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Seattle's comeback duo: Williams and Washington

Mike Williams is rarely serious on Twitter.

This was one time when Seattle's best wide receiver was being honest.

"Leon Washington deserves to be pushed for (comeback player of the year)," Williams wrote recently. "He's balling off a broken leg. I came back from being lazy."

Neither Williams nor Washington is expected to win the award honoring the player making the best return from a year ago.

But both players have helped put Seattle in position to potentially win its first division title in three seasons.

Laugh all you want at the possibility of the Seahawks becoming the first team with a losing record to win a division title and host a playoff game. But there's no denying the remarkable returns both Washington and Williams have made.

"They're totally different. One is a guy overcoming bad years (Williams), and one is a guy overcoming a bad injury (Washington). I don't look at them the same, but they both have done that," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "They've overcome the odds and resurfaced when maybe a lot of people may have counted them out. I think in that it's a statement for both guys about how tough they are, how determined they are to push it to the limits and show who they are."

Their comebacks are completely opposite, yet equal in their importance.

Washington won a game earlier this season with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a victory over San Diego. Williams has proven the only consistent target for Seattle's meager offense.

If not for either player, Seattle isn't even considering the chance to be the first 7-9 playoff team in league history with a win on Sunday night against St. Louis.

"I love both stories, but for different reasons," Carroll said.

Both Washington and Williams were brought to Seattle in the same month and under totally different conditions, but each time the Seahawks were taking a chance.

Washington was the special teams standout the Seahawks traded for with the Jets, hoping to give him another chance after a broken leg that cost him much of the 2009 season.

Carroll and general manager John Schneider checked with doctors immediately after the trade with New York became a possibility. When convinced Washington would recover from the injury, Seattle made the deal.

The idea of giving Williams another shot in the NFL came after Carroll and Williams met on the Southern California campus late last year and before the notion of Carroll coming to the Pacific Northwest was even a possibility.

Williams hadn't played in an NFL game in two seasons and when Carroll brought him to Seattle in April, he came with more scrutiny than most because of his history with Carroll when he played for him at USC.

Williams' answer for all the critics: a career-best 62 catches for 735 yards — despite missing nearly three full games due to injuries. He's caught 10 or more passes in a game twice and has become one of the most valuable parts of Seattle's offense.

"If you were to go back in March and give these hypotheticals like, 'OK, here's a guy that has been on the streets for two years and this whole organization is going to be so reliant on him being able to play' you probably wouldn't believe it," Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "But he's meant a lot to our team. He's really stepped up, he's taken on a big role in our offense."

Williams believes despite what he's provided for the Seahawks, he doesn't deserve consideration as a comeback player.

The league-wide honor could come from a group including Michael Vick, Brian Urlacher, Osi Umenyiora and Wes Welker, but Williams believes the Seahawks contender should be the guy sitting across the locker room.

"I think that award is about guys who really have come back, guys who were established players in the league and had a little bit of adversity and bounced back. Leon represents that," Williams said. " ... in my opinion, he's even better than he was in New York. Me, I don't think I came back from anything. If you could really put your finger on something I came back from, you could give me comeback couch player of the year."