By Larry Fine
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) – The Seattle Seahawks were forced to move their Super Bowl practice inside on Monday as frigid temperatures left fields frozen ahead of Sunday’s outdoor NFL championship game.
Outdoor practice fields were left covered in snow and frozen after a spell of arctic weather in the New Jersey area, although temperatures rose above freezing on Monday.
“We did not go outside today. We had a great workout today,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters about using the New York Giants’ indoor facility at the Meadowlands complex next to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“It was a little more than you normally get during a normal week’s practice, so the guys really took to it. We had a great tempo and enthusiasm and everything was really cool, so we’re off to a good start.”
Wide receiver Golden Tate said the weather Sunday would not be a factor. “We’ve had a chance to practice in it, play in it, be ready,” Tate said, alluding to the Seahawks’ 23-0 victory over the Giants at MetLife last month.
Defensive end Michael Bennett, Seattle’s leader in sacks with 8.5 this season, said he was not even bothering to check weather forecasts for Sunday’s game.
“I don’t think we’ll feel the snow. We’re ready for the snow,” he said about the chance of falling flakes. “We’re ready to play on rocks.”
Tate said their winning experience in New Jersey, in which Seattle intercepted Giants quarterback Eli Manning five times, has been discussed.
“I definitely don’t think it hurts at all,” Tate said about practicing indoors. “We’re familiar with the stadium, the turf (and) what to expect from the weather.”
Carroll said big-play wide receiver Percy Harvin was on board for Sunday’s game after missing the NFC title clash against the San Francisco 49ers due to a concussion.
“We’re in a phase of Super Bowl right now,” Carroll said about an all hands on deck approach. “He’s in. (Harvin) had another great day today and a great week last week. He’s part of the game plan.”
(Editing by Frank Pingue)