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Originally published January 5, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 5, 2006 at 6:46 PM

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Alexander named NFL Most Valuable Player

Even though Shaun Alexander said he wasn't surprised he won, being NFL MVP was all about "we" and not "I."

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND -- Winning the MVP seemed so casual.

And a little humbling.

Dressed in a T-shirt and sweatpants, Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander spoke to local media this afternoon, hours after the NFL announced he had won the voting for the league's Most Valuable Player. The award, Alexander stressed time after time, was a team honor.

Even though Alexander said he wasn't surprised he won, being NFL MVP was all about "we" and not "I."

"We just feel it's exciting," Alexander said. "All the guys, they all say it just like I want them to say it. That we won the MVP. And we have."

The NFL rushing title and the season touchdown record already in hand, Alexander added the league's highest honor to his season of grandiose accomplishments. He became the first Seahawk in franchise history to be named MVP.

"I never really thought about whether it could be done or not, because awards are exciting but they're not the end-all, be-all," Alexander said. "Being 13-3 was a goal for us...those all come with setting the first goal, which is being good."

Alexander deflected credit to his offensive line, his fullback and coach Mike Holmgren's play-calling. His 19 votes out of the 50 total cast for MVP were the most, followed by Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, New England quarterback Tom Brady, New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.

Manning won the award last year.

"I think it's an honor any time I get mentioned with those guys," Alexander said. "Brady's been to three Super Bowls. Peyton has just changed the game for quarterbacks. Tiki's like my cousin. You watch these guys and you're just excited about the stuff they do for football. Overall, it's really our team. Our team, we've done stuff that Seattle's never seen before. And we're not done."

A little more than a year ago, Alexander made headlines for his outburst about not getting the extra 2 yards he needed to win the NFL rushing title. But times have changed since the team reconvened last offseason.

"For us, it was get me in here, get Matt (Hasselbeck) signed, get Walt (Jones) signed and let's go play football. We knew how close we were," Alexander said.

"Let's just say Shaun put us on the map up here," fullback Mack Strong said. "The secret's out about the type of team we have out here and the type of players we have out here. You look at his stats and what they mean to the team, and I think they have a lot to do with where we're at."

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