In past years, we’ve asked you to weigh-in on the best selections by round in the NFL Draft for the Seahawks, and also to vote on the best draft choice in franchise history.
But which was the single best day in the draft for the Seahawks?
The idea for this poll was planted during a hallway conversation at Virginia Mason Athletic Center with one of the team’s scouts, as we discussed what the team was able to accomplish on the second day of the 2012 draft.
That’s when Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson were selected in the second and third rounds. If you’re not familiar with their contributions to the team going 11-5 during the regular season and winning the franchise’s first road playoff game since 1983, well, you probably have no business voting in this poll.
But as a not-so-subtle reminder: Wagner led the Seahawks’ No. 4-ranked defense in tackles and finished second in balloting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year; while Wilson tied the NFL rookie record by throwing 26 touchdown passes and finished third in voting for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
But was that the best single-day draft performance in club history? Here are three others to consider:
1990: The Seahawks began the day by trading up to the No. 3 spot in the first round with the Patriots to select defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who became the most-decorated defensive player in franchise history and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer. But before that first day was over, the Seahawks also had added linebacker Terry Wooden and strong safety Robert Blackmon (second round) and eventual Pro Bowl running back Chris Warren (fourth round).
2010: In the first draft under GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, in the first draft where it was expanded to three days and the first round only was conducted on the first day, the Seahawks selected Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung with the sixth pick overall and then added All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas with the 14th pick.
1997: The Seahawks also had two first-round picks this year, and used them to selected Pro Bowl cornerback Shawn Springs (third pick overall) and All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones (sixth pick). While Springs was a solid starter for seven seasons, Jones was voted to more Pro Bowls (nine) than any player in franchise history and already has had his No. 71 retired. The 1-2 punch of Springs and Jones also trumps the other two years when the team had two picks in the first round – 2000 (Shaun Alexander and Chris McIntosh) and 2001 (Koren Robinson and Steve Hutchinson).
But which one day was the best day? You make the call …
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb 6:
1983: Kenny Easley has nine tackles as the Seahawks’ lone AFC Pro Bowl representative in a game won by the NFC 20-19 as Danny White throws a TD pass to John Jefferson with 35 seconds remaining. This is the third of what will be five Pro Bowl berths for Easley.
1994: Eugene Robinson intercepts a pass and Chris Warren leads the AFC with 64 rushing yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 17-3. Cortez Kennedy also represents the Seahawks in the game and contributes two tackles.
1998: Pete Rodriguez agrees to become special teams coach on Dennis Erickson’s staff.
2000: Walter Jones, Cortez Kennedy (three tackles) and Chad Brown (two tackles on special teams) represent the Seahawks and AFC in the Pro Bowl, but the NFC wins 51-31.
2008: It is announced that assistant head coach/defensive backs Jim Mora will become head coach after the season, which will be the last of Mike Holmgren’s 10 seasons as head coach.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 5:
1995: Chris Warren runs for 127 yards and a touchdown as the AFC rushes for 400 yards – and averages 10 yards per carry – to win the Pro Bowl 41-13. Rick Tuten averages 40.3 yards on four punts. Cortez Kennedy (one tackle) also starts for the AFC.
2003: Ray Rhodes is named defensive coordinator on Mike Holmgren’s staff.
2006: Matt Hasselbeck passes for 273 yards and Shaun Alexander runs for 95 yards, but the Seahawks can’t overcome their own mistakes and some dubious calls by the officials in Detroit while dropping a 21-10 decision to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL – the franchise’s first appearance in the NFL title game.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 4:
1990: Dave Krieg completes 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 27-21. Jerry Gray, a cornerback for the Rams who would go on to coach the Seahawks’ defensive backs in 2010, is named MVP after returning an interception 51 yards for a TD and also registering seven tackles. Rufus Porter (two tackles) and Brian Blades (one reception) also represent the Seahawks in the game.
1996: Chris Warren leads the NFC with 43 rushing yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 20-13.
1998: Jim Johnson is named linebackers coach on Dennis Erickson’s staff. Johnson remains for only one season before becoming the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, but his impact on the Seahawks’ defense is apparent even after he leaves.
2010: First-year coach Pete Carroll announces his staff: Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator), Brian Schneider (special teams coordinator), Kippy Brown (wide receivers), Luke Butkus (quality control/offensive line), Dave Canales (quality control/offense), Chris Carlisle (head strength and conditioning), Jedd Fisch (quarterbacks), Mondray Gee (assistant strength and conditioning), Alex Gibbs (offensive line), Jerry Gray (defensive backs), Kris Richard (assistant defensive backs), Rocky Seto (quality control/defense), Sherman Smith (running backs), Jeff Ulbrich (assistant special teams), Art Valero (assistant offensive line) and Jamie Yancher (assistant strength and conditioning).
