Remember when we asked for your input on who should join Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones on a Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore? Yeah, we’d almost forgotten, too.
But the readers of Seahawks.com have spoken – or voted – and the winner is …
Matt Hasselbeck. The only quarterback to lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl, as well as the franchise’s career leader in completions and passing yards, garnered 28.6 percent of the votes. Hasselbeck also won 69 games, one less than Dave Krieg.
Also getting more than 20 percent of the votes were strong safety Kenny Easley (20.9), the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984; and running back Shaun Alexander (20.5), the franchise’s all-time leader rusher and the only Seahawk to be voted league MVP (in 2005).
Rounding out the votes were coaches Mike Holmgren (15 percent) and Chuck Knox (6.4) and all-time sack leader Jacob Green (8.5).
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 11 during the second day of the Seahawks’ three-day rookie minicamp:
Chris Harper. When it comes to a show of hands, the Seahawks’ fourth-round draft choice is showing great hands.
It was after Friday’s first practice that coach Pete Carroll offered, “Chris caught to ball beautifully. He really has great hands.”
Harper felt he played even better in the second practice.
“It went way better today than yesterday,” he said. “Yesterday, you just kind of didn’t know what to expect and just didn’t get into the flow and the pace because this is a lot different pace than what you’re used to in college.”
Better yet, receivers coach Kippy Brown agreed with the assessments made by Carroll and Harper.
“Chris has really strong hands and for a big guy he’s very athletic,” Brown said. “It’s just a matter of him learning. We’ve thrown a lot at these guys in two days’ time. I’m sure their heads are swimming. My head was swimming when I first got here.
“But he’s studying hard and he’s getting it. As he gets more comfortable with it, he’ll play faster and that’s what we’re looking for.”
For Harper, it continues to be an exercise in working on his transition game. He was, after all, originally a quarterback at the University of Oregon before switching positions and schools (to Kansas State).
“I’ve still got a long ways to go,” he said. “I’ve only been playing wide receiver for almost three years now, so I can learn from everybody.”
If today’s practice was any indication, things are progressing nicely. The highlight of Harper’s day was his over-the-shoulder catch of a pass from Jerrod Johnson after he had gotten behind cornerback O’Hara Fluellen. But Harper also worked himself free to make other catches, and when he wasn’t open he used his 234-pound body to make himself open.
“The fact that he’s 230-something pounds is what we liked,” Carroll said.
Asked about his bulk, Harper offered, “It helps me a lot, because DBs aren’t used to seeing guys that are like 230 playing receiver. So it gives me an advantage, as far as at the point of attack when the ball is in the air. When they want to get into pushing matches, I’ll usually come out on top of those.”
TRYING TO CATCH ON
Justin Veltung. The receiver/returner from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School is one of the three dozen players at this camp on a tryout basis. And Veltung is making the most of the opportunity.
He was one of the players the Seahawks had in for a pre-draft visit. Veltung showed enough that they invited him back for this camp.
“He’s a smart guy and he knows what to do,” Brown said. “He doesn’t make very many mistakes and so far he’s been real reliable catching the football. So we’ll see.”
Veltung began his second practice by making a nice falling catching of a pass that looked to be beyond his reach. But before it was over he also had worked his way around a defender to catch a pass on the sideline; caught another pass in traffic over the middle; and reached back while in full stride to grab yet another.
As Veltung was making that last catch, The Heavy’s “How You Like Me Now?” was blaring from the speakers along the sideline. Talk about right on cue.
CALLING PETER NGUYEN
Peter Nguyen, a 5-foot-7, 179-pound running back from Bellevue High School and the University of Montana, was added to the list of tryout players today.
Another back was needed because Darrell Scott, another tryout player, injured himself in the first drill on Friday.
THE SKINNY ON SCRUGGS
Second-year defensive lineman Greg Scruggs had surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right knee. A seventh-round draft choice last year, Scruggs was injured during a workout in the veterans’ offseason program.
“He stumbled coming out of a bag drill … tried to catch himself and hyperextended his knee,” Carroll said. “It was just a drill by himself and it’s unfortunate that he hit just exactly wrong.”
Scruggs had two sacks among his six tackles as a rookie, when he played in 11 games.
