Seattle Seahawks players said their goodbye and packed their belongs on the team’s final day at the practice facility in Renton.
Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren addressed the team for one last time this morning, and players also did the same. It was a mixed bag of emotions for several of the players, as some look forward to being back next year, while other head into uncertain futures with free agency looming.
One of Seattle’s players sure to be active on the free agent market is Leroy Hill. With two linebackers in Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson signed to lucrative deals, it might be hard for the Seahawks to fend off the open market and keep Hill in the fold. However, Hill says he would like to come back, but is looking forward to testing the market.
Here’s a list of Seattle free agents.
“I’m expecting it to be fun,” Hill said. “It will be an experience for me. And I just hope to be here. But if not I’d love to thank Seattle. I loved playing in Seattle. And you know, we’ll see what happens.”
Listen to Hill talk here.
Fullback Leonard Weaver, who also is a free agent, said he’d love to remain a Seahawk, but it just depends on how things work in the front office. Weaver had perhaps his best season as a Seahawk in his contract year, and sees his versatility as as a runner, blocker and pass catcher out of the backfield as an asset to the team.
“I don’t know if Gil Haskell is going to be here next year,” Weaver said. “I don’t know what Jim Mora’s plans are. But I’m pretty sure if I stay here they’ll have a plan for me some way, some how.”
Defensive lineman Rocky Bernard, who was drafted by the Seahawks in 2002, talked as if he might not be back next season. Bernard said he would like to stay with the team that drafted him, but understands the business aspects of the NFL.
“I’d like to finish my football career, but you know how football goes,” Bernard said. “Who knows? We’ll see.
“I feel like I fit here, but you never know how people look at you, you know what I mean? But as far as how I do fit in with everybody, I feel like I do fit in terms of the defense.”
Defensive end Patrick Kerney and linebacker Julian Peterson talked about the differences between Holmgren and Mora as a head coach.
Kerney is the only Seahawk that played for Mora when he was the head man at Atlanta.
And Peterson has played for Mora for six years, including the time Mora served as defensive coordinator in San Francisco.
“Jim, being hands-on is very high energy,” Kerney said. “And when I say that he’s demanding, when we’re running from drill to drill at a pretty high tempo he’s right there running with us. And when a guy works with you, you just want to work harder for him. And it’s something I had fun with in Atlanta, and I look forward to embracing that here.”
Peterson agreed: "Obviously it’s going to be a little more different personality," Peterson said. "Jim’s a little fiery, a little younger and move from sideline to sideline a little faster than Coach (Holmgren). But other than that it’s still going to be getting back to work and guys getting ready to play. And I’m pretty sure they’re going to be getting us back to where we need to go."