#5 – Max Unger

To see the full list of the 20 best Seahawks in 2012, click here.

In 2012, the Seattle Seahawks had three four members of the All Pro First Team.  That would be the 27 best players in the NFL, by position.  Out of all centers in the entire NFL, Max Unger was cited as the best.  THE BEST, JERRY!

Suffice it to say, the All Pro team holds a lot more weight than the NFL Pro Bowl, even though it seems like the Pro Bowl gets ten times the media coverage (which is weird, because the MEDIA dictates who belongs on the All Pro team, while a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters decides who goes to the Pro Bowl).  The All Pro team is decided by a panel of 50 members of the Associated Press, but really, what do we know about how they decide this award?  Are they really any more scientific than the Pro Bowl voters?  Do they do THAT much more research on every single position?

It strikes me that it must be very difficult to choose members of the offensive line.  They don’t have a list of readymade stats like quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs.  It’s tough to even go by the eyeball test, because when do you ever sit there and just watch the offensive line, when the action is happening everywhere else?  I suppose you could narrow it down.  Focus on the best offenses.  The best at running the ball, the best at protecting the quarterback … but that would seem to fly in the face of the intent of the award.  If you’re only focusing on the very BEST offenses, then you’re likely ignoring quality players on bad teams.  What if the very best center played for the Kansas City Chiefs?  How would you know?

At some point, you’re likely relying on word-of-mouth, reputation, and some combination of offensive stats.  WAS Max Unger the best center in football in 2012?  I have no fucking idea.  But, a panel of 50 Associated Press members thought so, so I guess that’s cool.

Truth be told, as long as there aren’t dozens of fumbled center/quarterback exchanges, and as long as he’s not snapping the ball over Russell Wilson’s head, I’m probably going to be happy with his performance.

With an offensive tackle, it’s easier to tell.  They’re so often one-on-one with a defender charging right at the quarterback.  How often do you notice Unger engaged in one-on-one battles?  I’m not saying they rarely happen, I’m just asking YOU, how often YOU can pick him out of a huge pile of huge men, squirming and grappling with one another, neither going anywhere?

So, I, too, have to go by word-of-mouth and reputation.  And they tell me that Max Unger is one of the very best centers in all of football.  I didn’t need a list of All Pros to tell me that, but whatever.  Good for them.  Good for America!  Good for the Associated Press to recognize one of our own Seattle Seahawks.  So often, we lament the national media for ignoring us way up here in the Pacific Northwest; so now let’s toot a horn for the national media getting one right!

Or don’t.  I don’t care.  The Seahawks have two very good offensive linemen and three other regular-good offensive linemen.  Together, the Seahawks have an offensive line unit that’s one of the best in all of football.  In 2008, the Seahawks had one of the very WORST offensive line units in all of football.  In 2012, the Seahawks were 31 seconds away from the NFC title game.  In 2008, the Seahawks were at rock bottom, drafting in the Top 5.  We’ve come a long way.  Offensive line play is a HUGE reason why.

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