March 27, 2013

Dare To Be Stupid: My 1985 Seattle Seahawks Story

Younger Twelves won't remember this, but 2013 isn't the first time the Seattle Seahawks have gone into a season as Super Bowl favorites. In 1985, the Hawks were a trendy AFC pick to go to (and win) Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. Why? The team was coming off two straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the AFC Championship Game in 1983 and a 12-4 1984 campaign that included a playoff win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Raiders. Seattle arguably had the league's best defense in '84 (anchored by DPOY Kenny Easley), and they racked up a dozen regular season victories AFTER losing rookie sensation Curt Warner to a blown ACL on Kickoff Weekend. With the offense forced to rely more on the passing game, Dave Krieg responded with 32 touchdown passes and his first Pro Bowl selection. Yeah, they blew their chance at HFA by dropping their last two regular season games, but it was hard to be TOO upset at the '84s when they fell to the Dolphins at the apex of Dan Marino's career year.

The equation was simple: That 1984 Seahawks roster + a healthy Curt Warner = A Seattle football juggernaut. Not only did Playboy Magazine pick the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl, the team VOLUNTARILY made this in the months before the 1985 season:

That''s how things were done back in the 1980s, kids. Think you might be a championship team? Well, then you had to make an ABYSMAL music video. It was the style of the times, and so forth.

Obviously, the '85s fell far short of those stratospheric expectations. This is they story of how it all went wrong, and how a maddening, lost season unfortunately dovetailed with a rough time in my life to teach me some harsh lessons about stupid reality.

In 1985, I was 10 years old. I was going into the 5th grade, and I had two main obsessions: The Seattle Seahawks and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Back then, my wardrobe was centered upon two things- Either a Seahawks jersey or a Hawaiian shirt. That summer, the first record I bought with my own money (and yup, in '85 it was still vinyl) was Weird Al's third album: Dare To Be Stupid. I listened to that damn record NON-STOP for months, particularly the title track...

So there's the evidence for y'all- I was a HUGE fucking dork. I didn't have many friends, so I was particularly dependent upon the Seahawks to buttress my incredibly shaky self-esteem. After John Elway's breakout 1984 season, Broncos fans suddenly were popping up all over the Tri-Cities, and it felt like ALL of them were attending my elementary school. In my 10-year-old mind, the Hawks had to defend my honor, or it was going to be an intolerable year at Jason Lee Elementary for me.

That summer my family also moved out of the only house I had ever known, into a much smaller duplex on the same block. I didn't really comprehend the financial problems my family was having- All I knew was that it sucked that all seven of us were now crammed into a much smaller house. Even more than usual, Seahawks Sundays became moments of escapism. I still vividly recall watching the season opener at Cincinnati with my father at the duplex. My Mom and my sisters weren't around that day, so it was just my Dad and me. Seattle led 21-10 at halftime, only to fall behind in the 4th quarter- but a late Curt Warner TD sealed a 28-24 comeback win for the Hawks. Dad and I hugged and jumped and spun around... In a childhood largely barren of good memories of my father, that counted as a highlight.

The Hawks won another road game in Week 2 at San Diego. Dave Krieg and Dan Fouts got into a classic 80s shootout, with Fouts torching Seattle for 440 yards and four TDs. Mudbone might have "only" thrown for 307 yards that day, but five of his completions were TDs. Steve Largent had one of those scores, but Daryl Turner got the other four to pace Seattle to a 49-35 win at Jack Murphy Stadium.

(Fun Daryl Turner fact: While he only caught 34 passes in 1985, THIRTEEN of them went for touchdowns, and he averaged a ridiculous 19.7 yards per reception.)

After that, the '85s settled into their most aggravating pattern. For the entire season, they alternated two-game winning streaks with two-game losing streaks. My most crystal clear memories from 1985 are the heartbreaking losses... in OT at Denver... a late blown lead in NY against the Jets... by a TD at home against the eventual AFC Champion Patriots, and the perfect defeat to send us into the offseason with a hangover: a home loss to Denver where Seattle blew a 17-0 lead. If you'd like to torture yourself, here's the whole bloody affair.

So what happened? Mainly, the team just regressed to the mean. They went from a +24 turnover ratio in 1984 to a +3 ratio in '85. The offense dipped from 5th in football in '84 to 13th in '85, mainly because Warner didn't immediately bounce back from his ACL injury like he was Adrian Peterson (and it didn't help that Dave Krieg's passer rating dipped by seven points either). There were memorable individual efforts, though. Steve Largent had the best statistical season of his career, and was chosen to the All-Pro team. He also made this sick-ass catch:

On the defensive side, Jacob Green sacked enemy QBs 13.5 times and scored this incredibly entertaining touchdown... Damn! He could MOVE for a big guy.

The 1985 Seahawks represented my first truly bitter disappointment as a sports fan. After each loss, the dread I felt about going to school on Monday ratcheted up. Sunday nights after losses became intolerable dirges where I would sit awake in my bed imagining the crap I would get in class the next day. My only consolation was that the Broncos ALSO missed the playoffs in '85 despite finishing the campaign with an 11-5 record. If you want to know why I still hate John Elway, the roots are largely in 1985. That season was when the torment imposed upon me by Mr. Ed and his acolytes took on a pattern that would continue until I escaped to college. That horse-faced ass damn near ruined my childhood single-handedly.

But I survived 1985. I kept wearing my Seahawks jerseys and my Hawaiian shirts. I survived being a Weird Al-loving nerd (and I still love that curly-headed fuck... he's still cranking out hit records, by the way). I survived that year living in the duplex. I would survive not having a decent, healthy relationship with my father. I would survive a hundred other crises to get where I am today, both as a person and as a Seahawks fan: On the verge of cataclysmic change, on the edge of triumph that will change everything forever.

And to answer your question... No, 2013 won't be like 1985. NOTHING we've seen before has prepared us for 2013.

What do you think, sirs?

March 24, 2013

The Burden of Rising Expectations and the Seattle Seahawks

In a couple of weeks I'll give my son his big 7th birthday present: A Russell Wilson jersey. He's shown interest in the Seahawks for a while, and after taking him to a Columbus Blue Jackets game last week, I know he's got the "spazztacular sports fan" gene. The kid was LEADING "Let's Go Jackets" chants all night long, so I'm pretty sure that once I take him to a Seahawks game (perhaps at Indianapolis this fall), he'll become a Twelve for life (and my 3-year-old daughter already likes the Seahawks too, but I've got more time to work on her).

That's got me thinking about how different people's relationships with their teams can be based on the context of when/how they became fans, and/or on their experiences over years (or decades) of fandom. Since I have been a Seahawks (and Red Sox) fan since childhood, my experience rooting for them is enhanced both by my knowledge of their history and by decades of accumulated emotional attachment. My relationship to the Columbus Crew and Columbus Blue Jackets is different. It's just in the last year that I've started to embrace those teams fully, for two reasons: A) Going to those games became something I've been able to share with my girlfriend, which adds emotional resonance to my link with both teams and B) It's just within the past year or so that I've mentally accepted the idea that Columbus is "home" now. I'm not moving back to the the Pacific Northwest anytime soon, possibly ever. So my interest in rooting for the local teams (and deepening the connection I have to where I live) has skyrocketed lately. I may grow to love these teams as much as I love the Hawks or Red Sox, but since I've come to them later in life, the foundation of that fandom may never be as strong. For example, when the Crew won the MLS Cup, not only was I not really a fan yet- I was living in Illinois. So while I KNOW they won a championship, it doesn't mean that much to me, because I didn't experience it.

There will also be differences between my Seahawks fandom and my son's. He'll enjoy the coming Golden Age of Seahawks Football with emotional purity. Sure, the losses will hurt, but he's catching the crest of the wave. I fully expect he'll get to see his team win a Super Bowl before his 10th birthday, and he'll grow up in a world where being a Seahawks fan will be commonplace from Bellingham to Bangor. His fandom will be born in an era where the Seahawks join the NFL's elite, and he won't be burdened by decades of trauma inflicted by mediocre football. Of course I'll teach him our team's history, but for him it will be just that: History.

Unfortunately, I'm NOT blissfully unaware of our franchise's aggravating past. Each new development of this offseason has filled me with equal parts pride and bliss. We got Percy Harvin? We got Cliff Avril? Wait, we ALSO got Michael Bennett? I'm in the middle of a long stretch of saying "Woooo! Fuck Yeah!" in my mind whenever I think of my Seahawks. We're on top of ESPN's NFL Power Rankings, Vegas loves us, and we're sure to be the "trendy" Super Bowl pick this summer. I'm not worried about the attention/hype "jinxing" us, and I'm not worried about the team itself believing their press clippings and falling short due to arrogance.

