posted on Jan, 3 2005 @ 08:37 PM
alexander was edged for the rushing title by 1 yard, after yesterdays game he said he "had been stabbed in the back" mike holmgren was "unavailable
for comment" rumors in the seattle area are that shaun and mike do not get along
Seattle RB apologizes for saying he was 'stabbed in the back'
By TIM KORTE, AP Sports Writer
January 3, 2005
KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -- Shaun Alexander issued a public apology Monday for questioning coach Mike Holmgren's quarterback sneak call in a big win over
Atlanta -- a play that Alexander initially claimed cost him the NFL rushing title.
``I'm human,'' Alexander said at team headquarters. ``Anybody can at one time pop off. I've done it several times. I think in the position I'm in, I
need to own up to it.''
Alexander created a stir after Seattle won the NFC West title by beating Atlanta 28-26 on Sunday. In comments immediately after the game, he used
strong language to challenge Holmgren's play call.
``We were going to win anyway,'' Alexander said after the game. ``We were on the freakin' goal line, and I got stabbed in the back.''
On Monday, he said: ``It got the best of me. I definitely blurted out stuff I shouldn't have said. I wouldn't want to take any light away from this
team and what we have accomplished.''
It was a huge win for the Seahawks (9-7), who earned a home game in the wild-card weekend Saturday against division rival St. Louis. A loss would have
sent Seattle on the road to play the Rams.
Alexander wore a ``Division Champions'' cap as he spoke to reporters.
``I'm all about winning,'' he said during a rambling 30-minute news conference.
Holmgren wasn't available for comment Monday.
In his postgame remarks, Holmgren indicated he had wanted Alexander to win the title. The Falcons drove 69 yards in the final 4:28 to pull within
28-26 before failing to convert the 2-point try.
``It's too bad we didn't get the ball back,'' Holmgren said. ``They ate up the clock with their final drive. Shaun had a chance at the rushing
championship, and just missed it. That was too bad. I would have liked to seen him get it.''
Alexander said he hadn't spoken with Holmgren. He said he doesn't feel he must apologize in person to his coach or teammates, saying they know him
well enough to realize he puts winning first and statistics second.
``It's really simple,'' he said. ``I would have loved to have the record. But by no means does it have anything to do with taking any light, any
excitement, any joy from this team and all the hard work we put together to win the division.''
The Seahawks went ahead 28-20 with 4:28 remaining when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck scored on a 1-yard sneak on second-and-goal.
On Monday, Alexander agreed it was the right call, but said at the time it felt ``like gasoline on the fire'' because he knew he was close to the
rushing title -- though he insisted he didn't know exactly how many yards he needed.
``I just figured someone was doing the math,'' he said.
It's been a great season for Alexander.
The fifth-year running back, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, reached the Pro Bowl for the second straight year with a
career-high and franchise-record 1,696 yards rushing.
His 16 TDs rushing matched his team record from 2002, and his team-record 20 total TDs made him the 10th player in NFL history with 20 or more in a
However, Curtis Martin won this season's rushing title, edging Alexander by 1 yard after a 153-yard effort in the New York Jets' overtime loss at St.
Louis. It was the closest margin in NFL history.
``I don't even know who won the rushing title last year, but I know who won the Super Bowl,'' said Alexander, who finished with 80 yards rushing on 19
attempts against Atlanta.
Alexander led Martin by 72 yards going into the regular season's final weekend. Martin had 24 yards on three carries in overtime at St. Louis and
finished with 1,697 yards on the season.
``I think Shaun Alexander has had as good a year as any running back in the NFL,'' Hasselbeck said Sunday. ``His teammates feel that way, his coaches
feel that way, and he should know that.''