Mack Carlington Strong (born September 11, 1971) is a former American football player who was a fullback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons. After playing college football for the University of Georgia, he was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 1993. Strong was selected the Pro Bowl twice in his career, in 2005 and 2006. He currently is a football sportscaster for Root Sports Northwest. He won the Steve Largent Award a record 5 times while with the Seahawks.
Mack Strong was born in Fort Benning, Georgia. He attended Brookstone School in Columbus, Georgia, and was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. In football, he had 4,414 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns during his career.
He was recruited by teams all over the south, and in 1989 Strong opted to stay home and sign with the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The tradition of running backs at that school, which included Herschel Walker, led Strong to believe there was a real opportunity to make it to the NFL as a tailback. The Bulldogs had a couple of older running backs named Tim Worley and Rodney Hampton, both future first-round picks, so Strong had trouble finding playing time as a freshman. By his sophomore season, the team added top recruit Garrison Hearst and a ballyhooed transfer from Long Beach State named Terrell Davis. If Strong hadn’t done the math, his coaches did it for him. He was told he could either move to fullback and block for the others, or he could sit and watch them from the bench.
Strong became a full-time starter at fullback for his final two years at Georgia, earning the honor of offensive captain as a senior. His blocking helped Hearst get drafted in the first round, while Davis went on to become a late-round NFL success story who went on to win Super Bowl MVP honors. As their workmanlike bodyguard, Strong was all but overlooked at Georgia. Despite his quiet leadership, blue-collar work ethic and impressive blocking style, he went undrafted after his senior season.
Despite being primarily a blocker, in his four years in Athens Strong amassed 1,210 yards rushing and receiving, and scored 10 touchdowns.
Originally signed as free agent out of Georgia, Strong played his entire 15-year career with the Seahawks and received the Steve Largent Award a record five times (2001, 2002, 2004–2006). He has blocked for three 1,000-yard rushers: Chris Warren, Ricky Watters, and Shaun Alexander. He held the Seahawks team record for longest rush in a playoff game with a 32-yard run during the 2005 divisional playoff game against the Washington Redskins until Marshawn Lynch‘s 67-yard rush against the Saints on January 8, 2011.
In 2005 Strong was selected to his first NFL Pro Bowl and chosen as an Associated Press All-Pro. He was known as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL. Strong was again selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006.
In the 2007 season Strong suffered a herniated disk in his vertebrae in his neck against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The injury was said not to be life-threatening if Strong discontinued his playing of football. On October 8, 2007, Strong announced his retirement after 15 seasons due to this injury. After discussions with head coachMike Holmgren, he was able to take on a position assisting the team’s running backs. While being interviewed on Monday Night Football on November 12, 2007, he hinted at a possible future in the broadcast booth. Strong and his wife, Zoe, devote their time to working with the Washington Chapter of HOPE worldwide, a non-profit organization. He is a founder of their signature program in Washington state, the Mack Strong TEAM-WORKS Academy.