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Focus on: Playoff memories
Jon Ryan is a vanishing species in the Seahawks’ locker room.
The veteran punter who has spent the past six seasons rewriting his section of the franchise’s record book is one of only four players remaining from the team coach Pete Carroll inherited in 2010 – alone with defensive linemen Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant and center Max Unger. Because of that status, Ryan also is one of 14 players who have been around for all four playoff games the Seahawks have participated in the past four seasons.
As the Seahawks prepare for Saturday’s divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field, we’re asking some for their most memorable postseason moment.
Ryan’s choice is obvious, but not for the obvious reason.
“Obviously that New Orleans game back in 2010 was something that definitely stands out more than anything,” Ryan said in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center before Wednesday’s practice.
The Seahawks upset the defending Super Bowl champion Saints 41-36 at CenturyLink Field, as Matt Hasselbeck passed for four touchdowns and Marshawn Lynch iced the victory with an electrifying 67-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that ignited a celebration which caused seismic activity near the stadium.
“I still remember going to hold for the PAT after Marshawn’s run and my face mask was literally shaking,” Ryan said, cracking a smile and shaking his head as he recalled the moment from that late Saturday afternoon in early January 2011.
“It was shaking because the crowd noise was so intense.”
The 12th Man crowd that turns CenturyLink Field into a noise factory on game days – or nights – has set and re-set the Guinness Book of World Records mark for loudest crowd roar this season. The first came during the Sept. 15 home opener against the San Francisco 49ers. The second came during the Dec. 2 win over the Saints on “Monday Night Football.”
“But there’s no way those games were louder than it was that day,” Ryan said. “That would have shattered any record out there on how loud it was that day.
“I remember by face mask shaking and just thinking to myself, ‘Just focus on the ball. Just catch the ball.’ Because it was that loud.”
And it was a loudness that lingered.
“It was the first game I played here where I got back to the locker room and had problems,” Ryan said. “It was about 20 minutes before I could hear normally. And that’s including the games where they’ve broken the record twice now.
“It’s always amazing to play at that stadium with our crowd noise. But that game was unlike any other game I’ve played in there.”