Over the weekend, we asked you to select between six former players as the best in Seahawks history. We should have stopped at two.
Hall of Fame in-waiting left tackle Walter Jones (188) and Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent (157) combined for 345 of the 390 votes that had been cast by noon on Monday. Rather than simply declare Jones “the winner,” we’re opting for a two-player ballot – because the 45 votes garnered by Cortez Kennedy (18), Shaun Alexander (14) and Kenny Easley (13) are more than the gap that separates Jones and Largent; and also because this delicate and debatable question deserves more than 390 responses.
So here’s the re-vote – or Decision Deux, if you will – with two former teammates sharing their thoughts on Largent and Jones.
Will Lewis, former Seahawks cornerback and now VP of football operations, on Largent: “When I got to my first training camp (in 1980), the veterans weren’t there yet. Then the veterans show up and you hear the whispers about No. 80. Then you see him, and it’s not like he’s a big, overpowering figure. So I’m like, ‘I can run with this dude. He’s about my size.’ I’m looking at Largent and thinking, ‘He’s not that big. I know I’m faster than him. Why can’t I cover him?’ Then I tried to cover him and quickly realized that he could get vertically but also horizontally away from you at the same time. The crazy thing about it, he could come off the line and be looking one way, but the body is going the other way. The body control was just amazing. And then he had those strong ankles. He could just stick his foot in the ground and then be gone. You’d be breaking one way and he’d be breaking the other way, because he could make his cuts at full speed. It was enlightening. And I had a chance to see him every day for two years because I was always the nickel or dime corner with the first defense, so the No. 1 offense was always going against the young guys in practice. So we saw plenty of Steve Largent.”
Steve Hutchinson, former Seahawks left guard, on Jones: “We always tried to dissect Walt and figure out what made it work, because everybody wanted to do what he did. We called it our anthropological assessment, because Walt had a very long torso and short legs. So he had a very low center of gravity. It seemed like his legs move a mile a minute, like a duck underwater. He was so calm on top, but underneath is feet were going like crazy. Walt was the epitome of an offensive lineman. He didn’t get beat. He never talked. As an offensive lineman, it’s an unwritten rule where you don’t talk to the media; you don’t want to be the quote guy. Walt was all that stuff. When you think of offensive linemen – big, silent, strong – that was Walt.”
One was almost unstoppable; the other could stop the best pass rushers before they got started. One went to nine Pro Bowls (Jones); the other seven (Largent). One retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches; the other allowed 23 sacks in 5,703 pass plays. One started the most games in franchise history (Largent, 197); the other is No. 2 (Jones, 180).
But, we ask again: Which one is the best player in Seahawks history?