Historical, and hysterical

The Seahawks’ 2010 season was like none other in the 91-year history of the National Football League, let alone the franchise’s first 35 seasons.

It included enough ebb-and-flow that it would have been difficult to blame first-year coach Pete Carroll for feeling like he was 91. First – not to mention finally – they became the only team to win its division with a sub-.500 record (7-9) by defeating the St. Louis Rams in the regular-season finale at Qwest Field. Then – and in emphatic fashion – they upset the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs, a 41-36 victory at Qwest that gave new meaning to the wild-card round.

“When you win your division, you play a home game in the playoffs right off the bat,” Carroll said. “And look what happened. It came to life for us.”

Nothing pumped more life into the Seahawks’ first season under Carroll than Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that iced the stunner against the Saints – a tackle-breaking, defender-shedding, I-don’t-believe-what-I-just-saw romp which set off a celebration that created seismic activity around Qwest Field.

“I’m not surprised we won the division, I just was disappointed it took us so long to get there,” Carroll said of finally dispatching the Rams in the regular-season finale. “But somehow we found a way, and from that came this marvelous sense that this was supposed to happen – we planned on this.

“It gave us such a great mentality going into the next week. What a fabulous matchup that was, for mentality and all the things that makeup championship opportunities. … Then something crazy happened – an earthquake, or whatever that was.” Carroll’s first season also will be remembered as one of transition, as he and first-year general manager John Schneider made 284 roster moves.

The team’s leading rusher – Lynch – was acquired in a bye-week trade with the Buffalo Bills. The leading receiver – Mike Williams – was signed in April after passing a minicamp tryout, and being out of the league the previous two seasons. The leader in sacks – defensive end Chris Clemons – was obtained in a March trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. The record-setting kickoff returner – Leon Washington – came in a draft-day trade with the New York Jets. The leader in interceptions – free safety Earl Thomas – was one of the team’s two first-round draft choices. Their best offensive lineman – left tackle Russell Okung – was the other first-round pick. You get the picture – which also helps create a picture of how a team could start 4-2, finish by winning two of its final three games and go 2-7 in between.

“Even though it was such a round-about way to get to a division championship last year – and we even had to do it like it’s never been done before – it still allowed us to do something in a fashion that it stages us for the next step,” Carroll said. “This whole next step is a challenge – and each year is more challenging, more difficult. But we have an opportunity, again, to come back and see if we can keep building this program.”

The constant reconstruction of the roster in 2010 was necessary, as Carroll and Schneider attempted to find their kind of players to play the game the way Carroll insists it be played. Fast. Aggressive. Tough. Smart. And, most important of all, competitively.

The season-long game of roster roulette also was needed because some dubious draft decisions the previous four years had left the Seahawks’ cupboard too bare. Only 10 of the team’s 28 draft choices from 2006-09 were on the 2010 roster. Former first-round pick Lawrence Jackson was traded, as were second-round picks Josh Wilson and Darryl Tapp.

Still, the team assembled by Carroll and Schneider got it right at the right time.

Carroll is hoping the Seahawks can “own” the NFC West, much as his USC teams did by winning seven consecutive Pac-10 titles during his nine-season stay with the Trojans. Hoping? No, he’s planning on it.

“The first year was cool, because we set our sights on owning the NFC West,” he said. “That’s what we talked about. It was a very clear goal.”

Only one other coach in franchise history has won a division title in his first season – Mike Holmgren. The AFC West title the Seahawks captured in 1999 under him also came with a jagged edge, as they started 8-2 only to stumble down the stretch while losing five of their final six games. They “won” the division on the final Sunday of the regular season, despite losing to the Jets in the Meadowlands.

It took three more seasons before Holmgren’s Seahawks made it back to the playoffs, but they then advanced to the postseason for five consecutive years (2003-07) and won four division titles in a row (2004-07).

What fate awaits the Seahawks in their second season under Carroll, and beyond? As he put it, “The excitement now is, OK, where do we go from here?”

Roy Lewis, who was voted special teams captain and also the Steve Largent Award and Man of the Year in 2010, shares that anticipation.

“This was just the beginning,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what we’re able to do for an encore.”