I am, however, worried about my own sanity.

Thirty years of mediocrity has had a curious effect on me: I'm very used to simply being happy/excited if the Seahawks enter the last few weeks of the season with a chance to make the playoffs, and I've become an EXPERT at convincing myself that "if we can just sneak in the playoffs, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN." I have NO idea how to mentally deal with the huge coming shift in expectations- If we enter the last couple weeks of the 2013 season struggling to just get in the playoffs, I'll end up curled up under a desk sucking my thumb and peeing in my pants.

There are two major principles that SHOULD chill us out, but I really don't think they'll work in the heat of the moment.

1. We all seem to think the Seahawks need to get the NFC #1 seed to get to the Super Bowl, but they don't. So many recent Super Bowl winners have been lower seeds with records in the 10-6 range that it ISN'T apocalyptic if Seattle fails to win HFA or even the NFC West. 

2. This team is so talented and young throughout the roster that they are only at the very beginning of a LONG championship window. Barring some series of devastating injuries and/or spectacular front office fuck-ups, the Seahawks will be a formidable Super Bowl contender for at least five years. 

Yeah, I just wrote that, but I really don't think any of it will stem my anxiety next fall. I'd love to lie to you (and myself) and say that I'll be able to "relax and enjoy the ride," but with a World Championship so plausibly at hand, every game will take on a cataclysmic atmosphere. The probable opener at San Francisco won't feel like a Week 1 game- It will feel like the NFC Championship Game, and no matter how much we try to downplay the stakes of that dust-up, a loss would be mentally crushing to Twelves. Every loss (hopefully there will be very few of them) will get substantial national media coverage. There will be nowhere to hide.

I probably should print out those two points I made above and paste them on my bathroom mirror like some sort of twisted daily affirmation. Since I don't have any real preparation for dealing with the Seahawks being "favorites," I expect this season to be more torturous than enjoyable. I'm already a wreck on game days. This fall, I'll probably need to have a stash of air sickness bags close at hand for three hours every Sunday. Shit, I cried after the Bears tied that game last December, and I was a blubbering, spent wreck after we scored in OT to win- I almost fainted in the computer lab I had to watch that game in. 2013? This might the season that finally fucking kills me.

I'll admit right now that it will be worth it. We WILL be champions. But my gut tells me that getting there won't be as much fun as I'd hope it would be, and it will be due to my own panoply of mental afflictions. I'm deeply jealous of my son's childish ability to JUST ENJOY this. I knew what that was like when I was eight, and I blissfully enjoyed that magical playoff run of 1983, unburdened. To paraphrase Lisa Simpson, when it comes to being a Seahawks fan, as knowledge and experience go up, happiness goes down.

This is almost certainly one of those things I'm thinking WAY too hard about. How do you think YOU'LL cope with this seismic shift in expectations for our Seahawks?

March 21, 2013

Queuing Up For The Seahawks Ring of Honor

Matt Hasselbeck's release by the Tennessee Titans earlier this week unleashed a new round of discussion about his place in Seahawks history (and seemed to confirm what I wrote two years ago when he left Seattle). Beck's quick move to back up Andrew Luck in Indianapolis tabled that subject for at least another year, but the fact remains that I have held on to my old Hasselbeck replica jersey for one very practical reason: I intend to wear it at Seahawks Stadium the day he's inducted into the Ring of Honor.

In terms of honoring exceptional figures in Seahawks history, there's a clear caste system at work. Are you in the Hall of Fame (or just waiting to go in on the first ballot like Walter Jones)? You get your number retired. Were you a fairly memorable player that the fans have fond recollections of? You get to raise the 12th Man Flag. In between First Class and Coach is the Ring of Honor- A higher honor than simply raising the flag for great players who weren't quite great enough to remove a number from the active roster.

