AFC West could eject Seahawks in 2001

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Monday, October 30, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

KIRKLAND – This weekend’s game with winless San Diego notwithstanding, the Seahawks have built up some pretty good rivalries in the AFC West.

By next year, they may have to find some new rivals.

NFL owners are meeting in Atlanta this week, and one of the topics of discussion is realignment. With the Houston Texans entering the league in 2002, there will be divisional changes throughout the NFL.

Because of the other long-standing rivalries in the division, Seattle might be the odd team out in the AFC West should the owners decide to go to eight four-team divisions.

“There’s a certain logic to that,” Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. “There’s the geography of where Seattle sits in regards to other teams.

“I like the division we’re in. I like who we play. I think there’s some great rivalries that have been established, even though Seattle hasn’t been in the league as long as some other teams. I’m not in a big hurry to change anything or move anywhere.”

The Seahawks may even end up changing conferences, perhaps in an effort to make the NFC West a more geographically-correct division.

The owners will discuss the matter this week, but a decision on realignment will not be made until next summer.

  • Fumble-itis? By Shaun Alexander’s count, he had all of two fumbles during his 302 carries at the University of Alabama last season.

    So how is it that Seattle’s first-round pick has fumbled twice in his first 41 NFL carries?

    “I know what it is,” Alexander said. “I’m trying to make big plays. When you’re trying to make big plays on plays that are not necessarily big-play type plays, sometimes your body will be in a bad position where you’re not holding it as tight as you should be holding it. That could be a hard cutback or you’re about to pick up speed and hit a hole, then people hit you at a bad angle and the ball pops loose.”

    When asked Sunday about Alexander’s fumbles, Holmgren excused it as youth and refused to make comparisons to former running back Ahman Green, whose fumbling problems opened the door for a trade to Green Bay in the offseason.

  • Silver line: One of the few bright spots of the Seahawks this season has been the play of the offensive line. Now if only they could stay together for one more season.

    “Much has been made about the Seahawk offensive line over the years, where it’s been kind of an ever-changing thing,” Holmgren said. “If I keep this group together, I think they have the chance to become a pretty good offensive line.”

    Since the franchise began in 1976, only twice has Seattle kept the same starting line for two consecutive seasons (most recently in 1987-88).

    After this year, left guard Pete Kendall will be a free agent, meaning the current streak of change could continue.

  • Quick slants: The Seahawks’ current five-game losing streak is their longest slide since 1994, when they lost six in a row. Seattle has lost at least five in a row only four other times (1976, ‘80, ‘81 and ‘92). The franchise record for consecutive losses in a season is nine, in 1981. … If the season ended today, Seattle would own the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft as well as the rights to the Dallas Cowboys’ first-rounder (No. 11 overall). … Tight end Itula Mili suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game and his playing status for this week is undecided.
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