What Hangover?

As the Super Bowl champion Seahawks open camp, they vow there’ll be no drop-off in intensity or commitment. And if someone falters—or isn’t around—it's Next Man Up

By
Robert Klemko
· More from Robert·
seahawks-super-bowl-hangover-800
Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas at the opening of Seahawks camp in Renton on Friday—or not. (Warner Bros./Frank Masi/AP)

RENTON, Wash. – Which player does Earl Thomas believe would be the hardest to replace on Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning defense?

Earl Thomas, of course.

“Just because they ask the free safety to do a lot,” he says. “You have to be aware of every situation and be a great communicator, like a quarterback.”

That’s part of the recipe for success here as the Seahawks open their 2014 training camp: Prepare as if you’re irreplaceable, and do everything you can to avoid being replaced.

For the Seahawks to repeat as champions, that mentality will have to play a big role. Coach Pete Carroll, in a characteristically subtle effort to promote a “next man up” environment, invoked the name of a famous starter-turned-backup in comments following the first practice. Tackle Michael Bowie tweaked a shoulder, Carroll said, giving the first-team reps to second-round rookie Justin Britt out of Missouri.

“Bowie opened the door,” Carroll said. “Remember that Wally Pipp story…”

Seattle’s roster has demonstrated its Pipp-for-Gehrig potential more than once in recent seasons, most notably in the elevation of cornerback Byron Maxwell when Brandon Browner was suspended late last season. Whether the same thing happens in the case of training camp holdout Marshawn Lynch and heralded dark-horse backup Christine Michael is anyone’s guess, but the Seahawks don’t sound as if they’ll bend over backwards to get the contract dispute settled two years after restructuring Lynch’s deal:
Said Carroll: “It’s disappointing Lynch is not here, by his choice.”

Could Christine Michael be the Lou Gehrig to Marshawn Lynch’s Wally Pipp? It’s the kind of question one must ask in July. (AP)
Could Christine Michael be the Lou Gehrig to Marshawn Lynch’s Wally Pipp? It’s the kind of question that must be asked in July. (AP)

In an interview with ESPN radio on Friday, general manager John Schneider brought up the Browner-Maxwell scenario in describing the team’s position on Lynch.

“It’s the environment here of the next man up,” he said. “That’s no disrespect to Marshawn. Everyone knows what he can do.”

Lynch, 28, is one of the few Seahawks who didn’t take advantage of the instant celebrity that came with winning a Super Bowl, one of several reasons cited by previous champions as a cause of dreaded Super Bowl hangover (there hasn’t been a repeat winner since the Patriots in the 2004 season.)

 In these last five months since Super Bowl XLVIII, bit players became local celebrities, starters grew into big names and stars became megastars. Thomas, who signed a four-year, $40 million extension making him the league’s highest paid safety, found himself posing for magazine photographers, acting in TV commercials and spending his offseason in places like Portland, Las Vegas and Los Angeles instead of back home in Texas.

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The MMQB’s team-by-team coverage, on our Training Camp 2014 hub. 

How do you stay in shape on a media tour?

 “You adapt,” Thomas says. “The reason Floyd Mayweather is so great is that he can adapt to what the other fighter is trying to do to him. So as a competitor, if you’re looking for ways to keep an edge, you’re going to figure out how to do what’s important. And football is most important.

 “Like, anytime I’m about to take a shower I’ll take a squat and just sit there,” he says. “Most of everything is just mental. If you sit there longer than your body wants to, you’re pushing your limits.”

 Maybe I shouldn’t have asked.

 Here’s a better question: Are the Seahawks still the best team in the NFL?

 “Definitely,” Thomas says. “The only thing that’s changed is how much we know now and our understanding of our roles. Even the so-called weakest link on our team is great.”

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41 comments
socailoutlaw
socailoutlaw

i'm a die hard niners so lets be real. The seahawk's are the team to beat. Whether you think Russell Wilson is a fluke or Sherman is an overrated dbag, the seahawks are still really damn good.


And 2014 was not a fluke for the seahawk's. Their dismantling of the Broncos in the super bowl, solidified them being true champions. 


I know i seem more like a seahawk fan than a niners fan but i absolutely loathe the seahawk's and their fan base. Where were you in the 90's? Where were you in the 2000's?  where were you when Rick Mirer was your chosen savior?


in Conclusion,  instead of boasting about your 1 super bowl victory, learn from us niner fans. Talk crap when your team has won 5.


Get on our Level Seahawk fans. You have a long, LONG, way to go. 


pirate
pirate

Seahawks will be better this season, but no matter how good you are, it takes a little bit of luck too. And the conference is SO good, top to bottom, that they could improve AND be lucky anbd still finish third. My prediction: 1) Seattle, 2) San Francisco (wild card) 3) St. Louis ()other wild card) 4) Arizona.

