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On this date

A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 16:

1979: Sam McCullum catches eight passes for 173 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from Jim Zorn, in a 29-24 victory over the Raiders in Oakland that caps the Seahawks’ second consecutive winning season (9-7).

1990: The Seahawks lose for the only time in their final six games, 24-17 to the Dolphins in Miami, as Dan Marino passes for two touchdowns and the Dolphins intercept Dave Krieg three times.

2000: Jon Kitna throws a 9-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson with 28 seconds to play, giving the Seahawks a 27-24 victory over the Raiders in a Saturday game at Husky Stadium. Ricky Watters runs for 168 yards and the defense picks off three Rich Gannon passes.

2001: Ricky Watters runs for 104 yards and a touchdown and Ike Charlton returns an interception 38 yards for a score in a 29-3 victory over the Cowboys at Husky Stadium.

2007: In his first NFL start, Matt Moore completes 19 of 27 passes for 208 yards in leading the Panthers to a 13-10 victory over the Seahawks in Carolina. Bobby Engram and Deion Branch combine to catch 17 passes for 169 yards, but the Seahawks’ only TD comes on Matt Hasselbeck’s 15-yard pass to Branch with 1 second left in the game.


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On this date

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 11:

1977: David Sims runs for two touchdowns, Sherman Smith has 149 yards rushing and receiving and another TD and Dave Brown returns an interception for a TD as the Seahawks hold on to win a wild 34-31 game against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium after taking a 34-21 lead at halftime.

1983: In a game that features “the holding call heard ‘round the Pacific Northwest,” the Seahawks win 17-12 over the Giants at the Meadowlands behind two touchdown passes from Dave Krieg to setup the first playoff appearance in franchise history. The Giants’ Jeff Rutledge passes for an apparent game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-7 play with 30 seconds to play, but a holding call nullifies the score and his final pass is broken up. The win puts the Seahawks in a situation where they earn a wild-card spot with a victory over the Patriots at the Kingdome on the final weekend of the regular season, which they do.

1988: Curt Warner scores four touchdowns and rushes for 126 yards and John L. Williams has 183 yards rushing and receiving in a 42-14 victory over the Broncos at the Kingdome.

1994: Chris Warren runs for 185 yards and a touchdown and Cortez Kennedy has two of the Seahawks’ six sacks of Billy Joe Tolliver in a 16-14 victory over the Oilers in the Astrodome.

2005: Matt Hasselbeck passes for four touchdowns, including two to Bobby Engram; Shaun Alexander rushes for 108 yards and a TD; and a defense led by Lofa Tatupu (interception) and Marcus Tubbs (two sacks) limits the 49ers to 113 yards in a 41-3 victory in Seattle that is win No. 9 in the team’s club-record 11-game winning streak.


On this date

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 16:

1981: Jim Zorn passes for two touchdowns, Theotis Brown runs for two more and Dan Doornink has a rushing and a receiving TD in a 44-23 victory over the Chargers at the Kingdome, despite a 151-yard, two-TD performance by San Diego’s Chuck Muncie. Linebackers Michael Jackson (15) and Joe Norman (13) combine for 28 tackles.

1997: Doug Brien kicks a 48-yard field goal in overtime as the Saints pull out a 20-17 victory at the Superdome. Darryl Williams leads the Seahawks’ defensive effort by returning an interception 44 yards for a touchdown, while Sam Adams has two sacks and Chad Brown recovers two fumbles.

2003: Bobby Engram returns a punt 83 yards for one touchdown and catches a 34-yard pass for another in a 34-14 win over the Lions in Seattle. Koren Robinson also recovers a fumble in the end zone for a TD, while Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck run for scores.

2008: T.J. Duckett runs for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but it’s not enough in a 26-20 loss to the Cardinals in Seattle as the Seahawks run for 43 yards and Matt Hasselbeck throws three interceptions. Josh Wilson has 10 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in the loss.


Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 17:

ESPN The Magazine’s ninth-annual Ultimate Standings for all professional sports teams are out and the Seahawks check in at No. 61. That’s a jump from No. 83 in 2010. The standings are based on how much MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises give back to the fans in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them. Sitting at No. 1? The Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.

Adam Rank at NFL.com has his latest, well, rankings: The best team to root for. Checking in at No. 6 in the six-team list is the Seahawks. Says Rank: “The Seahawks have awesome fans (maybe the best) and the game-day experience is unmatched. The stadium is great (and loud), and Seattle is a great town. And when your owner is the co-founder of Microsoft, that has to be considered a plus. The only ding? They need to go back to their old-school uniforms.”

