by Rich Campbell
(July 3, 2006) (Source)

Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a Seattle native and die-hard Seahawks fan, knows it's never too early to talk about the upcoming NFL season. Morgan, who most recently played Denny Duquette on "Grey's Anatomy," will star in an upcoming, currently untitled show by "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes. He also recently finished production on the independent film "Kabluey" with Lisa Kudrow.

Let's talk some football. People here are already getting excited for the season.

Well, you should be. Washington ain't a bad team.

The fans here weren't too keen on Seahawks fans back in January.

[Laughs] That was the one game I thought maybe we should have lost -- that divisional playoff against you guys.

That was an interesting game. With Shaun Alexander getting hurt in the first quarter, the Redskins had a chance. But their offense really struggled.

I would have maybe slid your guys' direction knowing [that Alexander got hurt] but we pulled it out, thank God! But what the hell, we still let the refs win the Super Bowl.

Did you go to the Super Bowl?

I didn't go but I could have through ABC. But I had to work the next day. So half the ["Grey's Anatomy"] cast got to go, but I didn't, which was a big disappointment. But I'm praying to God that this is my year.

What do you think of some of the changes the Seahawks have made?

Well, the one I'm really upset about is getting rid of [wide receiver Joe] Jurevicius. I don't care what we got in return, I don't buy it. I think that was a bad, bad decision on [Coach Mike] Holmgren's part.

I know Jurevicius played a lot because of some injuries to the receiving corps, but you believe he was an integral part of their offense?

Yeah, man! I think he made every big catch we needed going down the stretch. In the last five or six games of the season, I think a lot of it was on his shoulders. He pulled through every time. I was sad to see him go.

At least most of our team is intact. Re-signing Shaun, of course, was a big deal. I just hope Shaun meets the expectations that we all have.

With [guard Steve] Hutchinson gone from the left side of the line, is there some concern about how well Alexander will perform?

Yeah. I think the strongest part of the Seahawks was that O-line last year, and hopefully they're going to shore that up. . . . I have a feeling that the first and foremost thing on Holmgren's list would be to shore up that offensive line and make sure we've got that going for us.

It seems like there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic, especially since the NFC West has been terrible.

That's the thing. I think us getting out of the AFC West when we did about four or five years ago, was maybe the best move that ever happened. Although I do miss those rivalry games with Denver and Oakland and even San Diego.

What was it like for you when Seattle moved from the AFC to the NFC?

It kind of [stunk] because you lived for those Sundays [with the rivalry games]. Playing the Raiders is maybe the most fun ever. And the Broncos, too. You hate those guys, hate 'em, hate 'em. I still do. I'll never be able to root for an AFC West team as long as I live. I spent too much time hating everybody.

But it's good because new rivalries have been formed, and I like our chances in the new division. And being the NFC champions going into this season ain't a bad deal either.

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