2012: Cortez Kennedy, in his seventh year of eligibility and fourth year as a finalist, is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1990s as a defensive tackle, Kennedy joins Steve Largent as the only career-long Seahawks player in the Hall.
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – The Seahawks have landed four players on the All-Pro team that is selected by the Associated Press, it was announced this morning.
There were two on offense – running back Marshawn Lynch and center Max Unger; and two on defense – cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas. This is the first time any of them have been selected All-Pro, but Lynch, Unger and Thomas were voted to the Pro Bowl last month.
Sherman received 39 of a possible 50 votes, while Thomas got 28, Lynch 24 and Unger 16.
The Seahawks are in Georgia for tomorrow’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Falcons in Atlanta.
The four-player contingent matches the largest in franchise history. In 2005, the season the Seahawks made their Super Bowl run, running back and league MVP Shaun Alexander, left guard Steve Hutchinson, left tackle Walter Jones and fullback Mack Strong made the All-Pro team. The 1984 team had three players selected – kicker Norm Johnson, nose tackle Joe Nash and strong safety Kenny Easley, with wide receiver Steve Largent and cornerback Dave Brown getting second-team honors.
“That is taking individuals and saying they are the best in the NFL at that position and that’s what I wanted to be,” Sherman said. “The Pro Bowl is taking three from each side, it’s more of a popularity contest. The All-Pro, you’re the best at your position. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fifth-rounder or fourth-rounder or undrafted. If you play the best, you’re All-Pro.”
Unger took the opposite view, saying that the Pro Bowl means more because the squad is selected by other players and coaches in the league – as opposed to the media members who vote on the All-Pro team.
“To have other players say you’re the best at your position, that really means something,” Unger said, and then added with a smile, “But being named All-Pro is pretty cool, too.”
Unger, Thomas and Sherman are the first players in franchise history at their positions to be named first team All-Pro. Lynch joins Alexander as the only running back to be named first-team All-Pro, and Alexander also made the second team in 2004. Curt Warner was a second-team selection three times (1983, 1986 and 1987), while Chris Warren got second-team status twice (1994 and 1995).
Jones holds the franchise record with four first-team selections (2001, 2004-05 and 2007), and he was a second-team pick in 2008. Defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and Easley were named to the first team three times – 1992-94 for Kennedy, who also was a second-team selection 1996; 1983-85 for Easley. Largent made the second team four times (1978-79, 1984 and 1987).
You can find the entire All-Pro team here.
A recap of the events at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 3:
Brandon Browner. The Seahawks’ right cornerback returned from his four-game suspension on Monday, practiced with the team for the first time in a month on Wednesday and today he fielded questions from the media at his cubicle in the locker room before practice.
“It’s really exciting,” Browner said. “I’m glad to be back out here with my team. Enjoying that.”
Browner returned to his offseason home in Southern California during his suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances.
“I couldn’t find it in myself working out here,” he said. “I wasn’t coming up here (to VMAC). So it was weird to go to some park here.”
But Browner did watch the four games he missed – a 58-0 romp over the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field; a 50-17 victory over the Bills in Toronto; a 42-13 win over the 49ers in Seattle; and last week’s 20-13 victory over the Rams, also at CenturyLink Field.
“It was fun,” he said with a smile, “because we were kicking everybody’s butt. I missed not playing with the guys, but it was awesome to watch.”
Browner has returned just in time to experience the NFL postseason for the first time, as the Seahawks are preparing for Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game against the Redskins at FedExField. He was on a Grey Cup-winning team with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 2008. But this is different because it’s the NFL.
“It’s very exciting,” Browner said. “That’s what you play for, to get to the playoffs and eventually, hopefully, the Super Bowl.”
And his thoughts on this latest first in his career that took a radical turn last year when he was signed to a future contract by the Seahawks in January, won the starting job during training camp and ended playing in the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement after leading the team with six interceptions and 23 passes defensed?
“You don’t know yet until the game comes,” Browner said of the playoffs. “But I think we have a good game plan going into this and it will be a good matchup. I’ve got confidence in my team and my ability.”
Is Browner ready after sitting out a month?
“Most definitely,” he said. “It starts in the head, and I’m mentally tough. I know I’ll be a little tired out there, but at the end of the day I’m fighting for a playoff victory. So I’ll be all right.”
To help with the physical preparation, Browner got some reps today with the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ offense, as well as working with the No. 1 defense.
“It always takes a little bit of time to get back into it – the one-on-one’s, the coverage concepts,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “But he’s taking extra reps to get back on that.
“The mental part of it is all there. But the physical part, he’s getting sharp again. He’s looked pretty good.”
ANOTHER DAY IN THE SUNSHINE
The players practiced outside for the second consecutive day. It will help prepare them for the game against the Redskins, because the temperature along Lake Washington was 46 degrees and the forecast for Sunday in Landover, Md., is calling for a high of 49 and a low 39.
