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How did the Seahawks plan their London week? ‘There’s some science to it,’ Carroll says

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 07: Head Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks jokes with Guard J.R. Sweezy #64 before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field on October 7, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. – Traveling abroad is stressful enough. Try planning a business trip for an entire NFL team that desperately needs to win a game.

The Seattle Seahawks will jet off for London on Wednesday evening, and coach Pete Carroll said even that decision came about after many hours of research and discussion. The Seahawks will play in Europe for the first time, facing the Oakland Raiders in Wembley Stadium in a game that will be televised at 10 a.m. Sunday on Q13 FOX.

“You can’t imagine how long these guys have been working at it,” Carroll said after practice at the VMAC on Tuesday. “I’m talking about all aspects of our club. The meetings and the travel and the trips, the preliminary trips, and all that stuff. They’ve been working like crazy for this thing – it’s a hard thing to undertake. But they’ve got it nailed and our guys know how to do it, it just takes a long time. It’s a process.”

The trip comes at an interesting time for the Seahawks, who will undertake an international adventure even as they fight to stay relevant in the NFC West. Seattle lost a 33-31 heart-breaker to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, dropping to 2-3 on the season.

Carroll said there are several schools of thought on how best to approach the trip, as teams struggle to balance rest, jet lag, preparation and time at home in a way that gives them the best chance to win. Some teams leave as early in the week as Tuesday, while some leave as late as Thursday.

“There is some science to it,” Carroll said. “Try to sleep on the way over and keep them up the day we get there so they get a regular night’s sleep, a healthy night’s sleep, without going to sleep during the day, which is the big issue. We have enough days to turn it around. There’s a lot of different ways that people have done it. They go over the first of the week, or they wait as long as they can.

“We have chosen our options after a long study, and feel really good about what we’re doing.”

Carroll said he ultimately wanted to get the Seahawks’ game plan in place before they left, giving his players and coaches the most possible time to cement it in their minds.

“It’s kind of like a bowl game, is what it’s like, and those always worked out,” Carroll said.