RENTON – Look, it’s a little hard for everybody to get right back into work after a little time off. But the Seattle Seahawks haven’t been just a wee bit rusty after breaks, they’ve been historically dreadful.
In the 21 games they’ve played after bye weeks since the schedule began including in-season breaks in 1990, the Hawks have won only five times just twice since 1998.
And they haven’t just been nipped in most cases, either; their losses have come by an average margin of 13.9 points and included a 44-6 defeat to the Giants two years ago, and the 38-17 pasting at Dallas last season.
Fifteen of those 21 games have been on the road, adding to the Seahawks’ woes.
Other than Dennis Erickson, it doesn’t seem to matter who the coach is. Erickson somehow mastered the art of getting his team back to speed. He coached the Hawks to three wins in four post-bye battles in the late 1990s, losing only at Kansas City in ’96.
So, of the five wins the Hawks have mustered, Erickson picked up three.
Mike Holmgren led teams to three Super Bowls in his career, but was awful after bye weeks, winning twice in 10 seasons with the Hawks – ’05 at Arizona and ’06 at St. Louis.
Jim Mora only got one season to try to figure it out. He lost. Tom Flores managed to lose four post-bye games in just three seasons. The NFL had two bye weeks in 1993. Flores’ Hawks lost both of them, at Detroit and at Denver.
I didn’t toss out these numbers to coach Pete Carroll on Monday because he always claims that the trends established by previous regimes have no relevance to his team and staff. At least that’s what he said about the team’s history of road woes – before his own Hawks went 0-2 away from Qwest Field.
This might not surprise you, but Carroll was optimistic and upbeat Monday.
“The guys had a good break and they came back good, too,” Carroll said. “They came back feeling good and were able to carry out a good day’s work.”
He said he was “anxious” to see the Hawks continue the week of practice in preparation for Sunday’s game at Chicago. I’m sure he meant “eager,” but he certainly should be “anxious” as well, since the Bears are 4-1 and rank fourth in the NFL against the rush.
The Seahawks practiced Tuesday and Wednesday last week, and then were off until Monday. The coaches stayed around a little longer, but they got the weekend off, too. Carroll said he spent a couple days in Los Angeles.
“It’s amazing to go at the pace we go and then all of a sudden stop,” Carroll said. “You don’t realize how tired you are.”
If the Hawks looked less than stellar at Monday’s practice, Carroll wouldn’t report it.
“I didn’t see us miss a beat today at all, so I think the guys did a good job of taking care of themselves and came back very focused, so we’ll assess that every day as we go through the week,” he said.
Carroll said that two good practices last week set the tone. But he’ll monitor the progress on a daily basis this week.
One Seahawk got an extended bye, as receiver Deion Branch was absent as the result of a “personal day,” Carroll said.
Branch had been the subject of trade rumors for most of the last week. Carroll refused to elaborate on Branch’s whereabouts or future with the Seahawks but the Seahawks later Monday announced the trade of Branch back to New England.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 email@example.com