London Fletcher. We also featured the Redskins’ inside linebacker yesterday, but that was from the perspective of Washington coach Mike Shanahan. Today, we get Michael Robinson’s take on Fletcher, who is 37 and in his 15th NFL season.
These two ran into each other last season at CenturyLink Field, and Robinson puts Fletcher in the same class as the other great inside and middle linebackers he faced a season ago and this season – the Ravens’ Ray Lewis, 49ers’ Patrick Willis and Bears’ Brian Urlacher. And that is saying a lot.
“We spoke at the Pro Bowl last year. Good guy. Got a lot of love for him,” Robinson offered. “The old adage about London, if you don’t block him he’ll make every tackle. He’s one of those guys, he has a lot of big hogs up front and it’s hard to get on him. And he will make, literally, every single tackle if you don’t block him.
“So it’s a big, big challenge for us.”
The official report, as issued by the team:
Did not practice
CB Jeremy Lane (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
An already encouraging injury report got even better today, when Lynch took part in all phases of practice after being limited on Wednesday – which has been his routine for much of the second half of the regular season. Lane was added to the list. He started the past three games for Browner.
For the Redskins:
Did not practice
CB Dominique Johnson (knee)
OG Kory Lichtensteiger (ankle)
Limited in practice
S DeJon Gomes (knee)
LB Lorenzo Alexander (shoulder)
DE Stephen Bowen (biceps)
QB Kirk Cousins (illness)
LB London Fletcher (ankle)
WR Pierre Garcon (foot)
QB Robert Griffin III (knee)
CB DeAngelo Hall (elbow)
LB Ryan Kerrigan (ankle)
C Will Montgomery (knee)
WR Josh Morgan (hand, foot)
S Jordan Pugh (ankle)
P Saverio Rocca (right knee)
S Madieu Williams (elbow)
Fletcher and Cousins practiced today after sitting out on Wednesday.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks and Redskins don’t play that often, but there have been some memorable events during the series that the Redskins lead 11-4 during the regular season and the Seahawks lead 2-0 during the postseason. Here’s a look at some of the games that standout, and why:
1976: Redskins 31, Seahawks 7. First road loss in franchise history
1980: Seahawks 14, Redskins 0. Second road shutout in franchise history
1983: Redskins 27, Seahawks 17. Steve Largent catches eight passes for 130 yards and two TDs
1989: Redskins 29, Seahawks 0. Steve Largent’s final game
1992: Redskins 16, Seahawks 3. Loss No. 6 in a club-record eight-game losing streak
1994: Seahawks 28, Redskins 7. Chris Warren goes “home” and runs for 100 yards and two TDs
1995: Seahawks 27, Redskins 20. Chris Warren goes “home” again and runs for 136 yards
1998: Seahawks 24, Redskins 14. Steve Broussard returns a kickoff 90 yards for a TD
2002: Redskins 14, Seahawks 3. Bruce Smith beats Walter Jones for two sacks
2005: Redskins 20, Seahawks 17. Last loss before a club-record 11-game winning streak
2005: Seahawks 20, Redskins 10. Win in divisional playoff game sends Seahawks to NFC title game
2007: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14. Win in Wild Card game sends Seahawks to divisional round
2008: Redskins 20, Seahawks 17. Loss No. 4 in six-game losing streak
2011: Redskins 23, Seahawks 17. Only loss in a six-game stretch
The team will fly to Baltimore on Friday after the players hold a midday practice. Saturday’s walk-through will be held in the D.C. area.
Remember: Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, so the game will start at 1:30 p.m. on the West Coast.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Great football teams don’t shy away from success. We’ve been waiting on these moments our whole entire lives. I know for me, as an example, I’ve been waiting for this my whole entire life. I think with our football team, we’re determined to be successful; we’re determined to be great. And that mindset of staying focused on the positive, staying focused on the great opportunities that you have, staying focused on the now – one opportunity at a time, one play at a time; that mentality of just competing with that, I think that’s where you’re successful more times than not.” – quarterback Russell Wilson when asked if he and his team were comfortable with the level of success they’ve achieved
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 20:
1981: Dave Krieg passes for three touchdowns, including two to Steve Largent, as the Seahawks close the season with a 42-21 win over the Browns at the Kingdome. Rookie safety Kenny Easley leads the defensive effort with two interceptions, returning one 82 yards for a score; and Greggory Johnson returns a Michael Jackson-forced fumble 31 yards for another score. Jackson also has 16 tackles and sack.
1985: In a Friday night game at the Kingdome, Norm Johnson hits the right upright on a 52-yard field goal on the final play as the Broncos win 27-24 behind a 432-yard passing performance by John Elway.
