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Originally published Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 2:50 PM

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Seahawks eager to start a new season

A win over Rams would be a nice start to erasing memory of 4-12 season in 2008.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Today

St. Louis @ Seahawks, 1:15 p.m., Ch. 13

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There will be a moment today when the disappointment of last year gives way to the untainted promise of this season.

It is a moment that has been more than eight months in the making for the Seahawks. The potential energy of all their offseason preparations becomes kinetic and the 2009 Seahawks run out of the tunnel into a sold-out Qwest Field in a city that will be watching expectantly.

Today's kickoff is the starting point, 1:15 p.m. against the St. Louis Rams. No looking back now.

"It's time for a new year and a new hope," linebacker Leroy Hill said.

Spring might be the season of renewal, but it's September that offers the wide-open possibility of starting over for a football team. This is the NFL, where the Miami Dolphins went from 1-15 in 2007 to the playoffs last season.

Everyone begins the season with hope, even those who wound up on skid row in the standings last year. The Seahawks were 4-12, but that's the past. The Rams were 2-14 — the franchise's lowest winning percentage since 1962 — but that's history.

Today's game won't be decided by memories.

"You can't be thinking about last year," Hill said. "Everybody has a new slate. Everybody's hopes are high."

This moment means different things to different players. For Seattle's starting left guard, Rob Sims, it is the culmination of a comeback from a season-ending injury suffered in Week 1 last season. He started in Buffalo at guard and finished the day unable to lift his carry-on bag into the overhead compartment for the flight home.

He suffered a torn pectoral muscle, which required season-ending surgery. Today marks his regular-season return.

"It's a relief that you made it back," Sims said. "You're healthy. You're ready to go."

For rookies, this is a whole new experience. Linebacker Aaron Curry, the No. 4 overall pick in last spring's draft, will take the field as Seattle's highest draft choice since cornerback Shawn Springs, No. 3 in 1997. Curry says he's not sure exactly how he will feel in those moments before the game.

"I just know I will be very emotional and passionate," Curry said. "It's not preplanned or anything. Whatever comes out, comes out."

Today is a blank canvas of possibility, the start of a season that holds the promise of an uncashed check.

Last year was the Seahawks' worst season in 18 years. They signed free agents like T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Colin Cole, they drafted players like Curry and guard Max Unger — who will start as rookies against the Rams. There are five new starters on defense, three new starters on offense.

Seattle held three minicamps, and the Seahawks conducted nearly a month of organized team activities. For the past five weeks, the Seahawks have practiced darn near every day, preparing for this moment when they have a chance to show that this season will be brighter than the last.

"It's a show-me league," tight end John Carlson said. "All we can do this weekend is win one game. We can't change last year, but we can win one game this weekend and that's our goal."

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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