A recap of the day’s activities:
Walter Jones. Remember him? Nine-time Pro Bowl selection? Six-time All-Pro? Most dominating left tackle in the game during the past decade?
Yeah, that Walter Jones. He did not play a snap this season after having microfracture surgery on his left knee last December. But Jones was at Qwest Field for Sunday’s season finale against the Tennessee Titans and in the locker room Monday, when the players packed their gear and headed out for the offseason.
Jones, who turns 36 this month, still wants to play a 14th season. But he made it clear that the decision is not solely his.
“It’s going to be the organization’s decision, no matter what – if I still can go out there and perform at a high level,” Jones said. “I understand the whole thing about my age and what I’m coming back from. All I can do is prepare, and do everything I can to get back on the football field.”
Jones has been in Orlando, Fla., continuing his rehab at an athletic compound.
“I had a chance to get away and do the things I needed to do to try to get back,” he said. “That’s the goal. The last time I talked, I said I was going to do everything possible to get back. I’m still on the road of trying to get back. Hopefully, I still can.”
Watching the team struggle through a 5-11 season has only made Jones want to come back more, he said.
“My knee feels great,” he said. “I’ve still got a long way to go with the knee. But from when I left here, my knee feels a lot better and I feel pretty good in the direction I’m going.”
And if that direction leads to the club going in another direction?
“If it comes down to that, I’ve had a great career,” Jones said. “The reality is, if it’s over, I can accept that.”
Asked to handicap the odds that he will play again, Jones offered, “I don’t know, man, I’m not a good golfer. I feel good about everything. It’s just still going to take time. It’s going to be a situation where I’ve got to be smart about everything, and they’ve got to be smart about everything. And I understand that.”
STATS ’N STUFF
The Seahawks finished No. 21 in offense (26th rushing, 15th passing) and No. 24 in defense (15th rushing, 30th passing). They also were minus-8 in takeaway-giveaway ratio to rank tied for 26th in the league.
The Seahawks ranked fourth in the league in average start (24.2-yard line) on kickoff coverage. The Seahawks allowed two 100-yard rushers, which tied for seventh in the league. The Cowboys did not allow a 100-yard rusher, while the Jets, Steelers, Falcons, Vikings and Eagles each allowed one.
Kicker Olindo Mare was third in the league in field goal percentage (.923, 24 of 26) and fifth in touchbacks on kickoffs (22). Punter Jon Ryan was seventh in the league in average (46.2) and 12th in net average (38.7).
Julius Jones led the team in rushing for the second consecutive season – with 663 rushing yards, 44 more than Justin Forsett and the lowest team-leading total since Curt Warner had 631 in 1989. T.J. Houshmandzadeh led the team in receptions (79) and receiving yards (911), while tight end John Carlson had a team-high seven touchdown catches.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne led the team in tackles (116), tied for the lead in interceptions (three) with strong safety Deon Grant and finished third in sacks (four) behind defensive ends Patrick Kerney (five) and Lawrence Jackson (4½).
Matt Hasselbeck threw a career-high 17 interceptions, including nine in the last three games, to rank sixth in the NFL behind the Bears’ Jay Cutler (26), the Jets’ Mark Sanchez and Lions’ Matthew Stafford (20 each) and the Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman and Panthers’ Jake Delhomme (18 each).
YOU DON’T SAY
“You’d have to ask the GM that. That’s a hard one. I’m going to be a GM one day, but not today.” – wide receiver Deion Branch, when asked how much roster turnover he expects when a new general manager is hired