1986: In a Saturday afternoon game at the Kingdome, Curt Warner runs for 192 yards and three touchdowns and Dave Krieg throws two TD passes to Daryl Turner as the Seahawks close their season with a 41-16 victory over the Broncos. Steve Largent also catches six passes for 101 yards. The Seahawks finish with 10-6 record, including victories over both teams that advance to the Super Bowl (the Broncos and Giants), but do not make the playoffs.
1987: Curt Warner runs for two touchdowns, Dave Krieg passes for two more and John L. Williams catches eight passes for 117 yards in a 34-21 victory over the Walter Payton-led Bears in Chicago. Eugene Robinson leads the defensive effort with two interceptions and 11 tackles, while rookie Brian Bosworth has two fumble recoveries and a sack.
1992: Loss No. 13 in the Seahawks’ 2-14 season comes in Denver, as Gaston Green scores the only touchdown in the Broncos’ 10-6 win at Mile High Stadium. The defense intercepts John Elway three times and forces three fumbles, while Chris Warren runs for 97 yards in the loss.
1998: The Seahawks score 17 points in the final 10 minutes to pull out a 27-23 victory over the Colts at the Kingdome, as Ricky Watters has a 33-yard touchdown run, Shawn Springs returns a fumble 14 yards for a TD and Todd Peterson kicks a 30-yard field goal. Watters finishes with 178 rushing yards in Dennis Erickson final home game as coach of his hometown NFL team.
2009: The Buccaneers score 24 unanswered points in a 24-7 victory over the Seahawks in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck passes 29 yards to John Carlson for the Seahawks’ only points, but also throws four interceptions.
A look at some moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 19:
1982: The Patriots intercept four Jim Zorn passes and John Smith kicks three field goals in a 16-0 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome.
1993: Rick Mirer’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left gives the Seahawks the lead, but Greg Davis kicks a 55-yard field as time expires to tie the game and then a 41-yarder in overtime to give the Cardinals a 30-27 victory at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 168 yards, including a 45-yard TD.
1999: Glen Cadrez returns a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown in overtime to give the Broncos a 36-30 overtime victory over the Seahawks at Mile High Stadium. Ricky Watters runs for 115 yards and a touchdown and Jon Kitna passes for 278 yards and two TDs in rallying the Seahawks. But the Broncos compile 430 yards of offense and Ray Crockett has the fumble-forcing sack on Kitna that sets up the game-winning score.
2004: The Jets roll up 482 yards of offense, as Curtis Martin runs for 134 yards and two scores and Chad Pennington passes for three TDs, in rolling over the Seahawks 37-14 in The Meadowlands.
2010: Olindo Mare kicks a 38-yard field goal to tie the score at 10, but the Falcons then outscore the Seahawks 24-8 in taking a 34-18 victory in Seattle. The Babineaux brothers each have a big play, as the Falcons’ Jonathan recovers a fumble in the end zone and the Seahawks’ Jordan intercepts a pass.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 18:
1977: Jim Zorn throws a 15-yard touchdown pass to Steve Largent in the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks a 20-19 victory over the Browns at the Kingdome in their season finale.
1983: The Seahawks clinch their first playoff berth with a 24-6 victory over the Patriots in their regular-season finale at the Kingdome, and all three units contribute as Steve Largent catches seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, Dave Krieg passes for two TDs and Curt Warner runs for 116 yards; Jacob Green has three sacks and Kenny Easley and Dave Brown intercept passes; and Jeff West has five of his six punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
1988: The Seahawks win their first division title with a wild 43-37 victory over the Raiders in Los Angeles on the final Sunday of the regular season. The Seahawks jump to a 30-17 lead and hold on as Dave Krieg passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns, with Brian Blades catching four passes for 123 yards and two TDs and John L. Williams adds seven catches for 180 yards.
1994: Jeff Hostetler passes 77 yards to Tim Brown for a fourth-quarter touchdown as the Raiders take a 17-16 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 122 yards and the Seahawks’ only touchdown, while John Kasay kicks three field goals.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck throws second-half touchdown passes to Joe Jurevicius and Darrell Jackson as the Seahawks rally for a 28-24 victory over the Titans in Tennessee that is win No. 10 in their club-record 11-game winning streak. Shaun Alexander also runs for 172 yards and a TD.
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 17:
1978: Al Hunter runs for 133 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yarder, and Jim Zorn passes 57 yards to Steve Largent for another score as the Seahawks close their third season with a 23-19 victory over the Chiefs at the Kingdome.
1989: John L. Williams catches 12 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown and Norm Johnson kicks three field goals in a 23-17 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome.
1995: Chris Warren rushes for 105 yards and three touchdowns, Joey Galloway catches five passes for 108 yards, including a 43-yard TD, and Michael Sinclair leads the defensive effort with two sacks in a 44-10 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome.