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The hit was so full of force that football fans cringed from coast to coast.

The impact of Philadelphia fullback Josh Parry’s hit on Shawn Springs two weeks ago resonated from FedEx Field in Maryland to the Puget Sound, where Seahawks fans with fond memories of Springs’ seven seasons in Seattle hoped that he wasn’t seriously injured.

Turns out that Springs suffered a concussion. He missed Washington’s next game but might play today.

Springs couldn’t be happier to be in D.C., where he grew up. Free agency got him out of Seattle and into a six-year, $31.3 million contract with Washington, which has the NFL’s second-ranked defense.

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“I’m back around my family,” Springs said. “I’m really enjoying myself. Although I do miss Seattle, I’m a lot happier in Washington.”

Springs, 29, is thriving, with four interceptions and 54 tackles. He said his coaches have confidence in him, even if Washington is 5-9 and out of the playoff hunt.

“I needed to leave,” he said. “I needed a change. I got an opportunity to go back (home), and I’m having fun again. But I miss the (Seahawks) fans because they showed me a lot of love for seven years.”

Springs said his last year in Seattle was difficult because he broke a shoulder during the first preseason game and was never the same player. He felt like he was unfairly criticized for the Seahawks’ problems defending deep passes last season.

“The last eight games I couldn’t be myself,” he said.

But Springs has not totally disappeared from the area. He plans to come back in the offseason and attend Sonics games at KeyArena, where he’ll visit with friends Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. He keeps a home in Redmond, and some of his best friends are former Seahawks teammates Koren Robinson, Darrell Jackson, Ken Lucas and Kris Richard.

In 2005, the Seahawks will go to Washington for a regular-season game, a matchup Springs eagerly anticipates. As for this year’s Seahawks, Springs is surprised by their inconsistency.

“I told people these guys would go 13-3,” he said.

José Miguel Romero