ATLANTA — For the first time since their 2005 season ended in the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks had four players named to The Associated Press All-Pro team, which was announced Saturday.
Running back Marshawn Lynch, center Max Unger, safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman all were named to the team.
The honor was the first for all four players, and sweet redemption for Sherman – the only one of the quartet not voted to the Pro Bowl.
San Francisco had the most players on the team with six, and Seattle was next with four. Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, who fell 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record with 2,097 yards, and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who had 201/2 sacks, were the only unanimous choices by the nationwide panel of 50 media members who cover the league.
Lynch finished with a career-high 1,590 rushing yards during the regular season, No. 3 in the NFL. The Cal product also topped 100 yards 11 times this season, and finished with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Unger anchored an offensive line that paved the way for the No. 3-ranked rushing attack in the league, averaging 162 yards a game.
Thomas emerged as one of the best safeties in the game in his third season as a pro, finishing with three interceptions, 66 tackles and nine pass deflections. Thomas also returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown against Buffalo.
And Sherman followed an impressive rookie season by putting together one of the best seasons by a Seattle cornerback. He finished tied for second in the NFL with eight interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. Sherman also returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a score, and totaled a league-leading 32 pass deflections.
Sherman had four interceptions and 55 tackles in 10 starts his rookie season.
“I just play hard, and I play disciplined football,” Sherman said about his season. “That’s what you’re going to get every time I step out on the field. I tried to do it from beginning to end last year – from when I started to when the season ended.
“I tried to do it from start to finish this year, with the season still continuing. I think that’s just how I play. That’s what I want to be known for – the consistency in which I play with.”
The last time Seattle had this many players on the All-Pro team was when running back Shaun Alexander, offensive tackle Walter Jones, offensive guard Steve Hutchinson and fullback Mack Strong were voted to the 2005 team.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams