Hawk defense is loyal

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

KIRKLAND – While stars like Shawn Kemp, Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., Joey Galloway, and – most recently – Alex Rodriguez have moved on, the Seattle Seahawks have had a rarity on their defensive line: consistency.

Cortez Kennedy and Michael Sinclair have played on the Seahawks’ line together since 1992, a streak that is almost unheard of in this city. While Kennedy’s career is winding down, Sinclair recently signed a contract that will keep him in Seattle through 2005.

“If you’re looking for a big stage, a New York or a Los Angeles, this is not it,” Sinclair said. “But it’s a good place to raise a family. If you’re looking for longevity, this is a great place.”

So why the turnover?

“I can’t put my finger on it,” Sinclair said. “But I didn’t get $252 million.”

While he decided to put his anchor down in the Pacific Northwest, Sinclair said fans shouldn’t be bitter over the star athletes who have moved on.

“Guys just think it’s time to go,” he said. “The guys that have been leaving, it just seems like it’s money. Not that this city won’t offer them money. Sometimes guys just figure it’s time for a change.”

Galloway seemed to fit into that category, but Sinclair said the former wide receiver’s feelings for the city had nothing to do with his departure.

“He never conveyed that to me,” said Sinclair, a close friend of Galloway’s to this day. “He never came across as, ‘I don’t like it.’ I can understand, with the contract and the things that went on, why both parties said it was time to go.”

  • Feagles destined for record book: Seahawks punter Jeff Feagles will tie his idol this weekend when Seattle hosts the Oakland Raiders.

    Barring an unforeseen injury, Feagles will play in his 207th consecutive game Saturday. That would tie him with former Raider Ray Guy for the longest streak ever by an NFL punter.

    “When I was growing up, he was always the guy everybody pointed to,” Feagles said. “It really hasn’t hit me to the point that I’m going to be above a guy that I looked up to forever. I just think it’s a great milestone in one’s career. It’s like any other position: eventually you’ll get some records if you play 13 years.”

    Feagles, 34, hasn’t missed a game since his NFL career started in 1988. He said the only near-misses during his streak came with the birth of his three sons and a minor injury last season.

    Chances are, he will set a new mark in next week’s season finale.

    “I’ve been fortunate enough to stay healthy, that’s the biggest thing,” Feagles said.

  • Rich rewards: Quarterback Rich Gannon, who will lead the first-place Raiders into Husky Stadium this weekend, was out of football in 1994 after being released by the Washington Redskins. Now he’s a legitimate candidate for league MVP.

    It looked like Gannon’s career might be over following shoulder surgery six years ago, but he stayed in shape during his year away by working out with former Minnesota Vikings teammate Steve Jordan. He finally ended up in Kansas City, where he played four years before signing with the Raiders as a free agent last year.

    Now he’s the leader of an 11-3 football team that may be the AFC’s best. But he won’t soon forget what it felt like when his career bottomed out.

    “I was told a long time ago when I first got in this business that the minute you think you’ve finally arrived, they are already looking for somebody to replace you,” Gannon said. “So that has always been my philosophy, maybe my edge, if you will.”

  • Ho Ho Ho: Christmas shoppers who happened to be in downtown Seattle during lunchtime on Tuesday may have seen an unexpected sight: Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren ringing a bell for the Salvation Army.

    Holmgren’s wife, Kathy, is involved in a number of charities, and helped persuade her husband to make the appearance.

  • Quick slants: Running back Ricky Watters (toe), safety Jay Bellamy (back), defensive tackle Riddick Parker (leg), defensive end Lamar King (shoulder) and quarterback Brock Huard (kidney) were held out of practice Tuesday. … Due to injuries, the Raiders may be without two starters – fullback Jon Ritchie and defensive lineman Grady Jackson – as well as running back Napoleon Kaufman on Saturday. … The Seahawks signed wide receiver Dwaune Jones, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Richmond, to their practice squad. … The Pro Bowl teams will be announced Thursday.
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