The Catch Up is a series to give fans a look into what their favorite Seahawks Legends are up to right now. This time around we caught up with former Pro-Bowl cornerback Shawn Springs. Following his playing days he started his own tech company and will soon be inducted into the Smithsonian National Museum next year.
First Impressions Matter: "They had a certain standard."
Before the 1997 draft, Shawn Springs knew he was going to be a top pick in the draft, but what he didn't know was that the Seattle Seahawks were willing to trade up to get him.
In that draft, the Seahawks traded up to get both Springs and Hall of Famer Walter Jones at No. 3 and No. 6, respectively.
"I knew I was going pretty high after I ran the combine and ran my 40 times and ran pretty fast. So I figured I was going top five," Springs said. "The Seahawks did not have a pick in the top ten they had like the 11th and 12th pick."
Springs recalls the Seahawks bringing a lot of staff to the combine and asking him how he thought he was going to do.
"I remember them coming and bringing a whole staff out to the workout. Dave Brown, legendary Dave Brown was there, and they were like 'What do you think you're going to do tomorrow?'." Springs said.
Springs responded that he was going run a 4.2, 40-yard dash, have a 40-inch vertical and that Ohio State athletes always crush it.
The Seahawks told Springs that if he put up those numbers then, "We have to trade up to get you." He remembers.
Springs went into the combine ran a 4.35 40-yard dash, jumped a 40-inch vertical and the Seahawks kept their word, traded up and picked him 3rd overall.
When Springs was drafted to the Seahawks he said, "Randy Mueller and Mr. Allen spent a lot of time talking to me about what it means to change an organization."
Springs was one of the first players drafted under the new ownership of Paul Allen and Springs said Allen explained the importance of that to him.
"[The Seahawks] had a certain standard, a certain type of athlete and a certain type of player they wanted to be able to represent the Seahawks and that community," Springs said. "I guess I was the one who led it off."
Kingdome Memories: "The Kingdome was a rough place."
"I liked playing the Kingdome because the weather was nice. You didn't have to worry about rain, it was like 70 degrees and perfect," Springs said on what it was like inside the Kingdome.
Springs mentioned the concrete and the noise level of playing in that atmosphere. But his favorite memory came from one specific game.
"We played a game against San Diego Chargers and they had a quarterback. I think it was like the second or third overall pick. Ryan Leaf, behind Peyton Manning and we had seven interceptions that day, and I remember he got benched. The backup comes in, we pick off the backup like three times, then he comes back and pick him off like couple more times. So, we end up having like seven interceptions," Spring said.
Springs said the players that he got to play in the Kingdome with like Warren Moon, Joey Galloway and the defense made the experience great.
"I just loved it, man. The Kingdome was a rough place. But it was a good atmosphere for us," Springs said.
When Springs was asked about the throwback uniforms that will be worn on Sunday, he said that there were a few players that came to mind when he thought of wearing the uniforms.
"Steve Largent, Dave Krieg and Cortez Kennedy and maybe Jacob Green."
Innovator Of The Generation: "I was really inspired by Mr. Allen."
Nowadays Springs is working on his company, Windpact, a technology company that he co-founded and is the CEO of.
"We provide technology and software to product developers and engineers. We do pattern system for helmets, working with Department of Defense, working with the military, working with the NFL," Springs explained.
To make the jump from football to the tech world sounds like a huge leap, but Springs said the Seahawks and Seattle directly impacted that decision.
"I was really inspired by Mr. Allen. When you think about when I was drafted in Seattle, it was a very unique time. Seattle was still a big, small town," He said.
Springs talked about how Amazon was beginning to sell books online and Starbucks and Microsoft were growing in the Pacific Northwest.
"For me that was inspiring to be 21 years old and see change. I literally saw Seattle from '97 to '04 and then to now change overnight because of the technology boom. So, that inspired me to want to be a part of technology," Springs said. "I just happened to be one of those young kids in the right place at the right time, to watch a city go from a big town to Silicon Forest."
Because of the work that Springs has accomplished with his tech company he will be inducted into the Smithsonian National Museum for 10 years as an innovator of the generation. The Smithsonian will be inducting three other people alongside Springs as innovators of sports.
"It didn't hit me, until one day me and my son were flying to Arizona. He was going to school out there and he was looking down. He was like, 'There's a lot of people in the world. Dad, do you know, how many people in their lifetime get to be a professional football player and considered an innovator in a generation'."
Shawn Springs played cornerback for 13 seasons in the NFL, including seven in Seattle. Springs was also a Pro Bowler. Take a look back at some of the best photos and moments from Springs' career in the NFL.