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On this date

A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 30:

1990: Derrick Fenner runs for two touchdowns, running his season total to 15, in a 30-10 victory over the Lions at the Kingdome. The win allows the Seahawks to finish 9-7 despite an 0-3 start. Eugene Robinson returns a fumble for a touchdown and Jacob Green has three sacks to lead the defensive effort.

2001: Rian Lidell kicks a 54-yard field on the last play of the game to give the Seahawks a 25-22 victory over the Chargers in San Diego. Darrell Jackson catches five passes for 114 yards, including touchdown receptions of 48 and 43 yards.

2007: Nate Burleson catches seven passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns and the playoff-bound Seahawks generate 30 first downs, but it’s not enough to offset a four-TD passing performance by Chris Redman in a wild 44-41 loss to the Falcons in the regular-season finale at the Georgia Dome.


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On this date

A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 23:

1989: In Steve Largent’s final game, the Seahawks are shut out 29-0 by the Redskins on a Saturday afternoon at the Kingdome as former Washington State QB Mark Rypien completes 22 of 31 passes for 290 yards and a TD. Largent catches two passes for 41 yards and Eugene Robinson has 12 tackles and an interception, but the Redskins control the ball for 41 minutes.

1990: Derrick Fenner scores on a 1-yard run on the first play of the third quarter and the Seahawks hold on for a 17-12 victory over the Broncos at the Kingdome. Eugene Robinson and Melvin Jenkins intercept John Elway passes and Jacob Green gets to the Broncos’ QB for 1½ sacks.

2000: The Bills roll up 579 yards on a rain-swept Saturday night at Husky Stadium in taking a 42-23 victory in Cortez Kennedy’s final game. Doug Flutie passes for three touchdowns and 366 yards, while Antowain Smith runs for 147 yards and three scores.

2001: Shaun Alexander scores on a 29-yard run and with a 16-yard pass and John Randle recovered a fumble in the end zone to stake the Seahawks to a 24-17 lead, but Kerry Collins throws a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ike Hilliard with 20 seconds left to give the Giants a 27-24 victory over the Seahawks at Giants Stadium.

2007: Matt Hasselbeck throws touchdown passes to Shaun Alexander and Nate Burleson and Leroy Hill returns a fumble for a score in a 27-6 victory over the Ravens in Seattle that runs the Seahawks record to 10-5.


On this date

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 22:

1987: Dave Krieg passes for two touchdowns and runs for a third and the defense holds the Chargers to 156 yards in a 34-3 victory at the Kingdome.

1992: Chris Warren runs for 154 yards and a touchdown but the Seahawks lose their eighth game in a row as they fall to the Chiefs 24-14 at the Kingdome.

1998: The Cowboys score two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 1-yard run by ex-Seahawk Chris Warren, in handing the Seahawks a 30-22 loss in Dallas. Defensive tackle Sam Adams returns an interception 25 yards for one of Seattle’s touchdowns.

2009: In a vintage performance, 40-year-old Brett Favre throws for four touchdowns – including two to Sidney Rice – and completes 22 of 25 passes as the Vikings hand the Seahawks a 35-9 loss at the Metrodome. Nate Burleson and Justin Forsett combine to catch 14 passes for 180 yards, but Seahawks gain a franchise record-low 4 yards on 12 running plays.


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On this date

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 4:

1979: The Seahawks are held to a NFL-record minus-7 total yards in a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at the Kingdome.

1984: The Seahawks set an NFL record by returning four interceptions for touchdowns in a 45-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at the Kingdome. Cornerback Dave Brown had two of the scoring returns, while strong safety Kenny Easley and cornerback Keith Simpson each had one.

2007: Nate Burleson returns a punt 94 yards for a touchdown in a 33-30 overtime loss to the Browns in Cleveland, becoming the first player in NFL history with three punts returns of 90-plus yards in his career.


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On his terms

One of the best things about Robbie Tobeck’s 14-year NFL career is the way it ended: On his terms.

The veteran center not only knew it was time to walk away; he was prepared to step into the next phase of his life. Tobeck, who played his final seven seasons with the Seahawks (2000-06), is a partner in Griffin MacLean Insurance, hosting a Saturday morning fishing show on 710 ESPN and enjoying watching his sons play the sport that was such a large part of his life for so long.

“I knew I was done. I knew it was time,” said Tobeck, who has lost 40 pounds. “I worked at Griffin MacLean in the offseason when I played. After I announced my retirement (following the 2006 playoff loss to the Bears in Chicago), I went to Costa Rica and fished for 10 days. Then I came back and I was in the office that Monday.

“That was the transition for me. It was just boom-boom and here I was.”  

Tobeck is one of nine players voted to the 35th Anniversary team who was not on the 25th Anniversary unit – most of obvious reasons. His story is the latest profile of the players the readers of Seahawks.com voted to the 35th Anniversary team.

