Shaun Alexander: I Won’t Ever Get Over Super Bowl XL Loss

The Seattle Seahawks haven’t been their typical overwhelming selves this season, but they’re still 3-1 and can make a strong statement by beating the red-hot Falcons (4-1) at home this Sunday. Atlanta has won four straight games – including wins at Oakland, New Orleans and Denver – but Shaun Alexander still likes his former team this weekend.

“The Seahawks have always been the same,” Alexander said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We run the ball, we stop the run, the quarterback puts us in great positions, Russell Wilson is super special – but at the end of the day, the defense is so dominant. I still like them. I always like our shot because I see those 15 key guys just making plays play after play. So they’ve got a shot. Of course Russell is doing great things. Hopefully they put it together this year. (Christine) Michael has had a couple good carries, a couple good games. So they’ve got a shot to be special. But they’ve already got the guys there to do it. They just have to put it together.”

Alexander, 39, was NFL MVP in 2005, when he rushed 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns. He was selected in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft, something that doesn’t happen too often for tailbacks these days.

“I don’t think that there is a rule against running backs. I think the running back has to be special,” Alexander said. “If the running back is special, then you go get him. If you’re special, you go get them. I think the coaches and the scouts, they’re doing their job. If a person is first-round-worthy, (they’ll go in the first round). Unlike the quarterbacks, where they can grow into it, and some receivers, where they have a niche in the offense, running backs, we all got the same job: It’s to control the clock, make big runs on 3rd-and-short and get in the red zone. All of a sudden, you can pop a 20-yarder or you’re tough enough to get the 1st-and-Goal or the 4th-and-Goal on the one and you get it. Our jobs are the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big bruiser or if you’re a scat guy. We got the same job. If you’re a first-round talent that is good enough to do those things, you’ll be picked.”

Alexander led the Seahawks to Super Bowl XL, where they lost to the Steelers, 21-10. That was in February 2006 – just over 10 years ago.

Alexander still hasn’t gotten over it. He doesn’t think he ever will, either.

“I don’t think you do,” Alexander said. “From being taught at 8 years old that the Super Bowl is the biggest game of your life and you finally get to one and then you lose, you don’t ever really get over it. I think the best thing is to have your identity be something bigger than football. Everybody knows I’m a man of faith. So I’m like, ‘Okay, well, I’m not going to hell because I lost the Super Bowl, so I’m okay.’ . . . You want to go back and play that over again and you wish you would have won, but unfortunately God has got a great sense of humor. He makes my new neighbor out here Antwaan Randle El, who throws a touchdown pass to beat us. So we get a lot of laughs because we beat Pittsburgh every single time I played them – except for that one time. But you don’t get over it. It’s a big game and it needs to be a big game. It’s special. But it’s okay. Life goes on.”

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