There are no Seahawks among SI.com’s Top 50 highest-paid American athletes, but the list is worth checking out anyway. What’s amazing is that a guy who is making $15.5 million – the Heat’s Chris Bosh – is at the bottom, at No. 50.

As for the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, we offer Adam Schefter’s take at ESPN.com on the latest talks. Says Schefter: “A handful of NFL owners – at least two of which are from AFC teams – believe the parameters of the deal being discussed don’t adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 collective bargaining agreement, according to sources. … Some owners clearly want football and are willing to meet the players’ price. But others, remembering 2006, when a CBA that seemingly favored the players was thought to have been rushed through, want to make sure that they don’t make the same mistake.”

Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post – via ESPN.com – explains the Top 10 topics the representatives of the owners and players are discussing. No. 1, of course, is revenue allocation. Says Brandt: “The Players are playing goalie, trying to maintain the present 50-50 split. They have been rebuffed in their requests to view team balance sheets from the past 10 years.” As for the owners: “Since opting out of the current CBA, owners have cited the recession, enormous debt and diminished appetite for public stadia financing. Their request for a $1 billion rollback is now under $250 million. They have offered Players roughly 46-48% and a 2011 Salary Cap of $141 million – the Players are requesting $151 million. Salary allocation on that proposed Cap was only $114 million with $27 million to benefits, but Owners were prepared to move to $126 million in salaries and $15 million in Benefits.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the players voted to the 35th Anniversary team with a look at cornerback Shawn Springs. We also have an item on a little-known connection between Springs and Bobby Engram, one of the receivers on the reader-selected team. There’s also the latest of the spotlights on the team’s draft choices – K.J. Wright, a linebacker from Mississippi State who was selected in the fourth round.


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The Engram-Springs connection

Shawn Springs and Bobby Engram were Seahawks teammates for two seasons (2002-03), and are again on the franchise’s 35th Anniversary team – Springs as the nickel back, Engram as the slot receiver.

They even played against each other after Springs signed with the Washington Redskins in 2004.

But their relationship is even older than that. Much older.

“We go way back,” Engram said. “I hosted Springs when he came to Penn State on his (recruiting) visit.”

That was in 1993, when Springs was a highly recruited all-state player from Springbrook High School in Maryland and Engram was a sophomore-to-be for the Nittany Lions. But Springs opted to go to Ohio State.

“I guess I didn’t do a good enough job,” cracked Engram, now an offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers.

Reminded of that, Springs matched Engram crack for crack, offering, “I wanted to go to Penn State, but my dad didn’t.”

That would be Ron Springs, also an Ohio State alum and former running back for the Dallas Cowboys who died last month following a lengthy illness.

Well aware that the nickel back covers the slot receiver, Engram said, “I could take Springs. That’s a good matchup.”

Springs’ retort: “Tell Bobby he only had two catches on me when we played. He cheated every time we practiced against each other, because he just pushed off all the time.”

Despite taking these can’t-resist shots, there’s also mutual respect in this friendly rivalry that goes back to their college days.

“Bobby’s a good football player,” Springs said. “His footwork is incredible. The little things he did in games. He wasn’t the strongest, or fastest. But the things he did in games to get open were incredible. And the only way you would know it is if you’re a student of the game.

“He would cut you off, so you couldn’t catch up. He would give a little shove as he was coming out of his break. His footwork, body control and toughness were incredible. He was one of the few guys in the NFL I played against that I couldn’t get off his game. He would not waver. He wasn’t scared. I couldn’t intimidate him. I couldn’t get him to talk back. I couldn’t get him frustrated. He was just a rock, man.”

Said Engram: “Shawn is smart, a student of the game. He could make it tough on you. You had to come to work and make your plays.”

Springs’ story is the 20th in a series of articles on the players selected to the 35th Anniversary team. Engram’s story ran last month.


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A show of hands

Steve Largent is the Seahawks’ all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. Brian Blades caught 80 and 81 passes in back-to-back seasons. Bobby Engram set the franchise record with 94 receptions in 2007.

All three have been voted to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team. But who turned in the best single-season performance by a receiver in franchise history?