Here’s a what-a-difference-10-years-can-make look at the changes from the 25th Anniversary team that was selected by the Seattle P-I in 2000, starting with Tobeck:

Center: Tobeck over Blair Bush. Tobeck didn’t join the Seahawks until 2000. He is the only center in team history to play in the Pro Bowl (2005) and was the anchor in the middle of the line on the 2003-06 teams that won three consecutive NFC West titles and advanced to the playoffs four years in a row.

Guard: Steve Hutchinson over Edwin Bailey. Hutchinson was not drafted until 2001 and played only five seasons, making 68 starts – compared to 11 seasons and 120 starts for Bailey. But Hutchinson was voted to three Pro Bowls, and is the only guard in team history to play in the Pro Bowl.

Tackle: Howard Ballard over Mike Wilson. Ballard was a Plan B free agent addition in 1994 and started 74 games in five seasons. Wilson started 60 games in four seasons (1986-89), but on better teams. Ballard was not the same player who had been a mainstay on the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl teams from 1990-93, but he got 982 votes in finishing second to Walter Jones (4,065) among the tackles – while Wilson got only 46 votes to finish tied for ninth in the 11-tackle field.

 

Tight end: John Carlson over Mike Tice. Carlson was a second-round draft choice in 2008 and became the first rookie to lead the team in receptions since Steve Largent in 1976. Still, the voting at this spot was the tightest on the 35th Anniversary team – 1,898 for Carlson to 1,880 for Tice, who started 83 games from 1981-88 and in 1990-91.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck over Dave Krieg. Hasselbeck was obtained in a 2001 trade with the Green Bay Packers, and has since broken Krieg’s club records for career attempts, completions and passing yards. Hasselbeck has been voted to three Pro Bowls. Krieg also went to the Pro Bowl three times, and had a 70-49 record as a starter (.588 winning percentage) – compared to 69-62 (.527) for Hasselbeck.

Running back: Shaun Alexander over Curt Warner. Alexander was a first-round draft choice in 2000, but didn’t become the fulltime starter until 2002. He went on to obliterate the club records for rushing yards (9,429) and rushing touchdowns (100). Alexander also became the first Seahawk to be voted league MVP in 2005, when he led the NFL in rushing and scored a then-league record 28 touchdowns.

Fullback: Mack Strong over John L. Williams. Strong joined the Seahawks in 1993, but Williams was just so productive during his eight-season stay – 4,579 rushing yards, No. 4 in club history; and 471 receptions, No. 3 all-time. Williams went to the Pro Bowl in 1990 and ’91, while Strong went in 2005 and ’06. Strong’s best seasons came after the 25th Anniversary team was selected.

Middle linebacker: Lofa Tatupu over Keith Butler. Tatupu was a second-round draft choice in 2005. While Butler ranks No. 2 all-time with 813 tackles, Tatupu is the only player to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive seasons and he also was voted to three Pro Bowls.

Punt returner: Nate Burleson over Bobby Joe Edmonds. Burleson was signed as a restricted free agent in 2006. He actually volunteered for punt return duties, and ended up as the career leader in returns (125) and yards (1,288) despite being with the team for only four seasons.


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.


Burleson’s stay short, but sweet

Joe Nash played a franchise-record 15 seasons for the Seahawks, one more than Steve Largent and Mack Strong.

Walter Jones (13), Jacob Green (12), Brian Blades (11), Cortez Kennedy (11), Michael Sinclair (11), Dave Brown (11), Eugene Robinson (11) and Matt Hasselbeck (10) also spent 10-plus seasons with the team.

So their selections to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team are not surprising.

Nate Burleson, however, is on the other end of the tenure spectrum. He was with the Seahawks for only four seasons – one more than John Carlson, and the same number as Fredd Young and Steve Broussard.

But when the readers of Seahawks.com voted, Burleson was the pick as the punt returner.  

“It’s funny that people voted on that and picked me,” Burleson said. “So I’m honored. I really am.”

Burleson’s record-setting returns after returning to play for his hometown NFL team from 2006-09 are featured in the third profile of the 29 members of the reader-selected team.


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Thanks, but …

One of the more impressive aspects from the first two days of the Seahawks training camp has been the reaction from those players whose efforts have stood out most.

Three practices. Three “players of the day.” Three “say what?” reactions.

Friday, Nate Burleson made a half dozen impressive catches. But when asked about the effort, the veteran wide receiver immediately mentioned the one pass he dropped.

Saturday morning, Ken Lucas broke up passes that were intended for Deion Branch and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had better position than Lucas to make the plays. But the pass the veteran cornerback dwelled on was one completed because he got a poor break on the ball.

Saturday evening, Justin Forsett made a block that knocked everyone’s socks off – and stoned 240-pound middle linebacker David Hawthorne. But the point made by the 194-pound Forsett was that he needed to hold the block a little longer.

Perfectionists? Perhaps, but they’re definitely realists. To a man, the Seahawks are wearing last year’s 4-12 record like a hair shirt. Several times during the offseason, players would inject their lost season into conversations that where focused on the future not the past. As in, “Well, you know we were 4-12 last year.”

In his first season as coach, Jim Mora is preaching accountability to his players – on every play, in every practice. No excuses. Just results.

The players obviously have taken his challenge to heart.


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