March 29, 2008

Jones v. Hasselbeck

I'm conflicted on this one; These are two of my favorite Seahawks ever.. In fact, these are the two jerseys I'm most likely to wear on gamedays.

How much do I love Hass? I'm a crazy fucking lefty liberal asshole, and I completely overlook Beck's right-wing political beliefs (I do the same thing with Steve Largent)... Not only is he the best quarterback in Seahawks history (Sorry Dave Krieg), but he also comes across as a cool semi-normal guy. He also told Rodney Harrison that he "hit like a fucking fa***t." I don't condone the homophobia, but on the other hand, fuck Rodney Harrison in the ear. :-]

Check the stats:

-86.3 Career QB rating
-3 time pro-bowler
-It sure doesn't hurt that he just had the best single season for a QB in team history

There's a good amount of video on about Beck... Here's my faves:

-Sabol's Shot
-2007 highlights
-Holmgren & Hasselbeck
-Hasselbeck Super Bowl Ad
-Beck's video diary from 2007 training camp

Hass is my favorite player, but the BEST player, and in my opinion, the BEST PLAYER IN SEAHAWKS HISTORY, is Walter Jones. The P-I had a really good piece about why Big Walt should be Canton-bound recently... Here's a taste:

Following the Seahawks' Super Bowl run in 2005, one NFC scout called Jones "not just the most dominating player at his position, but the most dominating player at any position in the NFL."

As much as we all love Steve Largent, he was never a DOMINANT player, and he was probably never the best player in the NFL at his position. Walter Jones is the indispensable man: He is the one player MOST responsible for the current Seahawks golden age. Without him, Matt Hasselbeck isn't an all-pro. Without him, Shaun Alexander would not have had his great run of success in Seattle. Without his off-season commitment to pushing goddamn Escalades around, he wouldn't have maintained his spectacular level of play over more than a decade.

My heart says Hasselbeck, but my brain (EMPHATICALLY) says Big Walt.

What say you?


Anonymous said...

My young friend. As much as a Seahawk fan as you think you are, there is no Seahawk greater than Steve Largent, period. I saw every game he played, and he was the 7-11 of the NFL, always open. He was never shut down, and played on another type of offense.

The fact that there was no running game around him for most of his career takes away from some of what he did. He played against some of the best corners ever, and they couldn't cover him. He didn't have speed or size, but he was a magician.

Walter is great, Hass is great, Steve is just on another level.

It's not close, and you will see this when you have a vote of anyone else against Steve.

Matt and Walter are close, but Steve will do to them what he's doing to his buddy Jim right now in the voting.

Steve Largent is hands-down the best Seahawk who ever played.

DKSB said...

I saw Largent from 1983 on.. not exactly lean years for the guy, were they?

There's no shame in being 2nd best to Walter Jones, who is one of the greatest left tackles in the history of the sport. Except for Quarterback, left tackle is the most important position on the field, and the most difficult to master.

A wide reciever, no matter how great, is a complimentary player; He is dependent on others to get the ball in his hands (and that player, the QB, is dependent on the left tackle to protect his blind side).

Part the way I look at it is this: Walter Jones is on the same level as players like Anthony Munoz, Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, etc. You could argue that he is the best left tackle in NFL history.

Largent, while great, could not be included a serious debate about the greatest reciever of all time. Jerry Rice is the best to ever play that position, and there really isn't much need to discuss it beyond that.

Admitting that Largent isn't the greatest Seahawk ever doesn't mean I love him any less... As the player who gave the Hawks some sort of national identity in the early years, he'll always be the most IMPORTANT Seahawk, but that doesn't mean he can never be surpassed in skill and accomplishments by those who come after him.

Anonymous said...

Then we need to ask, what does it mean to be "The Greatest Seahawk? If you're asking who is the greatest athlete at any position to ever play for the Seahawks, then your arguments hold some weight.

However, if you want to know who was the "greatest" Seahawk, then you have no case.

Largent may not be as good of an athlete as those other guys (Rice, Jones, Beck) but he did much more with much less. He was a class guy every time he took the field. He was a student of the game, and had the best body control of anyone I ever saw play the game. Speed, strength, size? No. Body control, smarts, class? Yes. Open on every play, with any QB, against any DB. He memorized the moves of the DBs and had an answer for every one of them. If he could touch the ball, he could catch it. The DBs he faced were no slouches either. Guys like Lester Hayes.

Is Steve the best athlete to be a Seahawk? Of course not. Does any Seahawk since then have more heart, more desire and more smarts? No way.

He was the greatest Seahawk. You'll see that the fans agree with me. Your voting here is really just a exercise in the obvious. Steve will be voted number 1 by a wide margin.

DKSB said...

No, I'm not talking about "the greatest athlete." I'm talking about the greatest PLAYER. Yes, we know Largent achieved greatness with less-than-elite physical skills.... That doesn't automatically make him the best player in team history.

The main things I'm looking at are:

-Impact on team success
-Elite level of play over a sustained period
-Degree of difficulty considering the position played
-Comparison to NFL peers from the same era

Can we really say that Steve Largent was ever a dominant player? He led the NFL in recieving yardage twice, but other than that there is little evidence that he was a DOMINANT force at his position.