Here’s a look at some of the best:

Steve Largent in 1984 – He caught 74 passes for 1,164 yards and 12 touchdowns – and was voted All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. The Hall of Famer had seasons with more receptions (79 in 1985 and 75 in 1981). He also had seasons with more yards (1,168 in 1978; 1,237 in 1979; 1,224 in 1981; and a club-record 1,287 in 1985).  But the 12 TD catches in ’84 were a career-high, and the 74-1,164-12 totals came during the team’s 12-4 season.

Daryl Tuner in 1985 – He caught only 34 passes, but he also averaged 19.7 yards and had 13 TD catches. The TD total is the club single-season record. The per-catch average would be the record, if he had caught enough passes (50) to qualify.

Brian Blades in 1994 – His 81 receptions set the single-season record; which Darrell Jackson and Engram later broke. He also had 1,086 yards for a 13.4-yard average and caught four TD passes. He had more TDs (eight) and a higher average (17.1) in 1988, but Blades caught only 40 passes that season.

Joey Galloway in 1997 – He caught 72 passes for 1,049 yards (14.6-yard average) and a conference-leading 12 TDs. All were the best marks of the three seasons he led the team in receiving.

Sean Dawkins in 1999 – He didn’t even lead the team in receptions; Derrick Mayes did. But Dawkins averaged 17.1 yards on his 58 catches and had seven TDs (compared to 62, 13.4 and 10 for Mayes). But the over-the-top-stat was that 51 of Dawkins’ catches produced first downs.

Koren Robinson in 2002 – He caught 78 passes for 1,240 yards and five touchdowns. It was the one season in his five with the Seahawks that the first-round pick from 2001 put up numbers to match his draft status.

Darrell Jackson in 2003 – The more obvious choice for Jackson appears to be 2004, when he set the club record with 87 receptions, had 1,199 yards and seven TDs. But in ’03, he had a better per-catch average (16.7 yards, compared to 13.8 in ’04) and more TDs (nine).

Bobby Engram in 2007 – He not only set the club record with 94 receptions, Engram posted a career-best with 1,147 yards and tied his career-high with six TD catches. And he did it at the age of 34.

Performances you definitely can wrap your hands around. But which one was the best? You make the call …


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Polling data

We’ve asked you to “make the call” on a quartet of topics recently, so it’s time to check-in on how you’ve voted.

Asked to name the best single-season performance in Seahawks history, 346 of the 692 votes cast went to the obvious choice: Shaun Alexander’s efforts in 2005, when he became the only player in franchise history to be voted league MVP after leading the NFL in rushing and scoring a then-league record 28 touchdowns. Walter Jones’ continued dominance from his left tackle position in 2006 is a distant second with 106 votes.

Next up was the best game by a quarterback in club history. Warren Moon’s 409-yard, five-touchdown performance against the Raiders at the Kingdome in 1997 prompted the poll. But Moon is way behind Matt Hasselbeck’s four-TD showing in January’s stunning upset of the New Orleans Saints in a wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field. Hasselbeck has 239 of the 475 votes, compared to 75 for Moon.

A story on linebacker Chad Brown being voted to the 35th Anniversary team led to a poll to determine the best free-agent signing in franchise history. Brown is close, but trails wide receiver Bobby Engram by four, 206-202. Center Robbie Tobeck is third, with 120 of the 891 votes.

Today, the poll asked which of the eight “classes” that produced multiple members on the 35th Anniversary team was the best. Only 75 votes have been cast so far, with 29 going to the 1997 trio of Jones, Brown and Shawn Springs – one more than that 2001 “class” of Hasselbeck, Steve Hutchinson and Engram.


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Class reunions

Our recap of the Seahawks’ 1997 season focused on the arrivals that changed the course of the franchise – starting with owner Paul Allen, but also including free-agent addition Chad Brown and draft choices Walter Jones and Shawn Springs.

All three players were voted to the 35th Anniversary team, making ’97 one of eight years when more than one member of the reader-selected team joined the Seahawks.

But which “class” is the class of the 35th Anniversary team? Check out their credentials and then vote for your favorite:

1976 – Steve Largent and Dave Brown. These two were there at the start. Largent arrived in an Aug. 26 trade with the Houston Oilers and went on to set franchise records – and, at the time he retired after the 1989 season, NFL records – for receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089) and TD catches (100). Brown was obtained in the March 30 veteran allocation draft and became the club’s all-time leader in interceptions (50) and interception returns for touchdowns (five).

