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On this date: Jones, Springs drafted

1997: After selecting cornerback Shawn Springs with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Seahawks trade into the sixth spot to take tackle Walter Jones. The incomparable Jones would be voted to a club-record nine Pro Bowls and have his No. 71 retired after he called it a Hall of Fame career following the 2009 season. Spring also was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1998 and started 88 games in seven seasons with the team.

2002: Brock Huard is traded to the Colts for a fifth-round draft choice the Seahawks would use to select defensive tackle Rocky Bernard. Huard, who also played at the University of Washington and Puyallup High School, had been the Seahawks’ third-round draft in 1999 and would return to the team for the 2004 season.


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On this date: Seahawks move up for Springs

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on March 28:

1997: The club trades a first-round pick obtained from the Bears for QB and former first-round pick Rick Mirer to the Falcons to move up to the third spot in the NFL Draft, so it can select Shawn Springs. The cornerback from Ohio State would start 88 games in his seven-season stay with the Seahawks and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1998.


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On this date: Mirer traded

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 18:

1997: Rick Mirer, the second pick overall in the 1993 NFL Draft, is traded to the Bears for a first-round draft choice that the club uses to trade up to the third spot in the ’97 draft to select Shawn Springs.


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On this date: Easley, Young spark AFC

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 7:

1988: Kenny Easley and Fredd Young provide half the AFC’s four interceptions, as well as eight and seven tackles, in 15-6 victory in the Pro Bowl. Steve Largent (one reception) and Jacob Green (two tackles) also were on the AFC squad.

1993: Cortez Kennedy and Eugene Robinson combine for nine tackles to help the AFC win the Pro Bowl 23-20 in overtime.

1999: Cortez Kennedy and the “strong side, left side” trio of Michael Sinclair, Chad Brown and Shawn Springs combine for five tackles and three passes defensed to help the AFC claim a 23-10 Pro Bowl victory in what is John Elway’s final game.

2003: Teryl Austin is named defensive backs coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff.


On this date

A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 20:

1981: Dave Krieg passes for three touchdowns, including two to Steve Largent, as the Seahawks close the season with a 42-21 win over the Browns at the Kingdome. Rookie safety Kenny Easley leads the defensive effort with two interceptions, returning one 82 yards for a score; and Greggory Johnson returns a Michael Jackson-forced fumble 31 yards for another score. Jackson also has 16 tackles and sack.

1985: In a Friday night game at the Kingdome, Norm Johnson hits the right upright on a 52-yard field goal on the final play as the Broncos win 27-24 behind a 432-yard passing performance by John Elway.

1986: In a Saturday afternoon game at the Kingdome, Curt Warner runs for 192 yards and three touchdowns and Dave Krieg throws two TD passes to Darryl Turner as the Seahawks close their season with a 41-16 victory over the Broncos. Steve Largent also catches six passes for 101 yards. The Seahawks finish with 10-6 record, including victories over both teams that advance to the Super Bowl (the Broncos and Giants), but do not make the playoffs.

1987: Curt Warner runs for two touchdowns, Dave Krieg passes for two more and John L. Williams catches eight passes for 117 yards in a 34-21 victory over the Walter Payton-led Bears in Chicago. Eugene Robinson leads the defensive effort with two interceptions and 11 tackles, while rookie Brian Bosworth has two fumble recoveries and a sack.

1992: Loss No. 13 in the Seahawks’ 2-14 season comes in Denver, as Gaston Green scores the only touchdown in the Broncos’ 10-6 win at Mile High Stadium. The defense intercepts John Elway three times and forces three fumbles, while Chris Warren runs for 97 yards in the loss.

1998: The Seahawks score 17 points in the final 10 minutes to pull out a 27-23 victory over the Colts at the Kingdome, as Ricky Watters has a 33-yard touchdown run, Shawn Springs returns a fumble 14 yards for a TD and Todd Peterson kicks a 30-yard field goal. Watters finishes with 178 rushing yards in Dennis Erickson final home game as coach of his hometown NFL team.

2009: The Buccaneers score 24 unanswered points in a 24-7 victory over the Seahawks in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck passes 29 yards to John Carlson for the Seahawks’ only points, but also throws four interceptions.


On this date

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 1:

1987: The Seahawks push their record to 5-2 during the strike-interrupted season by posting a 28-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at the Kingdome as Dave Krieg passes for three touchdowns in the team’s third consecutive win.

1999: Mike Holmgren, in his first season with the Seahawks, returns to Lambeau Field and the former Packers coach gets a 27-7 victory over his old team on “Monday Night Football.” The list of Seahawks who chip in on Holmgren’s happy homecoming is a long one as cornerback Shawn Springs intercepts two passes and blocks a field goal; Cortez Kennedy registers three sacks of Brett Favre; Ricky Watters runs for 125 yards; Jon Kitna passes for two touchdowns; and linebacker Chad Brown has 12 tackles.


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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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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 …


Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on May 20:

Mike Sando of ESPN.com had readers vote for “Flash Point” franchise-turning events for each of the four teams in the NFC West, and the obvious – and overwhelming – choice for the Seahawks was Paul Allen buying the team in 1997. As one voter put it, “It is hard to point to any one of those (other) moments as the one point where it all changed. They were part of a long, ugly slide. Allen buying the team, though, was the one point in time where you can look and say, ‘It all changed right there.’ ”

In the wake of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s comments about being “ignored” by the Lakers because he doesn’t have a statute outside the team’s arena, Vic Carucci at NFL.com weighs in on which NFL players are deserving of the honor. His obvious pick for the Seahawks: Steve Largent.

We’ll go that nine better. In addition to the Hall of Fame wide receiver, Qwest Field needs statutes of all 10 members of the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor – which also would include Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Pete Gross, Curt Warner, Jacob Green, Kenny Easley, Dave Krieg, Chuck Knox and Cortez Kennedy. The St. Louis Cardinals have such a display outside Busch Stadium, and walking through the statutes is a stroll down memory lane. But if it can be only one for the Seahawks, Largent definitely is the one.

Also from NFL.com, Adam Rank, well, ranks the NFL’s sixth toughest names. At No. 3 is former Seahawks fullback Mack Strong. Says Rank, “Conjures up the image of a mack truck and of course, there is strong in the name. Only rivaled by Homer Simpsons’ “Max Power” name on The Simpsons. But No. 3? Whose name could be tougher than Mack Strong? Find out here.

The funeral for Ron Springs, the late father of former Seahawks cornerback Shawn, was held Thursday and Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com has the details. The elder Springs, who died of a heart attack last week after a long illness, was remembered as a fun and friendly guy. As Shawn said, “You really don’t have any choice but being a friend with my dad. He would talk to everybody.” Including reporters along the sideline when he attended practices while his son was playing for the Seahawks.

At Seahawks.com, we continue our recaps of the team’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1984, a season that started with Curt Warner going down and out in the opener but concluded with a 12-4 record that remained a franchise best until 2005.

We also offer a poll to determine if you think there has been a better free-agent signing than Chad Brown – an unrestricted or restricted free agent. With 325 votes cast, wide receiver Bobby Engram (78) leads Brown (68). Note to those who are atwitter with your tweets: Mack Strong is not on the list because he joined the club as a college free agent – like Dave Krieg, Joe Nash, Eugene Robinson and Rufus Porter. Neither is Mike Williams, because he was a street free agent when signed last year.


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