5 Greatest Seattle Seahawks Players of all time
The Seattle Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team. Since then, they have had periods of sustained success, followed by stagnation and then success again. They have, however, provided football fans all over the world with some amazing games and more importantly, some of the best football players the sport has ever seen.
The Seahawks have appeared in the playoffs thirteen times and have won the division title on eight occasions. In addition to that, they have also won two conference championships and of course now, after their exploits last season, they can add the Super Bowl to their list of achievements as well.
A lot of success that the Seahawks have enjoyed in the NFL has been down to the players they have had at their disposal over the years. The current Super Bowl champions can boast of fielding some of the best football players in history and today we will highlight the best of the best. So here is our take on the 5 greatest players in the Seahawks history.
1. Dave Brown (1976-1986)
Dave Brown was a cornerback who played football for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Brown attended the University of Michigan and went on to set numerous college records, some of which still stand today. He was named in the All Big Ten conference team thrice as well as being unanimously voted as an All-American. He also went on to be inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame. Having previously been drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he helped them win the Super Bowl in his first and only season with them before moving to the Seattle Seahawks.
It took Brown some time to acclimatize to his new surroundings before he truly got going with some eye catching performances. He became one of the Seahawks all time greatest player as he set numerous franchise records. He led the team in most interceptions with 50, most interceptions returned for touchdown with 5 and most interception yards returned with 643 yards. He was a Pro-Bowl pick in 1984 and an All-Pro selection in 1984 and 1985. He was awarded the Seattle Ring of Honor and also went on to become the defensive backs coach for the Seahawks from 1992 to 1998.
Brown passed away on January 10th, 2006, leaving behind a legacy that the Seahawks will cherish forever. He was known for his tenacity and determination on the field. He was the ultimate team player who focused more on the team than on personal glory. He will be remembered as a truly great Seahawks player.
2. Steve Largent (1976-1989)
Steve Largent played as a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. He is considered to be one of the most influential and effective players in the Seahawks history and holds a number of franchise records even to this day.
Largent first came under the spotlight when he became an All-American at the University of Tulsa. In 1975 he had 51 catches for a thousand yards and 14 touchdown catches for his college. Even with these impressive numbers, he was almost cut by his first team the Houston Oilers, before being traded to the Seahawks. It is here that Largent’s career truly took off as he spent his remaining career with them. He went on to become perhaps the most famous Seattle player around as he broke record after record in a career that lasted fourteen years.
When he retired, Largent held almost every NFL record that a receiver could possibly achieve at that time. He had the most receptions in a career with 819, most touchdown receptions with 100 and most receiving yards in a career with 13,089 yards. He was the first receiver in history to have 100 receptions and he also played (a record at the time) 177 games straight with a reception in each one.
He still holds numerous Seahawks records that nobody has come close to matching. He holds the record for the most total yards gained with 13,396 yards, most pass receptions with 819 and most games with 100 or more receiving yards with 40. On top of that, Largent also recorded the most receiving yards gained with 1,287 yards, most games with 100 or more yards, highest average per reception with 18.74 and most games started with 197 games for a Seahawk player.
Largent’s greatness was recognized by the entire football world as he was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. The Sporting News magazine ranked him at 46 on their list of the best hundred players in the history of the NFL. He was the only Seahawks player that was on that list as well as the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His shirt number 80 was retired by the Seahawks and they also initiated the Steve Largent Award that was given to players who ‘best exemplified the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks.’ Steve Largent went on to join politics, but he will forever be remembered by every NFL and Seahawks fan for his exploits on the football field.
3.Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000)
Cortez Kennedy received a football scholarship from the University of Miami and he accepted it. During his time there, Kennedy emerged as a talented defensive tackle and was even named an All-American in 1989. His career was about to reach new heights and those were some heights.
In 1990, he was the third overall draft selection for the Seattle Seahawks and Kennedy joined his first and only team in the NFL. In his eleven seasons, Kennedy was a rock for his team and played each and every one of their games during the first eight campaigns. He played 116 consecutive games, a streak that finally came to end when he was sidelined by an injury. He made the All-Rookie team in his first season and made it to the Pro-Bowl the next season.
In 1992, Kennedy became only the third man to be awarded the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award even after his team had suffered a losing season with a 2-14 record. It was one of his best seasons regardless of the Seahawks performances and he recorded 14 sacks, a career-high 92 tackles, recovered one fumble and batted down two passes.
Kennedy kept his fine form going almost throughout his career and managed to achieve a lot of recognition as a defensive tackle. His name became synonymous with the position and he was widely regarded as the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He was voted to the Pro-Bowl eight times, a Seahawks record. He was an All-Pro five times and in 1999 produced arguably the greatest ever season for a defensive tackle. He made 73 tackles, 6.5 sacks while intercepting two passes and he helped guide his team to a playoff berth for the first time in more than ten years.