1982 – Joe Nash and Norm Johnson. Each arrived after the NFL draft, as a rookie free agent. Each performed like a first-round draft choice. In 15 seasons, Nash played in more games than anyone in franchise history (218). He also shares the all-time lead in blocked field goals (eight), ranks third in tackles (779) and sixth in sacks (47½). Johnson holds the club record for points scored (810), field goals (159) and PATs (333).

1984 – Bryan Millard and Fredd Young. Millard came to the Seahawks after playing two seasons in the old USFL, while Young was a third-round draft choice and went to the Pro Bowl twice as a linebacker and twice as a special teams performer. Millard started 99 games and was the best lineman in franchise history until Jones was selected in the first-round of the 1997 draft. Young led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons (1985-87).

1988 – Brian Blades and Rufus Porter. Blades was the team’s top choice, selected in the second round. Porter was a free-agent addition, and a late one at that. Blades ranks second to Largent in receptions (581) and receiving yards (7,620), and he’s No. 5 in TD catches (34). He caught 80 and 81 passes in 1993 and ’94, the most productive two-season stretch in franchise history. Porter is the only player voted to two spots on the 35th Anniversary team – linebacker and special teams player. He ranks No. 7 in sacks (37½), including a club-leading 10 in 1991; and led the team in special teams tackles in back-to-back seasons (1988-89).

1991 – Michael Sinclair and Rick Tuten. Sinclair was a sixth-round draft choice, while Tuten was signed on Oct. 9 – the third punter used by the Seahawks that season. Sinclair ranks second on the club’s all-time list in sacks (73½), including a league-leading 16½ in 1998. He also led the team in sacks three other times. Tuten, who punted a league-high 108 times in 1992, is the club’s all-time leader in punts (554), yards (24,266) and punts inside the 20 (147).

1997 – Chad Brown, Shawn Springs and Walter Jones. Brown was the team’s big free-agent addition, while Springs and Jones were acquired with the third and sixth picks in the draft. Brown led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons (1997-99). He ranks No. 3 in fumble recoveries (13), No. 4 in tackles (744) and No. 5 in sacks (48).  Springs is tied for fifth in interceptions (20), and returned two for touchdowns. Jones was voted to a franchise-high nine Pro Bowls and ranks second to Largent (197) in games started (180).

2000 – Robbie Tobeck and Shaun Alexander. Tobeck was signed in free agency, after playing his first six NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Alexander was selected in the first round of the draft. From his center position, Tobeck anchored the line that helped Alexander become the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards (9,429) and touchdowns (100). Their best season came in 2005, when Alexander was voted the league MVP after leading the NFL in rushing and scoring a then-NFL record 28 TDs; and Tobeck was voted to the only Pro Bowl of his career.

2001 – Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Hutchinson and Bobby Engram. Hasselbeck was acquired in a March trade with the Green Bay Packers. Hutchinson was a first-round pick in the April draft. Engram was signed in September, after being released by the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks never would have made it to the Super Bowl in 2005 without these three – as Hasselbeck passed for 3,459 yards and 24 TDs; Hutchinson joined Jones to form the most formidable side of any line in football; and Engram led the team with 67 receptions. Hasselbeck has become the franchise leader in career completions (2,572) and passing yards (29,579) and ranks second in TD passes (176). Hutchinson was voted to three consecutive Pro Bowls (2003-05). Engram also set a franchise record with 94 receptions in 2007.

Impressive stuff. But which “class” was the most impressive? You make the call …


Engram following Harbaugh’s lead

Mike Sando at ESPN.com had an item on Jim Harbaugh’s coaching roots last week that played directly into comments Bobby Engram made to us about the 49ers’ first-year head coach.

Engram, who holds the Seahawks’ single-season reception record (94 in 2007) and has been voted to the 35th Anniversary team, is starting his coaching career as an offensive assistant on Harbaugh’s staff.

“Jim is just a football junkie,” Engram said. “The thing that I really appreciate is before I signed up here I talked to him on the phone for about half an hour and he basically walked the exact same path that I’m walking now.

“He got done playing, went to Oakland for a few years, went to San Diego and coached there, went to Stanford and now he’s back in the league. That gave me a lot of confidence, just kind of confirming what I was thinking.

“Having him actually go through it, he knows what I’m going through. So I can go talk to him if I have any questions. He’s walked the path, and it’s a good thing.”

