On this date: Cortez Kennedy elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Cortez Kennedy

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 4:

1990: Dave Krieg completes 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 27-21. Jerry Gray, a cornerback for the Rams who would go on to coach the Seahawks’ defensive backs in 2010, is named MVP after returning an interception 51 yards for a TD and also registering seven tackles. Rufus Porter (two tackles) and Brian Blades (one reception) also represent the Seahawks in the game.

1996: Chris Warren leads the NFC with 43 rushing yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 20-13.

1998: Jim Johnson is named linebackers coach on Dennis Erickson’s staff. Johnson remains for only one season before becoming the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, but his impact on the Seahawks’ defense is apparent even after he leaves.

2010: First-year coach Pete Carroll announces his staff: Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator), Brian Schneider (special teams coordinator), Kippy Brown (wide receivers), Luke Butkus (quality control/offensive line), Dave Canales (quality control/offense), Chris Carlisle (head strength and conditioning), Jedd Fisch (quarterbacks), Mondray Gee (assistant strength and conditioning), Alex Gibbs (offensive line), Jerry Gray (defensive backs), Kris Richard (assistant defensive backs), Rocky Seto (quality control/defense), Sherman Smith (running backs), Jeff Ulbrich (assistant special teams), Art Valero (assistant offensive line) and Jamie Yancher (assistant strength and conditioning).

2012: Cortez Kennedy, in his seventh year of eligibility and fourth year as a finalist, is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1990s as a defensive tackle, Kennedy joins Steve Largent as the only career-long Seahawks player in the Hall.


Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 2:

FOCUS ON

The not-so-long goodbye. The players cleaned out their cubicles in the locker room today, always a sweet-and-sour experience, after completing their exit physicals and before a final team meeting.

“We’re going to be going our separate ways,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said, less than 24 hours after their season ended with a 23-20 overtime loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. “A lot of guys are going to be tuning into the playoffs and wishing that we were in there and had that opportunity. But time will fly by.

“Guys are going to get with their families and enjoy that time and before you know it in April we’ll be back here and ready to get started.”

April? That’s right. As part of the new CBA which came out of the 136-day lockout that erased the offseason in 2011, the offseason workout program and OTA sessions that usually began in March will be delayed this offseason.

So this was a last chance for the players to be with their teammates as a team for awhile. Some players made the rounds getting teammates to autograph helmets. Other exchanged jerseys. All filled large boxes with their belongings.

“This team took a turn this year from last year,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “It went from the coaches pretty much directing us, to this year we kind of took ownership of the team. It became our team, and that’s what you like to see at this level.

“Nothing else can motivate you more than your peers.”

Among the items Robinson tucked into his storage box was a tool belt that was presented to him by his running backs peers – Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington and Justin Forsett.

“It signifies that I come to work and I can fix a lot of problems,” said Robinson, the lead blocker for Lynch’s career-best 1,204-yard season and also a special teams captain this season. “That’s going to be in my locker forever now.”

GOAL-KEEPER

Jon Ryan broke his own franchise records for punting average (46.6) and net average (39.3), but he also reached a personal goal: Leading the league in punts inside the 20-yard line.

“It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do, because it’s such an important stat,” Ryan said.

He had 34, to nudge the Broncos’ Britton Colquitt by one. And that one came in overtime during Sunday’s loss. Ryan’s total also ties the franchise record that was set by Jeff Feagles in 1999.

MOVING ON

Jeff Ulbrich, the Seahawks’ assistant special teams coach the past two seasons, is leaving to become special teams coach/linebacker coach on Jim Mora’s staff at UCLA. Luke Butkus, a quality control/offensive line coach the past two years, will become the offensive line coach at Illinois, his alma mater.

GIDDY-UP

The Seahawks will host the Cowboys in 2012, because they finished third in the NFC East. It had been reported that the Eagles would return to CenturyLink Field, but they finished second in their division based on a tiebreaker with the Cowboys.

The rest of the Seahawks home-and-away lineup is available here.

STAT DU JOUR

They did it. The defense finished No. 9 in the NFL, allowing an average of 332.2 yards. The Seahawks’ defense had finished among the Top 10 in the league only five other times in franchise history, and the last time was in 1997. Here’s a look at those defenses compared to this season’s unit:

Year     Rank; average yards allowed

2011    No. 9; 332.2

1997    No. 8; 303.1

1992    No. 10; 286.4

1991    No. 8; 293.9

1990    No. 9; 288.1

1984    No. 6; 310.2

UP NEXT

Coach Pete Carroll will hold his season-ending news conference on Tuesday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“More games.” – Robinson when asked what was missing at this point


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