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New Year’s Day in Hawkville: Michael Irvin gets double coverage with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 1:

Richard Sherman

FOCUS ON

Michael Irvin. The Hall of Fame wide receiver for the Cowboys? The same. And what does he have to do with the Seahawks, especially on New Year’s Day?

Irvin, who now works as an analyst for the NFL Network, flew into town for a sit-down today with cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. The interview will air as part of the network’s pregame coverage on Sunday, when the Seahawks will play the Redskins at FedExField in an NFC Wild Card playoff game.

The effusive Irvin and the equally vociferous Sherman in the same room together? Now that will be, well, “It’s going to be entertaining,” as Sherman put. “I think people will be entertained by it.”

Entertaining – not to mention effective and, at times, dominating – also describes what Sherman did in his first full season as a starter. Eight interceptions, including one at the goal line with 33 seconds left on Sunday to ice the Seahawks’ 20-13 victory over the Rams in their regular-season finale, to tie for second in the League. A team-high 24 passes defensed, against a Who’s Who of NFL QBs – including the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, Patriots’ Tom Brady, Bears’ Jay Cutler, Lions’ Matthew Stafford and Cowboys’ Tony Romo. A 90-yard return of a blocked field goal for a touchdown. And also an interception return for a TD, the first of his career.

Not surprisingly, Sherman is a first alternate to the Pro Bowl. Surprisingly, Sherman wasn’t voted one of the three corners on the NFC squad.

Browner went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last season – also his first as a starter – after returning two of his six interceptions for touchdowns and leading the team with 23 passes defensed. Browner just returned on Monday from serving a four-game suspension for violating NFL policy and is eligible to play against the Redskins.

But back to Irvin and that interview, a definite highlight for Sherman.

“Wow, I’ve been a big fan of his all my life,” Sherman said. “It’s one of those ‘aha’ moments for you. Like, ‘Wow, this is incredible.’

“It was a fun thing to do. It went well for us.”

SCHNEIDER DRAWING SOME OVERDUE ATTENTION

It was last Wednesday that we wondered aloud (and in this space) whether general manager John Schneider should get more than just a little consideration for NFL Executive of the Year – and not only because he championed the selection of quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round of this year’s draft.

Others are seconding the notion, including Jason La Canfora at CBSSports.com, who writes that Schneider and Colts GM Ryan Grigson should share the honor.

Writes La Canfora: “In Seattle, head coach Pete Carroll is the rock star, and the face of the franchise, but Schneider is the one doing the heavy lifting on personnel behind the scenes. His background runs deep in college scouting, and Seattle has absolutely killed it in the draft. No one made any pick in 2012 as superb as Schneider taking quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round (and then they had the organizational cojones to start him from the get-go despite having just paid Matt Flynn  to a fairly hefty free-agent contract).”

On Friday, a panel at ESPN.com selected Schneider for the honor. In casting his vote for Schneider, NFC West blogger Mike Sando said: “I voted for Schneider because I thought the moves Seattle made required more skill and foresight. (John) Elway and Grigson did more than simply acquire Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, of course. But without those moves, neither would factor into the discussion. Those were moves 99 percent of fantasy football general managers would have made.”

SEAHAWKS CRACK TOP 5 IN POWER RANKINGS

The Seahawks moved up one spot to No. 5 in the weekly power rankings at ESPN.com. Ranked ahead of them are the Broncos, Falcons, 49ers and Patriots. And the Seahawks beat the Patriots and split their home-and-home series with the NFC West champion 49ers.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks also made the playoffs in 2010. But only 19 players on the current 53-man roster have been in the postseason before:

Player                                             Games

CB Marcus Trufant                           9

LB Leroy Hill                                      7

DE Chris Clemons                             6

NT Brandon Mebane                       4

P Jon Ryan                                         4

K Steven Hauschka                           3

WR Sidney Rice                                 3

RB Leon Washington                        3

DT Alan Branch                                  2

SS Kam Chancellor                            2

LB Heath Farwell                               2

LS Clint Gresham                               2

RB Marshawn Lynch                         2

OT Russell Okung                              2

OT Frank Omiyale                             2

FB Michael Robinson                       2

WR Golden Tate                               2

FS Earl Thomas                                 2

QB Matt Flynn                                  1

UP NEXT

The players return on “Competition Wednesday” to begin practicing for Sunday’s game. They’ll also practice on Thursday and again Friday, before the team flies to the D.C. area.

YOU DON’T SAY

“There’s a fire that burns in a lot of guys on the team. You hear it from them all the time, just walking around the locker room or just watching how they play and practice. A lot of guys that were undrafted or went in lower rounds felt they should have gotten more attention. Sherm believes he’s the best corner in the league, and that the guys who got drafted before him shouldn’t have gone before him. He’s out to prove something. You can tell week in and week out.” – Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas in a feature on the Seahawks’ defense by Jim Trotter at SI.com that was posted today.


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