Right now there are ten men in the Seahawks Ring of Honor (Soon to be eleven- Hard to see this weird "Walter Jones has his number retired but he's not in the Ring of Honor" situation dragging on much longer). They are:

Dave Brown, cornerback (1976-1986), inducted 1992
Kenny Easley, safety (1981-1987), inducted 2002
Jacob Green, defensive end (1980-1991), inducted 1995
Pete Gross, (1976-1992), play-by-play radio announcer, inducted 1992
Cortez Kennedy, defensive tackle (1990-2000), inducted 2006
Chuck Knox, head coach (1983-1991), inducted 2005
Dave Krieg, quarterback (1980-1991), inducted 2004
Steve Largent, wide receiver (1976-1989), inducted 1989
Curt Warner, running back (1983-1989), inducted 1994
Jim Zorn, quarterback (1976-1984), inducted 2001

A few things jump out about that list. First, it's almost entirely players from the 70s and 80s. There's only one player from "The Forgotten Years" (Tez), and no one yet from the Holmgren Era. Also, there hasn't been a player inducted since Tez in 2006. Yes, Big Walt will be next, and soon... But it's been a while. It's time to put some more names on the facade of Seahawks Stadium's upper deck.

But not TOO many more names. Being inducted into the Ring of Honor still needs to be something special, so let's say we add Walter Jones and nine more guys. That gets us to 20 total, and assuming you want to leave space for four current Hawks, that gives us five slots to fill. Here's who I think they should be, in the order they should see their names added to the Ring of Honor.

1. Matt Hasselbeck 
Jones should get in the Ring of Honor this year or next, and Matthew should follow Big Walt the year after he retires from the NFL. I'm an unabashed Beck fanboy, and I've written many paeans to his greatness. Here's a good snippet:

There is no real debate about his status as the best QB in team history- No QB has won more games for the Seahawks, led the team to more playoff wins and divisional titles, completed more passes or thrown for more yards than Hasselbeck (Yes, Dave Krieg's rating is a tenth of a point higher than Hasselbeck's, and he threw for more TDs, but on balance even a Krieg worshipper like me has to give Beck the nod here). He played through injuries, and while he always had that tendency to make rookie mistakes, he also played with an amount of passion I wish all 53 guys on the roster also possessed.

Beyond his status in Seahawks history, he has a legitimate claim to being one of the NFL's best QBs over the past decade- Is he a Hall of Famer? No. Is he on the same level as Brady-Manning-Rodgers-Brees? No. But his body of work is that of a very good, near-elite quarterback. If you look at some of the players Hasselbeck is "similar" to on Pro Football Reference, you'll see names like Archie Manning, Neil Lomax, Danny White, etc- and that's about right- All these guys, like Hasselbeck, were very good QBs who at times looked elite, but could never QUITE get their team all the way to a championship. 

Hasselbeck isn't a (mostly) beloved figure among Twelves simply because of his on-field accomplishments, though. He has always been entertaining, engaging, and relatable off the field (I truly think he can be a great broadcaster if he wanted to do that after he retires); I also think part of the reason I like him so much is that unlike a lot of NFL QBs, he comes off not as an alpha-male jock but as, frankly, a bit of a dork. To me at least, that's a very endearing quality. He also put down deep roots in the Seattle area, and has been extremely active in the community. That all adds up to make him one of the most popular Seahawks ever, in addition to one of the best. 

Where does he rank? I'd put him down as the 5th greatest Seahawk, behind Walter Jones, Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, and Kenny Easley. No matter what happens between today and his eventual retirement, he should SWIFTLY join the Seahawks Ring of Honor once leaves the game. One of the hundreds of reasons I am still so embittered about XL is the impact it had on Hasselbeck's legacy. If the officials had not incompetently tipped the scales in Pittsburgh's favor, Matt Hasselbeck would probably have a Super Bowl title and a Super Bowl MVP award on his resume- Those things rocket him from "very good quarterback" to "borderline Hall of Famer."

2. Shaun Alexander
This is where I expect to get some blowback from other Twelves. I'm continually stunned by the number of Seahawks fans who couldn't stand the most dangerous offensive weapon in franchise history (yes, even more than Largent). Let's look at the man's resume one more time:

-2005 NFL MVP (including 28 touchdowns and 1880 rushing yards)
-112 career touchdowns (#1 in Seahawks history; #14 in NFL history)
-9,429 career rushing yards (#1 in Seahawks history)
-Without him, we would still be part of the pathetic fraternity of teams who have never been to a Super Bowl. It's nice to hold something over the Lions, Browns, Texans, and Jaguars.

If that's not Ring of Honor-worthy, what the fuck IS? Yeah, you might not have loved his running style- But if he's not in the Ring of Honor eventually, the whole damn thing is a joke.