Year in Review
Record
7-9 (first in NFC West)
Playoffs
1-1, beat New Orleans in wild-card game; lost at Chicago in divisional game
Owner
Paul Allen
Coach
Pete Carroll
Captains
QB Matt Hasselbeck (off.), MLB Lofa Tatupu (def.), CB Roy Lewis (ST)
Man of the Year
Lewis
Largent Award
Lewis
Leading Passer
Hasselbeck (266 of 444 for 3,001 yards, with 12 TDs and 17 interceptions)
Leading Rusher
Marshawn Lynch (573 yards)
Leading Receiver
Mike Williams (65 receptions for 751 yards)
Leading Tackler(s)
LB David Hawthorne (105)
Special Teams Tackles
LB Matt McCoy (19)
Interception Leader(s)
FS Earl Thomas (5)
Sack Leader
DE Chris Clemons (11)
Leading Scorer(s)
K Olindo Mare (106 points)

2010

2010: Historical, and hysterical

The Seahawks’ 2010 season was like none other in the 91-year history of the National Football League, let alone the franchise’s first 35 seasons.

2010 Games
Key Date
May 14, 2010

Scott Fitterer promoted to Director of College Scouting. Eric Stokes promoted to Assistant Director of College Scouting. Ruston Webster leaves his post as VP of Player Personnel to join the Tennessee Titans.

Key Date
June 22, 2010

Scot McCloughan rejoins the Seahawks front office as Sr. Personnel Executive.

Acquire Marshawn Lynch
October 05, 2010

Seattle acquired Marshawn Lynch from the Buffalo Bills in trade.

Key Date
September 12, 2010

Seattle defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-6 in the season opener at Qwest Field for Pete Carroll’s first win as head coach of the Seahawks.

Key Date
March 18, 2010

Traded 2010 second-round draft pick and 2011 undisclosed draft pick to San Diego for QB Charlie Whitehurst and 2010 second-round draft pick.

Key Date
July 26, 2010

Tod Leiweke resigned from his post to join the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as part owner and CEO.

Key Date
January 02, 2010

Charlie Whitehurst started the season finale for an injured Matt Hasselbeck. Needing a win versus the Rams to win the division and advance to the postseason, Whitehurst led the team to a 16-6 victory. Seattle became the first team in NFL history to advance to the playoffs with a sub .500 record (7-9).

Hire Pete Carroll as Head Coach
January 11, 2010

Seahawks hire Pete Carroll to be executive vice president of football operations and head coach.

Patrick Kerney Retires
April 13, 2010

DE Patrick Kerney retires. From 2007-09 no other Seahawks defender had more sacks than Kerney’s 24.5.

Key Date
September 28, 2010

Seahawks kickoff returner Leon Washington set a franchise record with two returns for touchdowns versus the San Diego Chargers fueling, the 27-20 victory. The returns were 101 and 99 yards earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Key Date
March 08, 2010

Traded QB Seneca Wallace to Cleveland for a 2011 undisclosed draft pick.

John Schneider Named GM
January 20, 2010

Named John Schneider general manager.

Fifth Consecutive Home Playoff Win and BeastQuake
January 08, 2010

Seattle captured their fifth consecutive home playoff win with a 41-36 triumph over the defending World Champion New Orleans Saints. Matt Hasselbeck set a postseason club record with four TD passes. Marshawn Lynch electrified the crowd with what many are calling one of the greatest runs in NFL history with a 67-yard TD in which he broke as many as eight tackles. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network registered activity generated from the stadium during the time of Lynch’s run.

Key Date
April 24, 2010

Traded fourth-round pick (#104) and sixth-round pick (#176) to Tennessee for fourth-round pick (#111), sixth-round pick (#185), DT Kevin Vickerson and RB LenDale White. Traded fifth round pick (#139) to the N.Y. Jets for seventh round pick (#236) and RB Leon Washington.

Walter Jones Retires
April 29, 2010

T Walter Jones retires. He was selected to a club record nine Pro Bowls and his 180 career starts are second to only Steve Largent.

New Coaching Staff
February 04, 2010

New coaching staff is announced: Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator), Kippy Brown (WRs), Luke Butkus (Quality control/offensive line), Dave Canales (Quality control/offense), Chris Carlisle (head strength & conditioning), Jedd Fisch (QBs), Mondra Gee (assistant strength & conditioning), Alex Gibbs (offensive line), Jerry Gray (DBs), Kris Richard (assistant DBs), Brian Schneider (special teams coordinator), Rocky Seto (Quality control/defense), Sherman Smith (RBs), Jeff Ulbrich (assistant special teams), Art Valero (assistant offensive line), Jamie Yancher (assistant strength & conditioning).

