October 8, 2010

Most Underrated Seahawk Ever?

When I talked about great running backs in Seahawks history a few days back, I left out John L. Williams (and a couple readers took appropriate umbrage at this slight). I didn't do this as an intentional snub or out of forgetfulness; I honestly just have never thought of JLW as a "running back" in the way that label applies to Warner, Warren, Watters, Alexander, etc. He was a punishing runner, a nimble receiver, and an excellent blocker. In short, he was one of the best football players, regardless of position, to ever suit up for Seattle. Look at his resume:

* 2-time Pro Bowler (1990, 1991)
* In 8 years in Seattle, he racked up 8730 yards from scrimmage. That's more than Curt Warner, Chris Warren, or Brian Blades. Only Largent and Shaun Alexander have more YFS in franchise history.
* He has the 3rd most receptions in team history, behind only Largent and Blades.
* He scored two of the most important touchdowns in Seahawks history; both were long catch and runs off the "middle screen." One was at Chicago in 1987, in a crucial win that got Seattle into the playoffs. The other was at L.A. in '88, to put the Seahawks ahead of the Raiders for good and clinch the NFC West crown (both are chronicled in the video above).
* He was also a highly effective blocker, allowing Curt Warner, Derrick Fenner and Chris Warren to all rack up big numbers on the ground from 86-93.

I would argue strongly that among pre-Holmgren-era Seahawks, he is the most deserving of a spot in the Ring of Honor, and I would get his throwback jersey custom-made if I had the means (the necessary means).

What do you think, sirs?

PS: Three years ago, PFR had a great Pro-JLW post of their own.


Ken said...

Had he not become a Steeler I would have agreed with you. I cannot forgive the sins of the steelers nor will I ever forget. However all Seahawks are underrated. Look at Shaun Alexander, dud puts up sick numbers for years and still people disrespect his game. Seahawks rule.

bleedshawkblue said...

Likely my all time favorite Hawk. Pity he had such a short career.

And Mack Strong, too.

I think the fullback position is becoming obsolete because nobody wants to play it. Not nearly enough glory.

I vote both of them for Ring of Honor.