So, for your information, I’m robbing this idea from Seahawks.com. I thought a fan-voted poll was interesting and was curious how spot-on they were. I also wanted to see if I could pick a Blue & Green Dream Second Team … but eventually lost interest in trying to find the NEXT five best offensive linemen.
Also, for your information, I’m getting all forthcoming stats and information from this site. Right or wrong, LEROY JENKINS!
Starting with Quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck is obviously the Number 1 choice. He’s got Dave Krieg beat in Total Yards, Games Played, Completion Percentage, and Yards Per Game. Surprisingly, Krieg has 21 more touchdown passes (even more surprisingly when you consider he played under Ground Chuck), but Krieg also has 20 more interceptions, so I guess that somewhat evens out.
Know what’s really sad? After Hasselbeck, Krieg, and Zorn, you know who our 4th and 5th best all-time quarterbacks were? Try Jon Kitna and Rick Mirer (in PROBABLY that order, though Mirer did throw about 1,500 more yards while in a Seahawk uni). Fun fact: if you went by total yards, Charlie Whitehurst is already our 17th best QB (and a mere 160 yards behind our 16th best QB, Brock Huard).
On to Running Back; again, kind of a no-brainer. Shaun Alexander was on a Hall of Fame track … then he signed a big contract extension after a Super Bowl season in which he ran for 1,880 yards and a league-record (for 1 season) 27 touchdowns. From there, he turned 30, developed foot problems, struggled for 2 more years and was forced into early retirement after a brief, non-descript stint with the Washington Redskins. Still, in his time, he eclipsed the next best rushers by nearly 3,000 yards and 45 touchdowns.
As for my Official Second Team Running Back, I’d have to go with Curt Warner. Though, did you know that Chris Warren beat Warner by a single yard in total yardage? When you factor in Warner had 10 more TDs while also playing for vastly superior Seahawk teams, I’m giving him the nod. Honorable mention goes to Ricky ‘Running’ Watters. He only played with us for 4 seasons, but was forced into retirement while still running at an elite level (and because Alexander was chomping at the bit to take over the reigns). There’s a lot to like about Watters’ hard-nosed style, though.
Fun fact #2: Jim Zorn is our 9th best runner, with 1,491 total yards. Fun fact #3: Julius Jones is #10.
At Wide Receiver, we have our consensus #1 overall choice, Hall of Famer Steve Largent. Just putting it out there: he’s my favorite football player of all time. And, I gotta say, he doesn’t get NEARLY the credit he’s due, considering he owned just about every single receiving record by the time he retired after the 1989 season. 13,089 yards, 819 receptions, 100 touchdowns, 16.0 yards per catch. He was with us from the very beginning, made Dave Krieg look like an elite quarterback at times, and it’s too bad he never got a Super Bowl championship to cap off a wonderful career.
After that, on the list we have Brian Blades and Bobby Engram. Blades ended his career as our Number 2 receiver, picking up the slack after Largent retired; Engram became our 4th best receiver. Sandwiched between them, and obviously not getting the respect he’s due, is Darrell Jackson. Jackson had about 1,600 more yards than Engram and was our only semblance of a Number 1 receiver during his tenure. I can’t fathom why Engram was picked over Jackson, except that he was more of a fan favorite. Maybe it was Jackson’s drops early in his career. Maybe it was his contentious relationship with management that soured him on Seahawks fans. Or, maybe it was all those clutch 3rd down receptions Engram made to extend drives during our best Seahawks seasons in the ’00s.
My Official Second Team, therefore, will lead off with Jackson. I’m also going to take Joey Galloway, who would’ve been an absolute SUPERSTAR had he not made beef with Holmgren and forced his own ouster (as a plus, it should be noted that we received two first round draft picks from the Cowboys in exchange for his services; he was helping the Seahawks even when he wasn’t playing for ’em). It’s that third receiver that’s giving me fits, though. On our all-time receiving yards list, John L. Williams is #6, but he’s obviously NOT a wide receiver. Discounting other running backs and tight ends, the stats would tell me to pick Koren Robinson, but I’m most certainly NOT going in that direction. If I were picking an actual team, then I’d have my speed guy (Galloway), I’d have my Number 2 flanker (Jackson), so I’ll need a slot guy to round out the trio. Here’s where I throw you my curveball: Paul Skansi. He was only #14 on our all-time yardage list, but he had one of the most memorable catches in Seahawks history, and I think he’d be an excellent complement to who I have.
Tight End is probably the most questionable choice the fans made: John Carlson. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. I think, without question, he WILL be our all-time best tight end when all is said and done. But, he’s only been here for 3 years! Granted, in terms of all-time Seahawks tight ends, he’s #3 on the list for total yardage, but that just shows how TERRIBLE we’ve been, as a franchise, at the tight end position (see: Jerramy Stevens). Right now, I’ll take Itula Mili over both Carlson and Christian Fauria (#2 in total yards). He was a steady contributer, an excellent run blocker, and an all-around pro’s pro.
At Full Back, who could argue with Mack Strong? He was, bar none, our greatest asset in the running game when we were at our best. Shaun Alexander wouldn’t have had NEAR the success he had without Strong clearing the way. Plus, that NAME! That’s just an all-time great NFL name no matter WHAT team you’re on! For my personal Second Team, I’m going the other way with John L. Williams. I don’t remember what kind of a blocker he was – he seemed more like an oversized running back than a traditional full back – but he was an asset both rushing and receiving. I mean hell, you heard me mention him earlier: he’s our #6 all time receiver in yardage! Helluva guy, very under-appreciated considering he played for some down teams. Not for nothin’, but he’s also our 4th best rusher in terms of total yards.
At Offensive Line, like I said earlier, I couldn’t possibly pick a Second 5. Soon-to-be Hall of Famer Walter Jones anchors our left side along with Probable Hall of Famer Steve Hutchinson. Rounding it out, we’ve got Robbie Tobeck at center (making that 3/5 of our Super Bowl line). On the right side, we’ve got Bryan Millard and Howard Ballard. I don’t remember too much about those guys, except I think Ballard was one of the fattest individuals to ever play the position. Don’t quote me on that.
In Part II, I’ll look at the defensive side of the ball. I don’t know how much help I’ll be there, but I’ll give it my best shot.