The Seattle Seahawks may have never won a Super Bowl, unlike their fellow 1976 expansion counterparts, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…but that’s not to say they haven’t had their fair share of talent; some of it Hall of Fame caliber, at that.
A good many of the players on this list were stars who toiled in mediocrity, while others were valuable contributors who were key cogs in deep playoff runs. So, how does one go about ranking the pigskin legends of the Emerald City? Stats are important, yes.
Then again, so are wins. If Cortez Kennedy (one of the more disruptive defensive tackles of his era) regularly posts 10-plus sacks a year, but the team rarely wins more than seven or eight games, then what’s the overall impact? Granted, football’s a team sport, and one could argue that those who rank high on this list benefited from fellow all-pro’s.
There’s the whole sentimental impact to contemplate as well, stats and wins aside; the proverbial fan favorites can pull the hearty strings. Without further adieu, here’s my list of the top ten Seattle Seahawks of all-time. Let the debating commence.
TOP 10 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS of ALL-TIME
10. Dave Krieg (1980-1991) – QB
He may have been a little too turnover prone, especially with the fumbles, but he was a solid starter who presided over the Seahawks’ first taste of success in the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Jim Zorn may be a beloved figure, but D. Krieg was the first to parlay talent to the wins column.
9. Curt Warner (1983-1989) – RB
He had a relatively short career, even for a running back, lasting only seven seasons, six with Seattle. However, he made almost all of them count. At his best, he was a 1,400 yards/13 TD running back. Those are numbers that stack up against his much more heralded counterparts from his era, such as Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen and the like.
8. Jacob Green (1980-1992) – DE
Why he is so lightly regarded in the pantheons of Seahawk’s lore is anyone’s guess. That’s not to say that diehards don’t appreciate his consistent, double digit sack seasons, not to mention his longevity. In essence, he was Cortez Kennedy before CortezKennedy. Also baffling, is how he only made two Pro Bowls. Either way, he was an essential part of 1980’s Seattle defenses.
7. Dave Brown (1976-1986) – CB
He only made one Pro Bowl, but Brown was a stellar cornerback who had the ball-hawking skills of a safety. Of course, this is probably due to the fact that he was a free safety originally in the 1976 expansion season. Teams didn’t necessarily
have to game plan for him per se, but rest assured opposing QB’s knew where he was on the field at all times.
6. Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000) – DT
Kennedy bridged the gap between the old Seahawks and the new; playing for both Chuck Knox and Mike Holmgren. His sack numbers were impressive, but even more astounding is the fact that he registered them as a defensive tackle, not a linebacker or D-end. An eight-time Pro Bowler, Kennedy was often the bright spot on some pretty dismal Seahawks squads.
5. Kenny Easley (1981-1987) – S
Easley teamed with Dave Brown to form one of the more formidable secondaries in the league in the early to mid-1980’s. His interception totals were high, but he simply had a nose for the ball, as evidenced by his penchant for fumble recoveries. His career was relatively short, but he still managed three All-Pro teams and five Pro Bowl appearances.
4. Matt Hasselbeck (2001-2010) – QB
The only reason he isn’t higher on this list is because of consistency and injuries. That, and the fact that while better than a “game manager,” he never was in the upper echelon of his QB contemporaries. That’s not to diminish what he meant to Seattle, however. His numbers were good, and he led the Seahawksto their only Super Bowl appearance in 2005. Smart, calm and efficient, he made three Pro Bowls, and is still going strong with the Tennessee Titans in the 2011 season.
3. Shaun Alexander (2000-2007) – RB
With all due respect to Curt Warner and Marshawn Lynch, Alexander is the gold standard when it comes to Seattle running backs. His run from 2001-2005 is one of the more prolific in NFL history, as he was consistently a 1,500 yard/20 TD back. Even more impressive is that he did it at the beginning of the “running back by committee” era. Teams knew they were going to get a dose of Alexander, yet they still couldn’t stop him.
2. Steve Largent (1976-1989) – WR
When he retired after the 1989 season, Largent was the NFL’s all time leader in most receiving stat categories. He has stats, and he has wins (the 1983-84 breakout years for the ‘Hawks). Even though Jerry Rice has since shattered his records, he will always be known as one of the best to play the game.
1. Walter Jones (1997-2009) – OT
The position of left tackle may not be the most glamorous one, but it’s the most important one next to quarterback. Without Jones, Hasselbeck and the Seahawks’ offense wouldn’t have been nearly as dominant. He played in an era rife with left tackle talent; Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace come to mind. However, Jones was head and shoulders above this colleagues. In fact, many analyst and experts claimed Jones was not only the best left tackle in the NFL, he was one of the best players in the NFL, period.
He was a 9-time Pro Bowl selection, 7-time All-Pro, 2005 OL of the Year, and is part of the NFL’s 2000′s All Decade Team. Walter Jones could not have done much more to cement his legacy as the greatest player in Seattle Seahawks franchise history.
Other Notable Seahawks
- Jim Zorn (1976-1984) – QB
- Rufus Porter (1988-1994) – LB
- Steve Hutchinson (2001-2005) – OG
- Chris Warren (1990-1997) – RB
- Brian Blades (1988-1998) – WR
- Mack Strong (1993-2007) – FB