3. Mike Holmgren
If Holmgren was already OOF (out of football), he'd be in line right after Walter Jones. He'll have to wait to get in the RoH for the same reason Bill Parcells waited so long to get into Canton: No one is sure when he'll actually retire. But Holmgren's Ring of Honor case is very strong.

In ten years under Holmgren, the Seahawks went 90-80 (including the playoffs). In addition to the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, on Holmgren's watch the Hawks accumulated 5 of their 7 divisional titles, 6 of their 12 playoff appearances, and 4 of their 9 playoff victories. At the moment, he is CLEARLY the greatest coach in team history, and a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame- If not for the incompetence of Bill Leavy and Company, he'd probably be the only head coach in NFL history to lead two different teams to Super Bowl victories.

Outside of the Pacific Northwest, Holmgren is remembered for his time with the Packers, but he actually coached (and won) more games with Seattle. In addition, while he's unquestionably the #1 coach in Seahawks history, he's at best #2 behind Lombardi in Packers lore (and might fall to 3rd by the time Mike McCarthy retires). Without his successful run in Seattle, Holmgren wouldn't be the sure-fire Hall-of-Famer he is today.

4. John L. Williams
How is JLW not in the Ring of Honor ALREADY? 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 Steve 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 below).
-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.

5. Mack Strong
Mack Strong's career started in those dark days of the '90s, but he got to taste the glory of the Homlgren years as well. In 2005, he was named all-pro (and got one of his two Pro Bowl selections) and turned in the defining play of his career: a huge 3rd down conversion to seal a victory over the Redskins in the divisional playoffs. The Seahawks hadn't won a playoff game in 21 seasons, and DC put up enough of a fight to make things tense for all 60 minutes. The Hawks faced a 3rd down in the 4th quarter nursing a 17-10 lead, and Mack Strong tore off 38 yards on a draw play to set up Josh Brown's game-icing FG.

The most impressive thing about his career? He led the way for 10 different individual 1000-yard rushing efforts, and was crucial to sustaining Seattle's ground attack whether he was blocking for Chris Warren, Ricky Watters or Shaun Alexander.

What do you think, sirs? Am I missing anyone really obvious?

March 10, 2013

The Seahawks 2023 "All-Time" Team (w/Post-Percy Harvin Trade Update)

My six-year-old son is becoming a little junior Twelve (and I'll probably write up another post solely about that soon), and the knowledge that Russell Wilson will be to him who Steve Largent was to me got me thinking: Which current Seahawks will, ten years from now, be considered part of the franchise's "All-Time" team? I'm excited to hear all your arguments for what I got wrong here (and revisit this post again in a few years to see how my projections panned out). First, my version of our "All-Time" team. Eleven offensive players, eleven defensive players, and three specialists. For the purposes of this exercise, no players on the current roster are on this "All-Time" team.

2013 All-Time Seahawks
QB Matt Hasselbeck
RB Shaun Alexander 
FB Mack Strong *
WR Steve Largent 
WR Brian Blades 
WR Darrell Jackson **
T Walter Jones 
G Steve Hutchinson 
C Robbie Tobeck 
G Bryan Millard
T Howard Ballard

*Choosing Mack Strong over John L. Williams was an INCREDIBLY tough call.
**I chose to go with a 3-wideout set because we've never had a Tight End worthy of the All-Time team.

DE Jacob Green 
DT Cortez Kennedy 
DT Joe Nash 
DE Michael Sinclair
OLB Chad Brown
MLB Lofa Tatupu 
OLB Rufus Porter 
FS Eugene Robinson 
SS Kenny Easley 
CB Dave Brown 
CB Shawn Springs

K Todd Peterson
P Rick Tuten
K/PR Steve Broussard  

Got it? Here's what I project for the 2023 All-Time team:

QB Russell Wilson 
RB Shaun Alexander
FB Mack Strong
WR Steve Largent
WR Brian Blades
WR Darrell Jackson 
T Walter Jones
G Steve Hutchinson
C Max Unger 
G Bryan Millard
T Howard Ballard

DE Jacob Green
DT Cortez Kennedy
DT Joe Nash
DE Michael Sinclair
OLB Chad Brown
MLB Bobby Wagner
OLB Rufus Porter
FS Earl Thomas
SS Kenny Easley
CB Dave Brown
CB Richard Sherman 

K Todd Peterson
P Jon Ryan 
K/PR Leon Washington 

The Explanations:

Russell Wilson replaces Matt Hasselbeck
It would be perfectly reasonable for anyone to object to this choice. If I were doing this 20 years ago, I probably would have projected Rick Mirer to replace Dave Krieg as the best Seattle QB of all time, after Mirer had an encouraging rookie campaign. However, the only attribute Mirer and Wilson share is a jersey number. Wilson's attitude, leadership skills, and athletic gifts make it entirely plausible that he'll surpass Hasselbeck's impressive Seahawks accomplishments. Barring a serious career-altering injury, Wilson should easily best Hasselbeck in terms of team success and most statistical measures by 2023.

