Landon Cohen happy to be parking himself in Seahawks' line rotation

These Seahawks aren’t the same Seahawks who played in Super Bowl XLVIII, and defensive lineman Landon Cohen is just one of 15 new players who are preparing for next Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX matchup against the Patriots.

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A month ago, Landon Cohen was tending to his valet-parking business in Spartanburg, S.C. But Saturday, the recently signed defensive lineman will be busy preparing for his trip to the Super Bowl as a member of the Seahawks.

And yes, it's funny how these things work out.

The 6-foot-1, 290-pound Cohen spent the 2013 season with the Chicago Bears. After the Bears didn't re-sign him, Cohen joined the Buffalo Bills. But they released him on the final roster cut in August.

Since then? "I was valet parking cars, if I had to," Cohen said through one of the many smiles he flashed while standing in front his cubicle in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. "I have guys who handle it for me, but I'm out there 90 percent of the time."

When second-year defensive tackle Jordan Hill had to be placed on injured reserve this month, Cohen was signed by the Seahawks on Jan. 5. He was inactive for the divisional playoff game against the Carolina Panthers that week, but worked in the line rotation and had a hit on quarterback Aaron Rodgers in last Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

Now, it's off to Arizona on Sunday and the Super Bowl matchup against one of his former teams, the New England Patriots, next Sunday. Cohen entered the NFL in 2008 as a seventh-round draft choice by the Detroit Lions and also has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2010) and Dallas Cowboys (2013), in addition to the Patriots (2010-11) and Bears. He sat out the 2012 NFL season, as well.

Asked if he was still in the pinch-me stage about going to the Super Bowl, Cohen didn't allow himself to look that far.

"What I'm thinking about is being at practice today and doing a good job," he said. "I'll think about the Super Bowl the day of the Super Bowl."

Cohen is one of 15 new faces on the Seahawks' 53-man Super Bowl roster who weren't around for Super Bowl XLVIII last February. The others include defensive linemen Kevin Williams, Demarcus Dobbs and David King, fullback/defensive end Will Tukuafu, wide receiver Chris Matthews, tight end Tony Moeaki, center Patrick Lewis, guard Keavon Milton and defensive backs Steven Terrell and Marcus Burley, also veteran free agents with varying degrees of experience; and a rookie class that features right tackle Justin Britt, linebacker Brock Coyle, wide receiver Kevin Norwood and tackle Garry Gilliam. Tight end Cooper Helfet and quarterback B.J. Daniels were on the practice squad last year, while defensive backs Tharold Simon and Jeron Johnson were on injured reserve for the Super Bowl.

Asked about Cohen's luck in landing with the Seahawks, defensive lineman and sack-leader Michael Bennett offered, "He's not lucky. He just got on the right team. He's been playing; he just had to go through the ringer of the NFL – being cut and keep coming back. That's one of the hardest things for people to do.

"I know it's easy for people to write like that, but once you get cut, comeback, get cut again and have to come back and you keep fighting, that's something about his spirit. That's why that's good for our team. When you have guys like that who have a chip on their shoulder, they can come in and play the way that they can."

Cohen appreciates the supportive comments, but doesn't consider himself special because of his situation.

"That's life," he said. "Everybody has a story. Everybody goes through whatever they have to go through to get to just different things. The Super Bowl is big, but I'm sure after I'm done playing football I'll do something bigger than the Super Bowl."

That's an admirable attitude, but of course Cohen was asked what it is that's bigger than the Super Bowl.

"It just depends on how you look at life," he said. "Who won the Super Bowl in 2011?"

After a lot of hemming and hawing from the reporters gathered about his cubicle, Cohen said, "You can't tell me that (it was the New York Giants, over the Patriots and Cohen). I enjoy playing. So I'm here now and I've got 100 percent of my energy focused on this week. If I'm not here, then I'm 100 percent focused on my valet company.

"It's just the way my mind is and how I tend to look at life."

And yes, Cohen checks out how others handle what is his business when his business isn't getting to opposing ball carriers.

"I critique everybody's valet," he said. "I was over at the hotel (where he's been staying since signing with the Seahawks) and the valet was just kind of walking back. I was like, 'Come on, man, you've got to pick it up a little bit.'

"We have a little saying among my guys, 'We run fast and drive slow.' A lot of my guys who work for me, they're students who use it as a way to get in shape as well as making some cash as a college student."

Now, Cohen is a week and a day away from cashing in on his other profession.

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