Former Seahawks defensive lineman dies at 37

Norman Hand, a massive defensive tackle whose 10-year NFL career included a stint with the Seattle Seahawks in 2003, died Friday at the age of 37 in South Carolina.

According to the Associated Press, Colleton County coroner Richard Harvey said Hand collapsed at his home in Walterboro, S.C., Friday morning with his family on hand and he died 90 minutes later at a local hospital.

Cause of death has not been determined, but an autopsy is planned Saturday.

Hand was a 325-pound lineman out of Mississippi who played a big role for the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2002 before being traded to the Seahawks for a sixth-round draft pick in 2003.

He played six games for the Seahawks that year, but then went on injured reserve with a torn biceps muscle. When Seattle asked him to renegotiate his contract the following offseason, Hand declined and went on to play one last season with the New York Giants before retiring.

He finished his NFL career with 22 1/2 sacks, including one with the Seahawks, but was primarily known as a run-stuffer in the middle. His best years came with the Saints when he was part of a defensive line nicknamed “The Heavy Lunch Bunch” alongside fellow 325-pounders Martin Chase and Grady Jackson.

Hand created some impressions in his short time in Seattle as well. He was a good friend of Seahawks’ legend Cortez Kennedy. And former Seattle Times reporter Greg Bishop, now with the New York Times, uncovered the fact Hand loved to write poetry with this excellent story in 2003.

According to this “Meet the Seahawks’ piece by Clare Farnsworth in the Seattle P-I that summer, Hand and his wife Tammy had two children, Norman and Alexis.