CHICAGO - After what possibly was the last game of Lawyer Milloy's 15-year NFL career, he was more inclined to reflect on the five-month Seahawks season that ended Sunday than to speculate on the future.
“I just got off the field an hour ago, ya know what I mean?” said the 37-year-old strong safety. “My body feels great. I’m gonna think about this game, and it’s gonna hurt me as if I was 21 or 22. One thing about me, I don’t put a limit or a time on my career. I never have. It’s one of the reasons I’ve lasted this long.
“I think just like a young guy, and if I do decide to keep playing, this game will motivate me in the offseason.”
Milloy was credited with seven tackles during the Seahawks’ 35-24 playoff loss to the Bears at Soldier Field, but it was the play he was unable to make that set the tone for a game dominated by Chicago until a couple of garbage-time touchdowns.
On the Bears’ opening drive, quarterback Jay Cutler connected on a 58-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen. Milloy’s coverage – he wasn’t playing deep – might’ve been adequate for a younger safety with a better set of wheels, but once Olsen caught the ball, he had a fast, free lane to end zone.
By the time the Seahawks had a chance to regroup at halftime, they were trailing, 21-0, and their impossible dream was scuttled. That a 7-9 team got as far in the playoffs as it did rates as an accomplishment to some, but Milloy was too frustrated by the many opportunities the Seahawks missed on Sunday to consider accolades.
“We understood how the outside world had viewed us,” said the former Lincoln High and UW star. “Thing is, we don’t take just getting to this point as a consolation prize. I’m sure some people want to hand that to us, but we were prepared to win and it didn’t happen, so it sucks just like if we were a No. 1 or 2 seed.
“You don’t be happy just because nobody thought you’d get to this point. That’s not what it’s about – at least for me, as a veteran player trying to reach the young guys. Take advantage of the opportunity in front of you, until the trophy gets closer and closer.”
If it was apparent that Milloy lost a step or two this season, it was equally evident he brought knowledge and savvy to the defensive backfield, and the presence of an emotional pillar to the locker room.
Milloy, who played for the Patriots under coach Pete Carroll, has been a tireless proponent of Carroll’s philosophy for rebuilding the Seahawks.
“This team has made big strides,” he said. “Three weeks ago, I couldn’t have told you how we would’ve responded after the world champions were up on us 10-0. I’m very proud of this team.
“We lost today, but at least I had the opportunity this year to build toward something special. It’s easy to win a championship when everybody expects you to. But to be a part of the foundation – to be one of the guys when people say, ‘Lawyer Milloy helped start this dynasty’ – that’s all I can I ask for.”