Key Date
July 31, 2010

Promoted Will Lewis to vice president of football operations and Tag Ribary to director of pro personnel. Hired Trent Kirchner as assistant director of pro personnel.

Draft Russell Okung and Earl Thomas
April 22, 2010

Drafted T Russell Okung (6th overall) and S Earl Thomas (14th overall) in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Key Date
January 08, 2010

Seahawks head coach Jim Mora is relieved of coaching duties.

Franchise Tag Placed on Olindo Mare
February 24, 2010

Olindo Mare is given the franchise tag, and the veteran kicker responds by hitting 25 of 30 field goal attempts – including extending his consecutive kick streak that began in 2009 to a franchise record 30 in a row.

Walter Jones' Number Retired
December 05, 2010

Walter Jones’ number (71) is retired.

Key Date
September 23, 2010

Peter McLoughlin assumes role of President of Seahawks, Sounders FC and First & Goal, Inc. after previously serving as CEO of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.

The first year was cool, because we set our sights on owning the NFC West. That’s what we talked about. It was a very clear goal.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
This was just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what we’re able to do for an encore.
Roy Lewis
I’m not surprised we won the division, I just was disappointed it took us so long to get there. But somehow we found a way, and from that came this marvelous sense that this was supposed to happen – we planned on this.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
2010 Season Schedule
Click on any game
to see full statistics.
DateOpponentScoreW:L
9/12 San Francisco 31-6 W
9/19 AT Denver 14-31 L
9/26 San Diego 27-20 W
10/3 AT St. Louis 3-20 L
10/17 AT Chicago 23-20 W
10/24 Arizona 22-10 W
10/31 AT Oakland 3-33 L
11/7 New York Giants 7-41 L
11/14 AT Arizona 36-18 W
11/21 AT New Orleans 19-34 L
11/28 Kansas City 24-42 L
12/5 Carolina 31-14 W
12/12 AT San Francisco 21-40 L
12/19 Atlanta 18-34 L
12/26 AT Tampa Bay 15-38 L
1/2 St. Louis 16-6 W
POSTSEASON
1/8 New Orleans Wildcard Game 41-36 W
1/16 AT Chicago Divisional Playoff 24-35 L
2010 Record
79
Playoffs: 1-1
2010 Offense
PosPlayerStarts
C Lemuel Jeanpierre 0
C Chris Spencer 16
G Stacy Andrews 12
G Paul Fanaika 0
G Mike Gibson 5
G Chris White 0
OT Tyler Polumbus 5
T Breno Giacomini 0
T Sean Locklear 15
T Russell Okung (R) 10
T Will Robinson 0
TE Cameron Morrah 0
TE John Carlson 13
WR Mike Williams 14
WR Ruvell Martin 0
WR Ben Obomanu 6
WR Brandon Stokley 0
WR Golden Tate 0
QB J.P. Losman 0
QB Matt Hasselbeck 14
QB Charlie Whitehurst 0
FB Michael Robinson 4
RB Leon Washington 0
RB Justin Forsett 0
RB Marshawn Lynch 12
+ View All-Time Roster
2010 Defense
PosPlayerStarts
DE Dexter Davis 0
DE Chris Clemons 16
DE Amon Gordon 0
DE Raheem Brock 0
DE Jay Richardson 0
DE Kentwan Balmer 8
DT Craig Terrill 0
DT Brandon Mebane 12
DT Colin Cole 11
LB Matt McCoy 0
LB Joe Pawelek 0
MLB Lofa Tatupu 16
OLB Will Herring 0
OLB David Hawthorne 16
OLB Aaron Curry 16
CB Josh Pinkard 0
CB Kelly Jennings 14
CB Marcus Trufant 16
CB Walter Thurmond 0
DB Marcus Brown 0
DB Kam Chancellor 0
DB Kennard Cox 0
FS Earl Thomas 16
FS Jordan Babineaux 0
SS Lawyer Milloy 16
+ View All-Time Roster
2010 Special Teams
PosPlayerStarts
K Olindo Mare 16
LS Clint Gresham (R) 16
P Jon Ryan 16
+ View All-Time Roster
2010: Earn Everything

VIDEO: 2010: Earn Everything

On this Day in Seahawks History