Harbaugh played quarterback in the league from 1987-2000 for four teams – the Bears (1987-93), Colts (1994-97), Ravens (1998) and Chargers (1999-2000). He began his coaching career at Western Kentucky as an assistant (1993-2001) before serving as QB coach with the Raiders (2002-03). Then it was on to head-coaching stints at the University of San Diego (2004-06) and Stanford (2007-10).

“Jim has young kids, so he’s also talked about doing a lot of things to incorporate the family as much as he can,” Engram said. “So all of that is good news to me.”

The Seahawks and 49ers are scheduled to open the 2011 season against each other – Sept. 11 in San Francisco. The rematch at Qwest Field is slated for Dec. 24.


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Better than Brown?

After the Seahawks signed linebacker Chad Brown as a free agent in 1997, then-vice president of football operations Randy Mueller allowed himself a congratulatory moment.

“There’s no question this is the best signing we’ve ever had,” Mueller said.

Mueller should know, because he’d been with the team since 1983. Plan B free agency didn’t begin until 1989 and the current system started in 1993.

And Brown did nothing to let Mueller and the team down. He led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons, was voted to the Pro Bowl twice and put up numbers during his eight-season stay in Seattle that rank among the Top 5 all-time in tackles (fourth, 744), sacks (fifth, 48), fumble recoveries (third, 13) and fumble returns for a touchdown (first, 3).

But that watershed signing of Brown happened 15 year ago. Has the club added a free agent since that would make Mueller alter his assessment? (You tell us below…)

Here, in chronological order, are a dozen candidates – including Brown, of course:

LB Chad Brown (1997) – see above.

QB Warren Moon (1997) – He started 24 games in two seasons, posting an 11-13 record. In ’97, he passed for 3,678 yards (third-highest in club history) and 25 touchdowns, including a club record-tying five in a 409-yard passing performance against the Raiders – three weeks shy of his 41st birthday.

RB Ricky Watters (1998) – He led the team in rushing for three consecutive seasons (1998-2000) and his 4,009 yards rank No. 5 on the team’s all-time list. He also scored 22 rushing touchdowns, which also ranks No. 5, and averaged 51 receptions from ’98-2000.

OL Chris Gray (1998) – Signed to add depth to the offensive line, he started 145 games in 11 seasons – at three different positions (center, right guard and left guard). Including in his unexpected run were a club-record 121 consecutive starts from 1999-2006.

P Jeff Feagles (1998) – He was one of the best directional punters in the league during his five-year stint with the Seahawks. He ranks second on the club’s all-time list in career punts (385) and third in career average (42.1 yards). He averaged 44.1 yards in 1998 and had 34 punts downed inside the 20 in 1999.

C Robbie Tobeck (2000) – Like Brown, Tobeck was voted to the 35th Anniversary team. He started 88 games from 2000-06 and was the QB of the line during the team’s run of winning the division title four consecutive seasons (2004-07) and advancing to the playoffs five years in a row (2003-07).

WR Bobby Engram (2001) – He holds the club record for receptions in a season (94 in 2007) and was the leading receiver on the 2005 Super Bowl team. Engram, who was voted to the 35th Anniversary team as the third wide-out, ranks fifth in career receptions (399) and fourth in receiving yards (4,859).

DT John Randle (2001) – He played the final two seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Seahawks, and made the most of them. Randle led the team in sacks in 2001 (11), when he was voted to the Pro Bowl; as well as in 2002 (7).

WR-KR Nate Burleson (2006) – Voted to the 35th Anniversary team as the punt returner, Burleson also finished second on the team in receptions in 2009 (63) and 2007 (50). He is the club record-holder in career punt returns (125) and return yardage (1,288), and had scoring returns of 94 and 90 yards.

LB Julian Peterson (2006) – He was voted to the Pro Bowl in each of this three seasons with the Seahawks (2006-08) and had 19½ sacks in his first two seasons, including team-leading 10 in 2006. He also averaged 83 tackles.

DE Patrick Kerney (2007) – He led the NFC with 14½ sacks in 2007, when he also was voted to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro. Injuries limited him to 16 starts combined in the next two seasons, but he still led the team in sacks in 2009 (five). He’s also the reason Grant Wistrom, Bryce Fisher and Chike Okeafor didn’t make this list.

K Olindo Mare (2008) – He has been the team’s leading scorer in each of his first three seasons with the Seahawks, and holds the franchise record for consecutive field goals made (30 in 2009-10). His mark is the sixth-longest in NFL history, and 14 more than the second-best streak in club history.

The other 11 are definitely worth considering. But better than Brown? You make the call.