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
OFFENSE 
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.

DEFENSE 
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

SPECIALISTS
K Todd Peterson
P Rick Tuten
K/PR Steve Broussard  

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

OFFENSE
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

DEFENSE
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 

SPECIALISTS
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!

6 comments:

Laird of Madrona said...

WR Steve Largent
WR Brian Blades
WR Percy Harvin?

Mind of no mind said...

I think I'd take Joey Galloway over Darrell Jackson. I can see why it's tempting to not count Galloway as a Seahawk, since he only played 5 seasons (or 4 1/2 if you figure in his holdout) but he still played in more games for Seattle (71) than for any other team (Tampa is next with 66) had more production for Seattle than with any other team.

Jackson's career stats might be better overall (if you only count Seattle for both players), but Galloway was by far the more dominate player and actually is very similar to Harvin.

DKSB said...

I DO only count Seattle stats/accomplishments for this, and by that measure D-Jack easily outpaces Galloway. If I looked at careers as whole, it would be chaos... Jerry Rice would be on this list then, and that'd be DUMB.

Pat said...

Not a lot to argue with. I disagree about Steve Broussard, as I think Galloway(not used enough) and Bobby Joe Edmonds(did I get his name right?) were better kick returners. That said, Leon is the best we've ever had.
I objected to Howard Ballard and then realized I couldn't think of any RT's we've had other than him that haven't been at best serviceable and at worst an utter turnstile.

Mind of no mind said...

I would say putting Rice on Seattle would be dumb, because he was a shell of his former self when he was on the team. But that's not really a fair comparison, you have Hutchinson on the team who only started 1 more game for the Hawks than Galloway and played in 3 fewer games total. If you only count what they did in Seattle, I still take Galloway over Jackson.

Look at Galloway's stats and remember that his production came with 2 years of Rick Mirer and John Friez as his QB and 3 years of Dennis Erickson as his HC.

I guess I'm looking at the All-Time team as if I could put together the best team I could put on the field and then just imagine what they could accomplish together. I would certainly take 5 years of Galloway over 7 years of Jackson.

This All-Time team needs a deep threat and Galloway and his 4.21 forty was one of the best in the NFL. Also remember that Galloway was a rushing threat too with 45 carries for 378 yards and a TD.

Jackson was washed out of the league at the age of 30, and I would speculate that it was because he was more a product of Holmgren's system, and once he left that system he was exposed. Remember when he wrote "I want D.B. money." on his shoes? Look at his production that year and remember, rather than pay him, they traded him to a division rival for a 4th round draft pick, and then watched him fall off the map and out of the NFL 2 years and 17 starts later.

I would also note that if you have Galloway as your WR, there would be no reason at all to not have him returning punts. Looking at the stats Broussard never actually returned a punt in his career, Galloway returned 4 punts for touchdowns (team record) in 5 years with the Hawks.

Andrew said...

I think Leon Washington being cut after just three years with the Seahawks sort of removes him from the list now. I also think Bobby Joe Edmond had a greater Seattle legacy as a returner and was a Pro Bowler in a Seahawk uniform.

No Brian Bosworth? Hmpf.

I'll be interested to read what you have to say about turning your six year old into a Seahawk fan. I, too, live outside the geographic confines of the Pacific NW and wrestle with whether I should encourage my sons to also become Seahawk fans. Or, conversely, to allow them to be swayed by the local media and become, gasp, Redskins fans. They may choose to go with the Hawks anyway but would that just be to please me?