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Originally published Thursday, April 14, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Seahawks prime-time players twice in '05

The Seahawks have reached the big time, as far as the NFL schedule-makers see it. In 2005, the defending NFC West champions will play two...

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seahawks have reached the big time, as far as the NFL schedule-makers see it.

In 2005, the defending NFC West champions will play two prime-time games for the second time in the past four seasons, according to the league schedule released yesterday.

Seattle hosts the Houston Texans, the former team of new Seahawk Jamie Sharper, on Oct. 16 for ESPN Sunday night football. On Dec. 5, the Seahawks will be in Philadelphia for "Monday Night Football" at 6 p.m. on ABC.

The last time the Seahawks were in prime time twice in one season was 2002, when they beat Minnesota 48-23 on Sunday night, Sept. 29, and fell to San Francisco 28-21 on Monday night, Oct. 14, in the infamous Terrell Owens "Sharpie" game.

The Seahawks open this season on the road at Jacksonville on Sept. 11, then return home to Qwest Field for games against the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals. Seattle defeated both teams at home to close the 2004 season, and this will be the third time in the past four seasons that the Falcons are on the schedule.

The Seahawks have just one set of back-to-back road games after playing four last season. They'll be at Washington (Oct. 2), where they have not won since 1995, and St. Louis (Oct. 9), where they haven't won since 1997.

The bye date is Oct. 30, several weeks later than in the previous three seasons. That's fine with coach Mike Holmgren.

"I prefer the bye where it is this year," Holmgren told the team's Web site. "It's a little bit more in the middle (of the season) than real early."

Other key games include a road trip to Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 18 to face the Tennessee Titans on the road for the first time in Seahawks history. The Seahawks host two-time league MVP Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas Eve for a nationally televised game on CBS at 1:15 p.m. Seattle finishes the regular season at Green Bay on New Year's Day in another national broadcast on Fox at 1:15 p.m.

The Seahawks' second road exhibition game date and time has also been set; it's at Kansas City at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. Other exhibition games are Aug. 12 at New Orleans, Aug. 22 against Dallas at Qwest Field and Sept. 2 at home against Minnesota.

Prospect admits steroid use

Luis Castillo, a defensive tackle from Northwestern who is regarded as one of the top prospects at his position in the draft, has admitted steroid use to all 32 NFL teams.

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Castillo is among the players the Seahawks are interested in selecting with perhaps a second-round pick. The Seahawks appear undeterred by Castillo's admission. In fact, defensive-line coach Dwaine Board was in Chicago yesterday to visit with Castillo.

The 6-foot-3, 303-pound Castillo sent a letter to every NFL team acknowledging he took androstenedione after the 2004 season.

His stock rose after an impressive showing in February at the combine, which is where he tested positive.

"We've been in contact with all the teams in the NFL, and we feel good about where we stand," said Castillo's agent, Mike McCartney of Chicago-based Priority Sports and Entertainment.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

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