Hard-scrabble Seahawks aim for first Super Bowl title
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks, who hail from the northwest corner of the United States, aim to break into the limelight with their first Super Bowl crown in a February 2 showdown against the Denver Broncos in wintry New Jersey.
Seattle, an expansion team that joined the National Football League in 1976, reached their only previous Super Bowl following the 2005 season but fell 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers under the dome in Detroit with snow falling outside Ford Field.
They lack the star power of the Peyton Manning-led Broncos and are slight underdogs, but that suits the fiercely confident Seahawks, who play with a chip on their shoulders and an electric energy that fuels the NFL's top defense.
A roster full of undrafted free agents and late-round draft picks has been astutely assembled by exuberant coach Pete Carroll and Seattle general manager John Schneider under the blessing of team owner Paul Allen, the hometown billionaire and co-creator of Microsoft.
"I have never been around such a positive, engaging coach that connects with each player at that level of intensity," Allen told the Seattle Times about the coach he hired in 2010.
"It's really amazing. Pete really stands out because of his positivity and his ability to connect."
Of the 53 players on the roster for Seattle's 23-17 win over West Coast rivals the San Francisco 49ers that put them into the Super Bowl, 21 entered the National Football league as undrafted free agents and 16 were drafted after the third round.
The offense is run by Russell Wilson, the undersized 5-foot-11 quarterback taken in the third round of the 2012 draft. The face of the NFL's top-rated defense is cornerback Richard Sherman, drafted in the fifth round in 2011. Continued...