos

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Thursday's preseason game between the Seahawks and Broncos doesn't hold as much weight as the last meeting between the two clubs, but it still serves an opportunity to improve.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, the Seahawks kick off the 2014 football calendar by lining up against the same squad they faced to close the 2013 season.

There's just one small (OK, it's actually pretty big) difference.

The game that capped Seattle's season last year was Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Seahawks topped the Denver Broncos, 43-8, to claim the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. The stakes won't be quite as high in Thursday night's preseason game against the Broncos at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, where the outcome will bear no weight on the regular season.

But it's still a game-week, and it definitely feels that way to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

"It's going to be fun," Carroll said of his team's preseason opener after Monday's "Competition Wednesday" practice at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. "It's a great opportunity to play an incredible football team."

After riding the highest-scoring offense in NFL history a season ago behind the arm of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the Broncos worked to reload the defensive side of the football this spring. Notable newcomers include cornerback Aqib Talib, safety T.J. Ward, and pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, each of whom have Pro Bowl honors on their respective resumes.

With just 45 days separating Thursday's exhibition from the real thing on Sept. 21 - when the Broncos meet the Seahawks in Week 3 at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, Carroll said he's looking forward to observing Denver's big offseason acquisitions.

"They're a tremendous team and they've got some great additions to their team I know they're real excited about seeing," said Carroll. "We're anxious to see what they look like, too, knowing that we're going to see them in the season.

"It’s a really cool matchup, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who will have a lot of interest in this thing."

No matter how hard we try to tout Thursday's meeting as a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII, it's the backups from both sides that will primarily be on display. Coaches and personnel staff use the first two preseason games as key evaluating periods before being forced to trim their 90-man rosters down to 75 (Aug. 26) and 53 (Aug. 30) players.

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman is one Seahawks player who isn't buying any of the Super Bowl-sequel hype. Sherman, who said he expects to play a couple series on Thursday night, believes it doesn't matter who the Seahawks play in situations like these. The focus is on discipline and improving your craft, regardless of who the opponent may be.

"We don't ever think about the outside perception," said Sherman, who enters his fourth year in the League with a lucrative new contract, a Madden cover, and Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award to his name. "We go out there and play assignment-sound football. We work on our technique. We work on the things we need to work on within the ball game and chips are going to fall where they may.

"If other people look at it differently, so be it."