Largent's peak years were 1978-1986(only in 1982 did he fail to rack up 1000 yards recieving, but that was the strike-shortened season with only 9 games)... In that era, he was one of the best wide recievers in the NFL, but was he so overwhelmingly awesome that he led the team to a Super Bowl appearance? A division title?

As I said before, part of this for me is that left tackle is an indispensable position on the field, while wide reciever is a peripheral one. This is a crude measure, but one worth pointing out: The Seahawks had an overall losing record in the Largent era, with four playoff appearances and one AFC West title. In the Jones era, Seattle has a WINNING record overall, SIX playoff appearances, four division titles, and a trip to Super Bowl XL.

I also think that part of the problem is that Walter Jones' contributions cannot be directly measured by statistics. Think about this: Only TWICE in Big Walt's 11-year career have the Seahawks been in the bottom half of the NFL in scoring offense. Through that era, almost all the other players around him changed quite a bit, but he was the constant that helped the Seahawks keep putting a shitheap of points on the board.

DKSB said...

Anon also said this:

"Does any Seahawk since then have more heart, more desire and more smarts? No way."

I'm not here to question ANYTHING about Largent's career. He's in the Hall of Fame for a reason, and I think he's the 2nd greatest player in team history.

But aren't you, in effect, questioning Walter Jones' heart, desire and smarts? Like I said before, no position other than QB is tougher to play than left tackle. You have to be extremely intelligent to excel at that position, as well as athletically gifted. To play almost every game at that position over 11 years (and at an all-pro level), you need an almost super-human level of heart and desire.

Largent is beloved, but Big Walt can and should be revered for the same qualities of smarts, desire and heart.

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not questioning anything about Walter. He's one of the best ever, not only as a Seahawk, but as his position in the NFL.

It's just that Steve sets the bar so high. So does Walt.

I think one of the things that sets Steve apart is that he played for most of his career with a lot less talent than Walt has played with. His QBs weren't as good as Hass, his other WRs weren't as good.

You're point about an OL being hard to measure is valid as well, since the stats don't show up.

Still, from 1976 until he retired, Steve Largent was "Mr. Seahawk". He was the face of the franchise. His physical skills may not have been dominating, but he dominated everything that was Seahawk for over a decade. 30 years later people still wear his jerseys more than any other.

I love Walt, no question, and Hass and all the current guys. But the Seahawks were something different then, and Largent dominated whatever that was.

Anyway, these are cool things to talk about. Thanks for your site, even with the dick jokes ;)

I still think Largent will walk away with this contest. What is his margin of victory so far? Has any contest been close?

DKSB said...

Hell, even I have a Largent throwback jersey. I'd never dispute that he's "Mr. Seahawk," but that doesn't mean he's the best player in team history.

I'll put it this way: if you were able to have either player in his prime, which one would you rather have? I'd pick Walter Jones over Largent without a second thought.

Anonymous said...

Your point is legit, and given your question I'd take Jones as well.

However, this is just a hypothetical. In real life, we never had that choice. It's like asking me which is better, food or sex? I could then retort with the question, "which would you rather have on a deserted island", to which you'd probably respond "food".

Does that prove food is better than sex?

Probably not.

So really what it comes down to, when you ask me who was the greatest Seahawk, I think you're asking me which player can I not imagine the Seahawks without.

For me, that player is Largent. For me, he defines the 70s and 80s Seahawks.

Jones is at a disadvantage, just because he's an offensive lineman.

Does Jones define the common era Seahawks? Hard to say. What about Matt and Shaun?

For Largent, there really is no such competition (Krieg is a strong second, but still far behind).

Regardless, when it comes to who is the most popular player (which isn't really what you asked, but I think is ultimately how the vote will go) Largent will win, and I don't think it will be very close.

Anonymous said...

Largent never dominated?! Oh yes he did. Teams double-covered him, and he still ripped them for 7 catches and 150 yards and 2 td's! The guy got open even when teams knew it was coming his way, even when double covered. He was damn near perfect. Rice dropped many more passes, and in my opinion, never ran routes like Largent.


Largent made some of the most athletic, acrobatic catches I have ever seen. He never had near the opporutunities of players like Rice, but no one made so much with so little. The only decent WR Largent had backing him up were Blades and Paul Skansi. Rice had an entire team of high-paid stars to take the pressure off him. If you double-covered Rice, you had Craig or Taylor or someone else to worry about. Teams knew--double Largent, triple him if you have to, dont worry about anyone else.

Walter Jones WAS an All-Pro player, WAS the greatest lineman to play football. For about 6-8 years. Since '06, he has been merely adequate. The guy whiffed on so many blocks last season it was sad, and I TWICE saw him give up on making a block, lettig Hasselbeck get sacked. The guy had no business in the Pro Bowl.

Largent was the greatest wr in football history for 12 years! Unlike Rice, he BLOCKED too.

Anyway, there is no comparison. Jones is fading, and has been for two seasons. Largent was at the top for 12 out of 14 seasons. Jones will be in the Hall of Fame, as long as he can improve over the last couple seasons, but he's no Steve Largent.