Kennedy was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was also awarded the Seahawks Ring of Honor. He received the Steve Largent Award for his commitment to the Seahawks team and his jersey number was retired. All in all he played 167 games in his Seahawks career making 58 sacks, intercepting 3 passes and even scoring a touchdown once during a fumble recovery. In 1992 and 1995 he led his team in sacks and was even named in the NFL’s Team of the 90s.
Kennedy retired at the end of the 2000 season as a Seahawks player despite getting offers from other sides in the league. He had dedicated his life to the Seahawks and played a big part in putting the franchise on the map.
4. Shaun Alexander (2000-2007)
Shaun Alexander is one of the few professional football players who were always destined for the NFL. He started playing football as a running back. He excelled during his sophomore year, rushing for 2,396 yards and 42 touchdowns. He rushed for 3,166 yards and set a state record of 54 touchdowns in his senior year. 6,657 yards and 110 touchdowns overall are impressive numbers whichever way you look at it. His school retired his jersey number and he was selected as an All-American by numerous publications like USA Today. Some people even referred to him as Mr. Football or Alexander ‘The Great.’
Alexander chose Alabama as his college and joined the Alabama Crimson Tide on a football scholarship. He had another phenomenal period of success at college level. He won the Iron Bowl and the conference championship while setting over fifteen college football records. He rushed for over 3,433 yards and scored around 48 touchdowns in almost 41 games.
Shaun Alexander was drafted as the 19th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks who had to offer one of their players in exchange. He was the team’s second string running back for his first season there but that all changed next year. Alexander went on to become a football star and one of the most influential players in the Seahawks’ history.
The impact he had on the Seahawks can be determined by the records that he set while there. To this day he has around thirteen team and nine NFL records to his name. Some records include most points (30) for half a game, most seasons and most consecutive seasons (5) where he scored 16 or more touchdowns, most seasons (2) with 20 or more touchdowns, most rushing touchdowns (16) in one season at home, most rushing touchdowns (4) for one half of a game and most seasons (3) with 16+ rushing touchdowns. These are incredible stats.
He was chosen for the Pro-Bowl 3 consecutive times, first team and second team All-Pro once each. Alexander was also an NFC champion in 2005 and 2 times NFC rushing leader. He was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2005 and was picked for the NFL Team of the 2000s. He also made it to the All-Star Seattle Seahawks team to celebrate the franchise’s 35th anniversary. During his time, the Seahawks also reached the playoffs for the first time since 2000 and also appeared in their first Super Bowl.
Injuries and the alleged “Madden Curse” were the major reasons for Shaun Alexander’s downfall and why he was eventually released by the Seahawks. But it was the way he performed for the team that brought the Seahawks their most sustained period of success after a long time and for that he will go down as one of the best to have worn the green, blue and grey of Seattle.
5. Walter Jones (1997-2009)
Walter Jones was an offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks and is considered among the best football players in his position. He attended the Holmes Community College and in his two years there, Jones was named the Mississippi Junior College Player of the Year and only allowed one sack the entire two seasons.
He was offered a football scholarship by the Florida State University soon after and he left Holmes for the Florida State Seminoles football team. In his last season, Jones played and started almost every game including the Sugar Bowl and only allowed one sack throughout that time. At the end of the season, Jones decided to skip his last year of college and present himself for the NFL draft.
Walter Jones was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round as their sixth overall draft pick. He quickly cemented his place in the first team and was considered instrumental in Seattle’s league high passing yards. A lot of Shaun Alexander’s success was credited to Walter Jones’s ineffable work rate and his skills as the top offensive tackle in the entire league.
He was the first offensive linesman in Seattle’s entire history to be selected for the Pro-Bowl, a feat he repeated a record nine times over his career. He was first team All-Pro six times and helped the Seahawks to the NFC championship in 2005. He was the NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year and was chosen in the NFL Team of the Decade for the 2000s as well.
He also made it to the Seahawks special all time best team that was picked to celebrate their 35th anniversary. His jersey number, 71, was retired making him one of three Seahawks players to receive this honor. He was inducted to the Football Hall of Fame in 2014 for his contributions to the game of football.
Walter Jones is a true Seahawks icon who gave all he had for his team. He played and started 180 games and did not miss even one till injuries forced him out. Even then he chose to retire than go to another team. He is widely considered to be the best offensive tackle in the history of the NFL. Numerous former and current players, along with coaches have referred to him as one of the best football players the world has ever seen.
These are the icons that make up our list of the 5 greatest Seattle Seahawks players of all time. Now let us hear what you have got to say about it.