When it came time to vote for the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team, Joey Galloway finished a distant fifth in the balloting. Obviously, it wasn’t a footrace.
The speedy Galloway collected 941 votes – well behind Steve Largent (5,004), Brian Blades (3,487) and Bobby Engram (2,254), who made the team; and Darrell Jackson (1,388), who didn’t.
Maybe it was because Galloway spent only 4½ seasons with the Seahawks after being their first-round draft choice in 1995. Maybe it was because he helped orchestrate his way out of town by holding out until midway through the 1999 season.
But there was no denying Galloway’s big-play capabilities. Doing research for the story on the Seahawks’ 1995 season only rekindled – and reinforced – that fact. As a rookie, he broke an 86-yard touchdown run on a reverse off of a reverse; added a 59-yard TD catch; and capped it all with an 89-yard punt return for a TD. Galloway also became only the 10th rookie in NFL history (at the time) to surpass 1,000 receiving yards (1,039), and the first since 1986. He also set club rookie records for receptions (67), yards and 100-yard games (three).
Before Galloway called it a Seahawks career, he had added punt returns for touchdowns of 88 and 74 yards; TD catches of 81, 70, 65 and 53 yards; and also broke non-scoring runs of 51 and 44 yards.
With Galloway, it wasn’t all about his speed. But any discussion of his talent started with his speed.
As then-Jacksonville QB Steve Beuerlein put it after Galloway burned the Jaguars for three touchdowns during his rookie season: “Speed evokes fear and respect. A lot of times when you see a speed receiver, they’re kind of limited in what they can do as far as routes are concerned. They don’t have those good feet in terms of changing directions, making the cuts, making different routes work for them.
“Joey Galloway seems to have that combination of great feet and speed. That really scares a defense. As you saw, it can hurt you real quick.”
Galloway also kept on giving even after he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys on Feb. 12, 2000. Then-GM/coach Mike Holmgren got a pair of first-round draft choices for Galloway, picks that turned into Shaun Alexander (2000) and Koren Robinson (2001).