Though a bye week is slow and uneventful, it’s a great time for journalists to get players to sit and reflect on the season thus far. Several Seattle Seahawks were asked what has impressed them thus far about their fantastic 10-1 start, and two statements in particular really stand out.
Golden Tate’s answer, courtesy of seahawks.com, was that “We don’t see ourselves as 10-1. We see ourselves as every week we have something to prove.” Tate went on to reference the “1-0” mentality that Seahawks fans are accustomed to hearing from guys like Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman. I wrote about this attitude early in the season, and I said this attitude set them apart and could sustain their humility throughout the year. It’s incredibly reassuring to hear from guys like Tate that their focus has not wavered in the wake of this franchise-best start. Taking one game at a time is critical in this part of the season, what with the playoffs looming (Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs!) as well as the back-to-back games vs. the Saints and 49ers coming up.
Richard Sherman, when asked the same question, was quick to reference the “next man up attitude” that the team has accepted this season. This attitude has indeed been instrumental, because Seattle has been dealing and continues to deal with injuries. Percy Harvin has only just made his debut, tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini were out a couple months, Max Unger’s had concussion problems, Sidney Rice tore his ACL, Bobby Wagner and Chris Clemons missed a few games, and most recently Brandon Browner was lost to the injury report. In their place guys like Walter Thurmond, Jermaine Kearse, Michael Bowie, Lemuel Jeanpierre, and Doug Baldwin have risen to the needs of the team and performed phenomenally. Their performances have illuminated the incredible depth and talent of this Seattle Seahawks team, and it’s definitely going to continue to serve them well as the season progresses.
Which mentality is more important? They’re equally vital. Injuries are inevitable, and the next guy on the depth chart has to fill the void. The team also cannot get ahead of themselves. They must focus on the task at hand and give all their effort. When they accomplish the task, they must be cautious of overconfidence seeping into the next game. Each week is new, and last week has no effect. Both attitudes are essential to success in the NFL, and the Seattle Seahawks are implementing these two philosophies beautifully.