Max Unger replaces Robbie Tobeck 
After Unger's well-deserved All-Pro selection in recognition of his stellar 4th NFL campaign, it makes sense to project that his Seattle body of work will eventually surpass what Tobeck accomplished over seven years in a Hawks uniform. Unger also doesn't benefit from playing alongside Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson, with all due respect to Tobeck.

Bobby Wagner replaces Lofa Tatupu
Tatupu's career started off with a flourish (and three Pro Bowl trips), but the brutal truth is that is level of play plummeted in his last three years with the Seahawks. Like Tatupu, Wagner SHOULD have been named Defensive Rookie of the Year- But Lofa never had a year quite like Wagner's 140-tackle 2012 campaign. Yes, injuries could derail Wagner like they did to Tatupu. But barring that, Wags trumping Tatupu's resume seems like a safe bet.

Earl Thomas replaces Eugene Robinson
Fun fact: I met Eugene Robinson at a church youth group function back in High School (I was just there trying to meet girls- If I'm wrong, and there is a God, I'm screwed). He was a really cool guy, and he told us that Jim Kelly, NOT Elway or Marino, was the QB that he hated facing the most. Interesting, huh? His Seattle legacy is secure (no need to dwell on what happened on that Super Bowl Eve when he was with the Falcons), but his career wasn't Canton-worthy. Earl Thomas is on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory, with three stand-out seasons (including two Pro Bowls and an All-Pro selection) at the ridiculously young age of 23. He's the leader of an elite defense, and unless he leaves Seattle (he won't) he'll nail down a spot in the Ring of Honor within the next five years.

Richard Sherman replaces Shawn Springs 
Strip away all of the distractions and bluster, and Richard Sherman is still the best defensive back in the NFL today. Even at his early-career peak, Springs never approached the shut-down dominance that Sherm showed in 2012. This was an EASY call.

Jon Ryan replaces Rick Tuten, Leon Washington over Steve Broussard 
For our all-time punter, another easy call- Ryan is already the best punter in franchise history by a comfortable margin. Broussard was an excellent kick returner during the Erickson years, but Leon: The Professional has been an effective punt return man when called upon as well. Washington also has scored more touchdowns on kick returns than Broussard did in his Seattle years, so Leon bumps the Wazzu legend Broussard.

Wait, what about....?

Marshawn Lynch?
I love Beast Mode, but it seems that people forget the ridiculous numbers Shaun Alexander racked up during his Seattle career. Lynch is still a full 6,000+ yards and 71 TDs behind Alexander. Does ANYONE think Marshawn has FOUR more years like 2012 in him, and in a Seahawks uniform? I don't. Alexander hangs onto his spot.

No WRs?
I seriously considered Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate AND Sidney Rice to take Darrell Jackson's spot, but given Pete Carroll's run-heavy offense (and Wilson's intent/ability to spread targets around) I'm dubious about ANY current Seattle WR racking up career numbers better than D-Jack's (441 catches for 6,445 yards and 47 TDs).

Update after Harvin trade: It's very tempting to slide newly-acquired Percy Harvin in there to replace D-Jack or Blades. I think he's a GREAT addition to our offense, he's only 24, and he's not just a game-changing WR. He's also an explosive kick returner. However, he hasn't played a game in a Seahawks uniform yet, and at this point everything he'll do in a Seattle uni is theoretical (Just ask Nate Odomes). The basic principles I mentioned above still apply: We still use a run-first offense that spreads the ball around to a lot of different targets. Beyond that, Harvin hasn't yet played 16 games in any season. I hope I'm wrong and Harvin's overall Seattle production will exceed D-Jack's (or even Blades'), but for now I'll be conservative for once and keep my WRs as-is. 

But in a more immediate sense: FUCK YEAH! WE GOT PERCY HARVIN!!!!!

What do you think sirs? Let's hash this out in the comments!