A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Feb. 3, when the players cleaned out their cubicles in the locker room and took their exit physicals:
FOCUS ON: REST AND RECUPERATION
After six months, 80-plus practices, countless meetings and 23 games, including pre- and postseason, the players took their first steps into the offseason on Tuesday.
And when you include the 2013 season, which ended with the Seahawks winning Super Bowl XLVIII, no team in the NFL has played more games over the past two seasons than the Seahawks. So while the disappointment of coming out on the other end of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday was part of the baggage the players took with them, they are ready to get away for a while.
"If you look at it, we've played the most football out of any team the last two years," defensive end Cliff Avril said while he and his teammates were cleaning out their cubicles, and after a last team meeting with coach Pete Carroll and his staff. "So you need a break from this. You definitely need a break from it. And I'm going to embrace that and I'm going to take the break and I'm going to get away from it.
"I'm looking forward to spending time with my family. That's the big thing for me right now, is taking my son to school and picking him up and different things like that."
Avril had an even worse vantage point for the way the 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots ended –with the interception at the goal line with 20 seconds to play – because he was concussed after taking a blow to the helmet early in the third quarter.
"I was actually watching the game in the locker room because they wouldn't let me go back out," he said. "That was the hard part, not playing."
And it needs to be pointed out that the Seahawks' defense that allowed Tom Brady to direct two fourth-quarter touchdown drives was not the same defense that led the NFL in average points and yards allowed during the regular season and had not allowed a fourth-quarter TDs in its six-game winning streak to end the regular season.
|YOU DON'T SAY|
"The part that I hate is I have to wait seven months to play another game."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
The Seahawks did not have Avril or nickel back Jeremy Lane, who broke his left wrist in the first quarter. And the All-Pro trio of strong safety Kam Chancellor (knee), cornerback Richard Sherman (elbow) and free safety Earl Thomas (shoulder) played with injuries.
Did Avril sense that while watching the game on TV? "No, but I've heard everybody talk about it," he said with a laugh. "I didn't watch the film to see if the play dropped or not."
Reminded about those two fourth-quarter touchdowns that allowed the Patriots to overcome the Seahawks' 24-10 lead, Avril said, "That's not like us, that's for sure. So I guess you could say that was a big difference. But again, (injuries are) part of the game. There's nothing you could do about it.
"It's unfortunate that we couldn't get out there to help us get that W."
IT'S OFFICIAL, DAN QUINN NAMED FALCONS COACH
Quinn, the Seahawks' defensive coordinator the past two seasons, **officially became head coach of the Atlanta Falcons** on Tuesday, when he was introduced during a press conference at the team's headquarters in Flowery Branch, Ga. The move had been rumored for weeks.
"I'm so fired up to be here with you guys today," Quinn said. "First off, I would like to thank Mr. (Arthur) Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, Rich McKay and so many in the Falcons organization that waited through our Seahawks playoff run for me to have this opportunity to be here with you today. That's not an easy thing to do in this business. For those guys to have that kind of conviction told me very clearly the type of leadership that's in place here and one that I so wanted to be a part of.
"I appreciate you guys in terms of waiting and I can't wait to build a similar championship environment right here in Atlanta."
STATS 'N STUFF: MARSHAWN LYNCH TOPS POSTSEASON RUSHERS
|STAT DU JOUR: IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL|
Of all the Seahawks' impressive statistical accomplishments this season, the most impressive might be that they led the NFL in rushing with a franchise-record 2,762 yards despite using four starting centers. Here's a look at how many yards they averaged with each center:
The Seahawks' Beast Mode back led the postseason with 318 rushing yards and his 5.0-yard average was tops among the backs who had at least 40 carries. He also was the leader in total yards (381), and Lynch had the most rushing first downs (15) and was second in total first downs produced (17) to the Patriots' Julian Edelman (19).
Sherman had two interceptions to share the lead with the Green Bay Packers' Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Jermaine Kearse had 209 receiving yards, on seven receptions, to lead the NFC and rank third in the league to Edelman (281) and Indianapolis Colts' T.Y. Hilton (211).
Avril and Bruce Irvin each had two sacks to tie for second-most behind the Packers' Julius Peppers (2.5).
All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner led the Seahawks with 31 postseason tackles and was followed by Thomas and Chancellor (25 each) and outside linebacker K.J. Wright (23), the team's leading tackler during the regular season.
UP NEXT: THE OFFSEASON
Many of the players will be around, especially those rehabbing injuries. But the Seahawks will not reconvene as a team until the offseason program begins in April.
After coming back from the Super Bowl, the Seahawks clean out their spaces at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, ready to put new items next season.