The new Seahawks kicker was dropping some old names Wednesday.
Ryan Longwell, who was signed to replace the injured Steven Hauschka, grew up in nearby Puyallup, Wash., and remembers a different era of Seahawks stars.
“Kind of growing up a Seahawks fan, and watching games in the Kingdome with my grandpa and stuff, it’s kind of an honor to put on the helmet that you grew up watching,” Longwell said, via the Seattle Times. “I grew up here watching the hydroplanes, watching the Seahawks, the Mariners and the Sonics back then. I grew up a huge fan of [Steve] Largent, [Jim] Zorn and those guys, so the opportunity to come back was awesome.”
His teammates then pulled out their new-fangled computer-phone devices and looked up Steve Largent’s Wikipedia page.
While the 38-year-old Longwell hasn’t kicked in the league since being released by the Vikings in May, he has been in shape. He said he was preparing to run a marathon in Orlando this weekend, so he should be able to handle the cardiovascular exertion of kicking extra points.
And Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Longwell’s experience more than makes up for the time he’s been away from the game.
“When you look at Ryan’s background, the great experience he’s had, the time he’s had in playoff situations and all of that, to make this transition for a younger guy might be more of an issue, and we think he can handle that,” Carroll said. “Some of our coaches have been with him before and knew him very well — a very even-keeled guy, a true professional and all that.”
He’s also an old professional, with five years on the next-oldest player on their roster, just-signed defensive end Patrick Chukwurah. The Seahawks have just eight players on their roster in their 30s, and there are teammates who weren’t even born when Largent retired.