My other prediction, another great regular season and playoff el foldo for the Broncos.

gregc
gregc

Last years Seahawks team will go down as a one-hit wonder, just like the 1968 Jets, the 1985 Bears or the 2009 Saints.

2014 will be the 49ers year for a SIXTH ring.  The Seahawks should win a sixth title sometime in your great-great-great grandchildren's lifetime.

GlennHudon
GlennHudon

The Seahawks hangover will be The New England Patriots.  

sean4huskies
sean4huskies

The difference Einstein, is the Seahawks are backing up their talk with the walk. They are doing the necessary things they need to do to stay super competitive. Don't get your panties in a wad just because you don't understand the subtlties of what it takes. That's a you issue.

mystafugee
mystafugee

Great article, listening to a team tell you that there will be no Super Bowl hangover.  I'm guessing a lot of past Super Bowl champions say things like: Gee, we're definitely suffering from a Super Bowl hangover.  


This is brilliant insight, next up: Seahawks will be wearing helmets in their season opener.  

alcredlle
alcredlle

Perhaps someone can inform Mr. Klemko how to spell "Seahawks".

DawnWelch
DawnWelch

That top picture is NOT of Wilson, Sherman, and Thomas...what is that picture of people sitting by a car in the dirt??

rexeccoach
rexeccoach

Repeating in the Superbowl is of course extremely difficult given the number of talented teams and players in the league. To say the Seahawks were lucky to win the Superbowl is an inane statement.  Carroll has created a highly competitive atmosphere that produces stellar play out of his team.  Two years ago anyone saying Wilson would be a Superbowl winning QB would have been laughed at.  One would have to think the Seahawks will be competitive this year and have a good chance to repeat as champions of their division and possibly make the big show once more.

destrusdominate
destrusdominate

Seahawk fans thinking they are repeating is hilarious. That team was lucky to win a Super Bowl. That fluke isn't close to happening this year.

rongrummer
rongrummer

The FO needs to show Lynch the respect they owe to the back who defines Seattle's team, There is no back on the roster that can do what Lynch does, and certainly no back that can establish the franchise's style as has been done by the Beast over the last 4+ years. This is exactly the message you want to send your top players. You perform at a level high enough to become the paradigm of the entire franchise, outplaying every contract awarded you, and you will get rewarded, again and again. This isn't just about paying Lynch, this is about incentivizing excellence in effort and play by all members of the team. Pay the man! It's all about that respect boss! 

WayneHRiddle
WayneHRiddle

Going to be a tough year but here is to a repeat! #GoHawks

picklejuice
picklejuice

@socailoutlaw Where were we? Still screaming since the 80's. I still remember singing "Raider Busters" to the Ghost Buster's theme song in the King Dome.

pirate
pirate

@socailoutlaw  Wheree was I? Cheering for the Seahawks, during their formative years in the early '80s when they started turning the corner, then cheering for the team but cursing the owners during the Behring years when he seemed intentionally trying to destroy the team so fans would stop supporting it and he could move them to Los Angeles. But we didn't give up, and eventually the Behrings packed up their U-Hauls and slunk away into the night. Paul Allen took over and breathed life into the team. 

To suggest that Seattle fans only cheer for their team now that they're winners shows you don't know us at all.

Seahawk fans have stood firm and loud through a lot of sht. So yeah, we've only won our first Super Bowl, but after all that, you'd better believe we're going to enjoy it, then go back for more. No apologies. Just get ready for another great season.

anon76
anon76

@gregc

1985 Bears?  Are you an idiot?

The Bears underachieved.  They were good every year, just didn't make it back to the playoffs (competition was pretty good- 49ers, LT-led Giants, Mann/Manley-led Redskins.  But take a gander at which team holds the record for sacks in a single season (72 sacks on 507 QB drop backs, for an astounding 14% sack rate) and then tell me the Bears came out of nowhere to win in 1985.

Brig
Brig

@gregc Your great grandfather still alive when the Whiners last won a super bowl.

pirate
pirate

@DawnWelch Guys, it's a scene from "The Hangover." Get it? Super Bowel Hangover. The movie the Hangover? That's Bradley Cooper in the middle. Galif-whatisname on the right. Recognize but don't know the name of the guy on the left.

It was, I suppose an attempt at being clever by SI. It failed, miserably Just like this redesign which is pushing me away from SI.com because it scks so bad.

Go 'Hawks! 

RonSwanson45
RonSwanson45

@DawnWelch The guy on the far left is the Defensive backs coach.  The guy in the middle is Pete Carroll's son and the far right is Paul Allen's son just FYI.

