Good Morning, 12s, and happy Blue Friday!
Here's a look at what's 'out there' for today – Friday, February 5 – about your Seattle Seahawks.
"The N.F.L. Had Over 700 Coronavirus Positives. The Seahawks Had None."
Just days away from the Super Bowl, the New York Times is taking an in-depth look at the challenges of completing the NFL season amidst an ongoing pandemic, releasing a short documentary (15 minutes and 43 seconds) on the subject as well as a story in today's paper. As the only team to make it through the entire season without a positive case, the Seahawks were the primary focus of each.
Both New York Times features rely on behind-the-scenes footage from throughout the season, press conference soundbites, and exclusive interviews with head coach Pete Carroll, wide receiver Tyler Lockett, and Seahawks' director of player health and performance Sam Ramsden, who served as the team's infection control officer this season.
Heading into Training Camp, it was no secret that this would be a unique year, with nearly every aspect of the team's day-to-day routine being up-ended. Daily testing, wearable trackers, socially-distanced (and often virtual) team meetings, and physical changes to the building were just the tip of the iceberg. The Seahawks would also be travelling more miles than any other NFL team, and practicing just minutes from the original coronavirus "hot spot" in the U.S. And yet, despite everything, the Seahawks managed to stay virus-free, while also going 12-4 and winning the NFC West.
"For me, and for a lot of guys, it felt like we actually played two seasons," Lockett said. "That's how stressful it is just to make sure that you have to live up to these protocols that we have just to make sure we're safe."
Both pieces are great deep dives into not just the steps the team took to keep the team safe, but the mindset needed from everyone to make it work. Not surprisingly, a key component of Carroll's message to the team was about making a competition out of safe and healthy behaviors. Position groups were pitted against each other to see who could have the fewest close contacts, a title won by Lockett and the rest of the wide receivers. These types of efforts to keep each other safe off the field only further strengthened the trust and bond throughout the roster, a characteristic which gave the team an edge in their march to an NFC West title, according to Lockett.
"That's the biggest thing that I think we all took away. Football is great. Football is fun. But we're able to go out there and be as great as we can be because I know this person beside me has my back," he said. "That's what I think allowed us to be the type of team that we were this year, and it allowed us to go over and beyond with all of these COVID measures."
Finally, as you prepare to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday between the Chiefs and Buccaneers, we encourage everyone to do so safely from the comfort of their own home and avoid big parties. Let's work together now so we can be together next season.
Social Post Of The Day
Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright was nominated for the Seattle Sports Star of the Year Award, and longtime teammate Bobby Wagner wants to make sure everyone votes for K.J.:
More From Around The Web
710 ESPN's John Clayton looks at the NFL's salary cap and the impact it may have on the Seahawks roster.
Joe Fann of NBC Sports has more on K.J. Wright's nomination for Seattle Sports Star of the Year.