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3 seattle Seahawks
Jeffri Chadiha
September 03, 2001
His roster overhauled, Mike Holmgren now needs to follow up with wins
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September 03, 2001

3 Seattle Seahawks

His roster overhauled, Mike Holmgren now needs to follow up with wins

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PROJECTED LINEUP
with 2000 statistics

COACH: Mike Holmgren; third season with Seattle (99-60 in NFL)#

2000 RECORD: 6-10 (fourth in AFC West)

NFL RANK (rush/pass/total): offense 22/21/19; defense 28/30/31

OFFENSIVE BACKS

QB

Matt Hasselbeck#

53

19 att.

10 comp.

52.6%

104 yds.

1 TDs

0 int.

86.3 rtg.

RB

Ricky Walters

23

278 att.

1,242 yds.

4.5 avg.

63 rec.

613 yds.

9.7 avg.

9 TDs

RB

Shaun Alexander

164

64 att.

313 yds.

4.9 avg.

5 rec.

41 yds.

8.2 avg.

2 TDs

FB

Mack Strong

283

3 att.

9 yds.

3.0 avg.

23 rec.

141 yds.

6.1 avg.

1 TD

RECEIVERS, SPECIALISTS, OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

WR

Darrell Jackson

119

53 rec.

713 yds.

6 TDs

WR

Karsten Bailey

218

6 rec.

62 yds.

1 TD

WR

Koren Robinson (R)#

142

62 rec.

1,061 yds.

13 TDs

TE

Christian Fauria

261

28 rec.

237 yds.

2 TDs

K

Rian Lindell

272

25/25 XPs

15/17 FGs

70 pts.

PR

Charlie Rogers

325

26 ret.

14.0 avg.

0 TDs

KR

Charlie Rogers

325

66 ret.

24.7 avg.

1 TD

LT

Walter Jones

6'5"

300 lbs.

16 games

16 starts

LG

Steve Hutchinson (R)#

6'5"

306 lbs.

11 games

11 starts

C

Robbie Tobeck

6'4"

298 lbs.

4 games

0 starts

RG

Chris Gray

6'4"

303 lbs.

16 games

16 starts

RT

Chris McIntosh

6'6"

315 lbs.

14 games

10 starts

DEFENSE

LE

Michael Sinclair

37 tackles

4� sacks

LT

Chad Eaton

62 tackles

3 sacks

RT

John Randle

25 tackles

8 sacks

RE

Lamar King

44 tackles

6 sacks

OLB

Chad Brown

73 tackles

6 sacks

MLB

Levon Kirkland#

67 tackles

0 sacks

OLB

Anthony Simmons

121 tackles

4 sacks

CB

Shawn Springs

74 tackles

2 int

SS

Reggie Tongue

31 tackles

0 int.

FS

Marcus Robertson#

64 tackles

0 int.

CB

Ken Lucas (R)#

42 tackles

5 int.

P

Jeff Feagles

74 punts

40.0 avg.

#New acquisition
(R) Rookie (statistics for final college year)
*: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 119)

In April, Marcus Robertson sat in general manager- coach Mike Holmgren's office and asked the question that, if he got the answer he wanted, would result in his signing with the Sea-hawks. Why me? Robertson wanted to know. Why not Brock Marion or Kim Herring or some other talented free-agent free safety with less wear on his body?

"Mike looked right at me and said I was the kind of guy he wanted," says Robertson, an 11-year veteran who had spent his entire career with the Oilers-Titans before being waived this off-season for salary-cap reasons. "He said if he could get players like me and the other guys he brought in here, he wouldn't have any more problems with his defense."

Robertson, who got a three-year, $3.9 million deal, wasn't the only one who bought Holmgren's sales pitch. Also signing on were two former All-Pros: 32-year-old middle linebacker Levon Kirkland, his pride aching after the Steelers whacked him in a salary-cap move, received a three-year, $75 million package; and defensive tackle John Randle, 33, accepted a five-year, $25 million offer after getting the same treatment from the Vikings that Kirkland received from Pittsburgh. Those players—along with free-agent tackle Chad Eaton, late of the Patriots—form the foundation of a new-look defense.

Lord knows the Seahawks needed a change. Upon ending the 2000 season with a 6-10 record, Seattle ranked last in the AFC in average yards allowed per rush (4.9) and in third-down stops (opponents made a first down 44.3% of the time). It stood 15th in the conference in sacks (27) and in average yards allowed per completion (13.2). "We did everything a bad defense could do," says defensive coordinator Steve Sid well.

The free-agent additions should provide the Seahawks with stability in the area they need it most—up the middle. Kirkland should have the biggest impact because he's still an effective run defender. His play will enable outside linebackers Chad Brown and Anthony Simmons to focus more on their own responsibilities. Robertson brings savvy to the secondary, while Randle and Eaton, 29, will anchor the line.

Holmgren understands the risk of signing three prominent free agents whose best years may be behind them, but he thinks he can get two productive years out of each. The attribute he values most about the three is their positive influence on younger players. During training camp it wasn't uncommon to see Kirkland riding a stationary bike after a full-pads workout or Randle and Robertson running wind sprints. "I've been here two years, and I expected some leaders to emerge," Holmgren says. "It didn't happen as fast I'd hoped, so I had to go out and pick some up."

Adds Brown, "All these guys have played for winners, so they know what it takes. You don't play as long as they have without being professional and understanding the little things. Sometimes it's as simple as coming to practice and not complaining. A lot of guys complained last year or worried about where they were going out that night. We need people focused on what's happening on the field."

Holmgren's moves weren't restricted to defense. The offense also has its share of new faces, notably 25-year-old quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was acquired in a March trade with the Packers. After attempting only 29 regular-season passes in two seasons as one of Brett Favre's backups in Green Bay, Hasselbeck is eager to prove his mettle.

When he joined the Packers in 1999, Hasselbeck got a crash course in the West Coast offense. He watched as Favre improvised, often turning a disaster into a big play. In Seattle, however, Hasselbeck is working with wide receivers who have a combined 88 career receptions and are still trying to grasp the offense. So for now the Seahawks are keeping things simple.

"I know I can throw a touchdown in this offense," Hasselbeck says, "but Mike has told me to worry less about touchdowns and more about first downs. It's hard because in Green Bay, Brett's attitude was to take a shot downfield whenever possible. Here, we're trying to set things up with shorter completions."

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