The Seahawks voted for team captains on Friday, and the winners were QB Matt Hasselbeck, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and Roy Lewis on special teams.
Matt Hasselbeck already has been a captain eight times, and Lofa Tatupuwas voted the honor in each of his first five seasons with the Seahawks.
But that didn’t make their selections any less significant and meaningful on Friday, when backup cornerback Roy Lewis was named special teams captain to go along with Hasselbeck on offense and Tatupu on defense.
“It’s something you cherish,” Tatupu said in the locker room after coach Pete Carroll made the announcement after practice. “It’s quite an honor. Like I’ve always said, ‘When it comes from your peers, it means that much more to you.’ ”
“It’s always an honor,” he said. “Probably of all the honors you can get, it’s the highest honor because your teammates are the guys who know you best and it’s voted on by the players. So it means a lot.”
Carroll also made another prudent point: There was some good competition for the honors.
“Those guys are great leaders and have been really strong for us from the start,” he said. “We have good leadership on this team. There’s a number of guys who could have been selected. But these are the guys that the players really look to and I think it’s really fitting that they recognized those guys.”
As for the others who could have been recognized: on defense, there’s veteran strong safety Lawyer Milloy and defensive end Chris Clemons; on offense, Hasselbeck voted for tight end John Carlson; on special teams, Lewis voted for kicker Olindo Mare, while others went to punter Jon Ryan.
Carroll also said that game captains will be chosen each week, starting next week, from each side of the ball.
“Absolutely there were other guys who could have gotten it,” Tatupu said. “That just makes it more of an honor.”
Tatupu was voted a defensive co-captain as a rookie in 2005, and also in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. As for Hasselbeck, he got the honor in his first season with the team, as well, and then has been voted a co-captain in each of the past seven seasons.
But for Lewis, who played at the University of Washington and began last season on the Seahawks’ practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster in November, this is new territory.
“Roy has really been a sparkplug for us,” Carroll said. “He’s been so consistent as a performer in the offseason and throughout. He’s made a big impression on these guys. That’s why they’ve chosen him and he’s got a big active role for us on teams.”
The recognition caught Lewis by surprise.
“It’s just an honor, I appreciate it and I’m almost speechless,” he said. “It’s a real compliment. I guess my teammates think highly of me in that regard.
“I go out there every week and try to bust my hump on special teams and try to bring the guys with me – bring that energy, that fire. These guys know I’m going to go out there and give it my all every single play. And I won’t let them down.”