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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

5 Seahawk Earn Pro Bowl Spots, 3 More Named Alternates



From Seahawks.com:

Seattle Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander, QB Matt Hasselbeck, G Steve Hutchinson, T Walter Jones and FB Mack Strong were selected to represent the club in the 2006 Pro Bowl, it was announced by the NFL Wednesday.

This will be the third consecutive appearance for Alexander, who tied a Pro Bowl record with three total touchdowns in his first appearance in 2003.

Alexander is the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,668 yards and also leads the NFL in scoring with 24 touchdowns, three away from tying Priest Holmes’ 2003 NFL record. He is the only player in NFL history to score 15 or more touchdowns five straight seasons, and has moved into a tie with Holmes for 12th on the all-time rushing touchdown list with 86. He started the season in 28th place.

This will be Hasselbeck’s second trip in three seasons. He is the NFC’s top-rated passer on the NFL’s top-ranked offense with a 96.3 QB rating while ranking in the top five among NFC passers in 10 categories. He has completed 271 of 420 passes (64.5%) for 3,215 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and became the first quarterback in club history to pass for 3,000 yards four consecutive seasons.

For Jones, this will mark his fifth consecutive trip to the NFL’s annual all-star game, and his sixth overall (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005). Jones was the first and only Seattle offensive lineman to have ever been selected to participate in the Pro Bowl until Steve Hutchinson joined him in Hawaii in 2003. His sixth selection is the third-most in team history behind Cortez Kennedy (8) and Steve Largent (7).

This will mark Hutchinson’s third consecutive trip to Hawaii.

Hutchinson and Jones have started all 14 games this season and have served as the foundation for the NFL’s top-ranked offense. They have helped Alexander become the franchise’s leading rusher with 7,605 yards in just his sixth season. He needs just 29 yards to break his own single-season club record of 1,696 yards which he set last season. The two have helped form a line that has allowed just 21 sacks thus far, on pace to allow just 24 at season’s end which would mark the lowest total since allowing 23 in 1979.

For 13-year veteran Mack Strong, who originally signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, it is his first trip to the NFL’s annual all-star game.

"It’s been 13 years of working hard," said Strong of his selection. "You’ve always wanted to be recognized as being one of the best at what you do. This year it’s finally happened. I’m very excited about that.”

Strong has blocked for eight consecutive 1,000 yard rushers and seven 1,200-yard rushers in the last eight seasons. Strong has also been Alexander’s escort to many of his 96 total touchdowns over the last six seasons.

“It’s a great honor," Strong said. "I don’t quite know how to even react. I’m still kind of numb from when I found out the news this morning. I’m very excited about having an opportunity."

Alexander was elated to learn that his best blocker had been tapped for the trip to Hawaii.

"I’m jumping up and screaming and pumping my fists," Alexander said. "I think I started the wave in there. I’m excited because Mack definitely deserves it.”

Seahawks K Josh Brown, LB Lofa Tatupu, and C Robbie Tobeck are alternates and will make the trip if a selected player is injured or chooses not to play.

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