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Saturday, February 4, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Marcus Allen tackles Shaun's flash

Seattle Times staff reporter

Hall of Famer Marcus Allen doesn't understand why Shaun Alexander doesn't get more acclaim.

Check that. He understands it; he just doesn't think it is right.

Speaking at a news conference featuring most of the Most Valuable Players from past Super Bowls, Allen said that Alexander simply isn't flashy enough.

"He still doesn't get the credit he deserves," said Allen, the MVP of Super Bowl XVIII for the Los Angeles Raiders.

"I think it comes down to style; his may not be the most exciting. But as far as productivity, he's incredible. He has the speed, the moves, all the things you need, but not that LaDainian Tomlinson-Barry Sanders flair.

"We obviously gravitate toward that. In our world, unfortunately, it's all about style, less substance. Well, he has more substance than he has style."

Allen said that Alexander's ready smile is also misleading. "I think he has a lot more determination inside than his smile suggests," Allen said.

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck earned high praise from Mark Rypien, the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI, for the Redskins. The former Washington State standout played briefly for Seattle during training camp in 2002.

"I told my brother, in 2- weeks in Seattle and working with him, he was as sharp a practice player as I've ever seen," Rypien said of Hasselbeck. "He really took pride in what he did on the practice field, and he did a lot of great things the last two, three years on the field.

"It was just one of those 'next-step' things he needed to get to, and win a playoff game and get that confidence. I think he's playing as good as anyone at that position, with a lot of confidence. It's good to see, because he's a good guy."

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Kurt Warner, MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams, witnessed the Seahawks' emergence this season with Arizona.

"I think there were expectations in years past, but I'm not sure everyone there believed they could get to the Super Bowl," Warner said.

"This year, they believed they could. I just saw a team that was poised; I saw a team that was good in every phase."

Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or lstone@seattletimes.com

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