KenBurnside
KenBurnside

@destrusdominate

43-8 is clearly them barely squeaking by against the Most Potent NFL Offense Ever Fielded, Led By The Greatest Quarterback To Ever Stuff His Balls In a Cup.

So, how much wider does the margin of victory have to be before you can say luck wasn't the factor?

Remember - if the ref had called Offensive Holding, the Broncos would've been shut out...

RobRachel
RobRachel

@destrusdominate  - - do I hear hate spewing ?? 


Every team need luck to win even one game 

'

EVERY  TEAM 

BigSchtick
BigSchtick

@destrusdominate Lucky to win a super bowl?

Be bitter, that is fine, just don't act like you just fell off the turnip truck.

Do you realize how stupid you sound?

Spokanedad
Spokanedad

@destrusdominate  A repeat? Maybe. Saying they were lucky to win a Super Bowl is a ridiculous statement in of itself. They fought their way through a stellar division, conference, and ultimately beat the clearly overmatched Broncos down.  Lucky?  Ridiculous comment.  Did things go their way at times? Yes. Name one Super Bowl champ you can't say the same thing about.

Spokanedad
Spokanedad

@rongrummer Not in this day and age my man.  They are right up against the cap w/RW's deal coming next year. Love the Beast but he isn't non-replaceable, nor does it set the right tone if Hawk players know the FO will cave on contracts after they are done.  He will be back before the season starts, he won't walk away from that money.

EdgarMartinez
EdgarMartinez

@rongrummer He's paid as a top 5 back right now. How is that not showing him respect? This is about him thinking he'll be cut after this season. Well, come in here and perform well enough and you won't be cut, Marshawn. The reason Rice, Clem, and Red were cut was because they were injured and/or performing well under what they were being paid and we had better, cheaper options. If Lynch comes in and performs like he has been, he won't be cut next season. This team is about competition, and Lynch's actions contradict that. It would also contradict that to guarantee anything next season before he earned it. Come in and just do what you have been, and you won't be cut, Marshawn.

StephenBody
StephenBody

@RobRachel @destrusdominate **sigh** There's always one yahoo who just can't let go. Make all the ridiculous statements you like, kid. To quote a famous American, "Scoreboard, baby!"

rongrummer
rongrummer

@Spokanedad @rongrummer Russell does not require a new contract until after the 2015 season, he is covered under his rookie contract until after the 2015 season. He was drafted in 2012, his four year rookie contract covers seasons 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

rongrummer
rongrummer

@rongrummer 


If Lynch is not paid, he will retire, and our season gets a whole lot more difficult before it even gets started. Pay the Man, It is all about that respect, Boss!

mystafugee
mystafugee

@EdgarMartinez @rongrummer Oh please, he'll be cut no matter what he does.  Do you blame him for wanting more of the money now seeing how brutally he can be chopped?  Loyalty is a two-way street.  

rongrummer
rongrummer

@EdgarMartinez 

Lynch has no more guaranteed contract money and a significant portion of his current season's money is performance conditional. FO has already made multiple statements regarding the future of their RB situation regardless of how Lynch performs this year. If they cut into his carries (as they did last year) and limit his ability to meet performance goals, while basically telling him that they are going to look in new directions after this season, he would be stupid to not try to get as much of his contract money as he can shifted to assured money. He has performed as, and been recognized as the face and heart of Seahawks football. No one on the roster (or league) can do what he does.

Feed the Beast,

Pay the man,

It is all about that respect, Boss!

rongrummer
rongrummer

@Spokanedad @rongrummer  if the biggest problem the seahawks have is that everyone is outplaying their contract and vying for the title of "face of the franchise who sets the tone for the entire team and the way they play football" (as Lynch has), and they want to be respected for such, then that is a fantastic problem to have.

Spudland
Spudland

@rongrummer Disagree with your statement. This offense can easily morph into a more balanced running/passing team now that they have Harvin. If you missed the few plays that Michael and Turbin played (and take away all of Giacomini's holding penalties) these two can be almost as powerful and WAY more explosive than Lynch. Toss in Harvin full time and you have an unstoppable offense. Lynch can take the rest of his career off. Seattle won't budge on his demands and I'm totally on their side on this. Next man up!

Spokanedad
Spokanedad

@rongrummer You really think he'll walk away from 5million?  I would lay a wager he won't.

rongrummer
rongrummer

@Spokanedad If they make no adjustment in his salary, respecting the fact that they probably will release him after this season regardless of how he performs, yes, he will walk away from this year's salary which is not guaranteed.

Spokanedad
Spokanedad

@rongrummer @Spokanedad Perhaps not guaranteed, but the likelihood of them cutting him this year is zero. So he would in fact be walking away from 5 mill.  He won't do it.  Perhaps disgruntled - yes.

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