We used to be in there, now we’re out here
Aside from the signing of Russell Okung, the focus in Seahawk City the last two or three days has been less on the team Pete Carroll is putting together and more on the teams coached by his predecessors.
From referee Bill Leavy’s apology to the remnants of Mike Holmgren’s Super Bowl team … to the Hall of Fame induction of a couple of players who briefly played for Holmgren … to the accompanying speculation about when Chuck Knox’s last great player will make it in … to yet another indictment of Jim Mora’s coaching staff … it’s been a bittersweet week for reliving the good and bad of the Seahawks past.
It was nice of Leavy to offer a mea culpa four years later, admitting what everyone who watched Super Bowl XL already knew: The officials screwed up.
But what does it really accomplish, other than to assuage his conscience and open an old wound for everyone associated with the Seahawks?
It took most Seahawk fans and players a couple of years to get over the bad taste of the most controversial Super Bowl in memory, and Leavy’s belated admission that he screwed up simply reminds everyone in Seattle how the best moment in the history of the Seahawks was tainted.
“It left me with a lot of sleepless nights, and I think about it constantly,” Leavy told reporters. “I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better.”
Leavy was not specific about which calls he and his crew messed up, other than to say he “kicked two calls in the fourth quarter.”
Well, the only plays he could have been talking about were these two:
**The holding call against Sean Locklear that nullified Matt Hasselbeck’s pass to Jerramy Stevens to the 1-yard line, which would have set Seattle up for the go-ahead touchdown.
**The horrible illegal block call a few plays later against Hasselbeck as he tackled Ike Taylor after Taylor intercepted Hasselbeck’s pass. The 15-yard penalty set the Steelers up at their 44-yard line, and they scored on a reverse pass by Antwaan Randle El four plays later.
The few Seahawks remaining from that Super Bowl were very gracious about it.
“I had a word with him and told him I really appreciated it,” defensive tackle Craig Terrill said. “I certainly don’t have any hard feelings against him. There were plenty of things we did in that game that kept us from winning.”
The most significant of those things were four dropped passes by Jerramy Stevens (one of the biggest chuckleheads in team history) and two major errors by third-string safety Etric Pruitt, who while filling in for injured Marquand Manuel was out of position on a 75-yard touchdown run by Willie Parker and the trick touchdown pass.
After the unfortunate trip down Memory Lane, Marcus Trufant brought everyone back to the present, telling reporters: “Everybody I think has moved on. I’ve tried to move on. That’s in the past. We’re going to keep playing and we’re trying to get back. That’s the goal.”
It reminded us of our post back in February, right after Cortez Kennedy was bypassed for the second straight year and a day after Walter Jones announced via Twitter that he would be retiring.
Although Rice, Randle, Warren Moon, Franco Harris and Carl Eller are in the Hall, they were all Seahawks at the very end of their careers, and only Moon and Randle were any good in Seattle (each with a Pro Bowl appearance).
The only career Hawk in the Hall is Steve Largent, but Kennedy and Jones should be joining him shortly, making it three true Hawks in the Hall.
Jones had better be inducted on the first ballot, in five years. The question is: Will Kennedy already be in by then?
Kennedy has been a finalist for the past two years, but he faces long odds in 2011 because there will be a few first-time candidates who have great chances to make it: Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis. They will join top candidates such as Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Shannon Sharpe and Aeneas Williams.
With all of those players likely to get in fairly quickly, Kennedy might not make it for a few more years.
Perhaps the best scenario would be if Kennedy didn’t get in until 2015, when Jones will be eligible for the first time. It would be pretty cool to see two Seahawks be inducted in the same year.
However it happens, there’s a very good chance the Seahawks will add two players to the Hall in the next five years.
Jones’ absence was a big blow to Jim Mora’s 2009 Seahawks, whose line was so bad that Hasselbeck had little chance to succeed all season.
Mora’s team, especially the offense, regressed by the week and was at its worst in December. So, it was no surprise to see T.J. Houshmandzadeh tell The Seattle Times that Mora’s practices in 2009 were not competitive.
“We just had a tendency to ease up a little bit, you know,” he told Jerry Brewer. “When the guy across from you is not trying to stop you, you — I wouldn’t say go through the motions — but you don’t go as hard. You’re not perfecting your craft, so to speak, like you would if you knew a guy was trying to stop you.
“That’s just the way practices were,” Houshmandzadeh said. “They weren’t competitive, for whatever reason. … Training camp practices last year were competitive. But once we got into the season, it was a different dynamic.”
That explains why the Seahawks won just five games and were getting blown out by three touchdowns a game by the end of the season.
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