The 2013 Seahawks already have gone where no other team in franchise history has.
Not the 2005 Seahawks, who set club marks for consecutive wins (11) and regular-season record (13-3) en route to playing in the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Not the 1984 Seahawks, who had held the marks for consecutive wins (eight) and regular-season record (12-4) for 21 seasons.
Neither of those teams started 10-1, which is where this Seahawks team finds itself during its bye week.
As impressive as the first 11 weeks have been for the Seahawks, what has impressed them about being able to compile the best record in the NFL and take a 3½-game in the NFC West with five games to play?
We checked in with four of the leaders on this team before the players headed out for their bye week, and got four different answers.
This team has been built from the foundation up since Carroll and general manager John Schneider arrived at Virginia Mason Athletic Center as almost a package deal in January 2010. The efforts of Schneider and his staff have delivered the types of players that Carroll needs to play his style of football – fast, aggressive, physical.
“That has a lot to do with it,” Hauschka said. “It’s a great group of guys and they let everyone be themselves. There’s not a lot of internal struggle here. Marshawn (Lynch) is allowed to be who he is. You’ve got an eclectic group of guys here, but we’ve all come together for one purpose.
“That’s what’s so powerful about it.”
They have learned that they’re going to get the best from every team they face, because they are among the best teams in the league. It’s that “on any given Sunday” cliché come to life.
“That goes to show you that you can’t listen to misdirected comments from the media,” Thomas said. “You shouldn’t even pay attention to that stuff. Especially when you have the mindset of accomplishing something great like we have. I think when you get caught up in that you get messed up.
“People don’t realize that different teams are not the same as the year prior. We’re not the same team as last year. You grow. Everybody expects us to dominate every time out, and that’s great. You want that pressure on yourself. Because we’ve kind of made a name for ourselves to be the best, so we’re going to get everybody’s best.”
It’s a philosophy and attitude that second-year quarterback
“We understand we have a bigger target on our back, because the more games you win the more people want to beat you,” Tate said. “But we just take the approach that everyday we’re trying to prove ourselves, and improve ourselves.
“We still have some people out there that don’t believe in us. But we believe in ourselves, and that’s really all that matters.”
The seeing has been the believing in this one. The offense played for almost two months without Pro Bowl left tackle
“Guys have gotten injured and the play hasn’t necessarily fallen off,” Sherman said. “We won games missing a lot of key players. I think that’s a testament to the mentality a lot of players have accepted. Guys have continued to step up for, a countless number of guys have stepped for us.
“That’s been a big key to our success. Now, if we need them to play again, it’s not, ‘Oh, can they play?’ It’s, ‘We know they can play, because they have.’ That’s what makes a great championship team – the depth, and being able to count on guys who weren’t necessarily starters to begin with. When a guy goes down, you’re not in total panic mode, because you have total faith and belief that they can get the job done.”