A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 2:
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.”
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.
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.
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
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
Tags: Hawkville, Jeff Ulbrich, Jon Ryan, Luke Butkus, Michael Robinson, Pete Carroll, Tarvaris Jackson
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