Little happens by accident in the regimented world of the NFL.
So yes, there was meaning behind the fact that the Seahawks usually held their most significant practice of the day throughout training camp at 10:15 a.m.
The Seahawks play five games in the Eastern time zone that will kick off at 10 a.m. Seattle time this year, beginning with Sunday’s opener at Carolina.
And as Seahawks’ fans probably don’t need reminding, the long trip east and an early Seattle body clock start has usually been a bad combination in recent seasons — Seattle is 19-34 in 10 a.m. games the past 12 years.
It was a particular problem last season when Seattle went just 1-3 in 10 a.m. games. So leaving nothing to chance, the Seahawks practiced throughout camp at 10:15 a.m., with the hope of getting an early start on acclimating their collective body clock.
“That had something to do with it, yeah,” said coach Pete Carroll.
Of course, the argument can be made that playing on the road is what makes it tough, regardless of the time — Seattle was 3-5 on the road overall last season, 8-0 at home.
But count defensive end Red Bryant among those who think the practice switch may help.
“I believe it will because every morning we practice at 10:15 and we’ve been doing this throughout camp and so I think that it will play a big part in at least our body having a familiarity of getting up and going, and I think that will work out in our favor,” Bryant said.
Last year’s four 10 a.m. starts were: a 19-13 loss at St. Louis, a 28-24 defeat at Detroit, a 24-21 loss at Miami and a 23-17 overtime win at Chicago.
Seattle wasn’t necessarily “not ready to play” in any of the losses — the Seahawks led in Detroit at the half 17-14, for instance, and were tied with Miami at the half 7-7, and drove 80 yards on their first drive at St. Louis.
Still, it wasn’t lost on anyone at the VMAC that the Seahawks won both of their Eastern Time Zone games that were 1 p.m. starts — a 16-12 victory at Carolina and a 50-17 dismantling of the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.
Safety Kam Chancellor says playing on the road, or in a time that is out of a team’s comfort zone, can be more of a head trip than anything else.
“It’s a mental thing,” he said. “If you are ready to play, you are ready to play. You’ve just got to tell yourself that. It’s all about self-talk.”
Complicating matters this year is that all five of the 10 a.m. games come against teams with reasons for optimism:
• Carolina won five of its last six behind some breakout performances from former Heisman winner Cam Newton;
• Houston, where Seattle travels on Sept. 29, went 12-4 last season with hopes of an encore this year;
• Indianapolis, where Seattle travels the following week, was also a playoff team in 2012 with a team rebuilt around quarterback Andrew Luck;
• Atlanta, where Seattle travels on Nov. 10, was a play away from the Super Bowl a year ago after ending the Seahawks’ season in the divisional round;
• and the Giants, whom Seattle plays in New Jersey on Dec. 15, are a year removed from winning it all.
Combined 2012 record of the five teams Seattle plays at 10 a.m. this year? A whopping 52-28.
The five Eastern time zone trips are also a big reason why Seattle will travel 28,238 miles this season (which the team points out is more than the 25,000 needed to go around the world), second most in the NFL behind only the 32,948 of San Francisco.
“We can’t allow any of that to be an excuse,” Bryant said. “We know Carolina is going to be geared up. It’s their home opener and it was a tough game last year that came down to the wire, and we are expecting the same thing this year.
“We can’t allow the travel to be an excuse or the fact that we are playing at 10. In order to do something memorable this season, these are the types of games you’ve got to go and play extremely well in.”
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.