Seattle Seahawks: Dynasty in the making?

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, AUG. 9-10 - FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2014, file photo, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll holds the the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J. The salary cap, extra playoff games and a league bent on parity have made the NFL one of the planets most competitive leagues, where champions fall quickly and teams regularly make one-season turnarounds. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The NFL does what it can via the draft, salary cap, free agency and, coming soon, expanded playoffs to engineer a sense of parity, making each team and each fan base

believe it has a chance to win on any given Sunday — and to reach any season’s Super Bowl.

Those efforts might finally have brought about the death of dynasties:

It’s been a decade since the New England Patriots won the 2003 and 2004 titles, the longest stretch without a repeat champion in nearly a half-century of Super Bowls.

“The days of the dominant teams may be gone forever,” said Ted Sundquist, a former general manager of the Denver Broncos and their director of college scouting when they won back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 1990s. “It’s hard. It’s beyond hard. There are different types of players now, different types of systems set up. The game’s changed.”

Sundquist is among those who thinks the reigning champion Seattle Seahawks could be equipped to buck the recent trend. Their roster was the fifth-youngest in the league last season, according to STATS. They have plenty of stars on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman; and GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll set the tone.

“From a leadership perspective, John and Pete are not the kind of guys who will lose their focus — and I think that will trickle down to the players,” Sundquist said. “What’s really working against Seattle is that they’re in a dadgum competitive division.”

Joe Theismann, the quarterback on Washington Redskins teams that won the Super Bowl after the 1982 season and lost in the championship game a year later, also thinks Seattle is in a strong position.

“They have a lot of things going for them. Their stars are young. They play in a very tough place to compete for other people,” Theismann said. “I would be extremely shocked to see what we’ve seen from other world champions. Baltimore, two years ago — so many guys retired, so many guys left, and now they’re retooling a little bit. That’s not happening in Seattle.”

The Seahawks’ fans certainly are holding onto last season, trotting out fake Lombardi Trophies to training camp practices. But Seahawks are not boasting about the franchise’s first championship or talking about the route to No. 2.

From the moment the preparation for this season began, they were concentrating on the facets of the game that helped them rule the league a year ago, primarily the sure-handed offense and opportunistic defense that allowed Seattle to lead the NFL in turnover differential.

“When we came back in, there was no talk about repeating,” receiver Doug Baldwin said. “It was (about) going back to the basics.”

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