“He’ll come back quickly from this, but it’s still a long haul for him,” Carroll said.
GIANTS ADD SOME CURRY TO THE MIX
Aaron Curry has found a new NFL home. Another new NFL home.
The former Seahawks’ linebacker and fourth pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft has signed with the Giants, and ESPNNewYork.com has the details.
Curry started 12 games as a rookie and 16 in 2010 for the Seahawks. But he lost the starting job on the strong side to K.J. Wright in 2011 and was traded to the Raiders for a seventh-round draft choice in 2012 and a fifth-round pick in 2013 – which the Seahawks used to select guard J.R. Sweezy (last year) cornerback Tharold Simon (this year).
Curry played in 11 games for the Raiders in 2011 and two games last season before being waived in November.
“We think we have a good opportunity for him to see if he can re-invent himself a little bit and bring something to our linebacking corps,” Giants GM Jerry Reese said. “If he didn’t work out well for us, we wouldn’t be fooling around with this.
“He’s the fourth pick in the draft a few years ago. Obviously, we think he has some talent. We had him graded high back then. We will see what happens.”
MT. RUSHMORE UPDATE
This camp is all about the present, and hopefully future, for the rookies in attendance. But let’s take a moment to revisit the past.
Last week, we asked you to vote on who should be the fourth “head” on a Seahawks Mt. Rushmore, joining Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones. So far, Matt Hasselbeck is leading with 28 percent of the votes, followed by Shaun Alexander (20.9), Kenny Easley (20), Mike Holmgren (15.9), Jacob Green (8.7) and Chuck Knox (6.6).
It’s not too late to cast your vote.
The rookie minicamp will conclude Sunday with a morning practice. Monday, the veterans return to begin the final week in Phase 2 of their offseason program.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s pretty similar, minus the music. I don’t think coach (Nick) Saban would like that.” – defensive tackle Jesse Williams, when asked about the pace of these practices compared to those at Alabama
The folks at Pro Football Talk will launch a 32-part series next month that features a Mt. Rushmore for each of the NFL teams, and they’ll eventually be asking for reader input on the Seahawks.
Why wait for them to get around to the Seahawks?
The first three faces for the Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore are slam-dunk selections. As with most things Seahawks, the best place to start is with Steve Largent. He was not only the first career-long member of the team to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (in 1995), but when Largent retired after the 1989 season he held the NFL career records for receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089) and touchdown catches (100).
No other player in franchise history can come close to making such a claim. Then there is this trifecta of facts: He was the first player to have his uniform number (80) retired; the first inductee into the team’s Ring of Honor (1989); and each season since 1989 the Steve Largent Award has been presented to the person “who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks.”
The other obvious Rushmore-worthy players are defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who joined Largent in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and is the most-decorated defensive player in franchise history; and left tackle Walter Jones, who was voted to a franchise-record nine Pro Bowls, selected the best player in the NFL in 2006 by The Sporting News and should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2015.
But who should join this impressive trio as the fourth cornerstone in franchise history – and fourth face on the Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore? You make the call (from this list that was compiled with a little help from a friend):
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 27:
1982: Jeff Bryant is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Bryant would team with fellow defensive end Jacob Green and nose tackle Joe Nash to form what they called “The Diehard.” Why? “Because we always start,” Green explained. And that they did, from 1983 through 1989. In 1990, after selecting tackle Cortez Kennedy in the first round of the draft, coach Chuck Knox switched to a four-man defensive line and Bryant eventually became the only player in franchise history to start at all four spots.
2012: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (second round) and quarterback Russell Wilson (third round) are selected in the NFL Draft. Wagner would lead the team in tackles and finish second in voting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Wilson not only became the starter, he threw 26 touchdown passes to tie the league’s rookie record that was set by Peyton Manning in 1998, finished third in voting for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and played in the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 26:
1983: Curt Warner is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft to provide the legs for new coach Chuck Knox’s “Ground Chuck” offense. The Seahawks trade their first-, second- and third-round picks to the Oilers to move into the third spot so they could select the Penn State running back. Warner rushed for 1,449 yards and 13 touchdowns as a rookie and finished his seven-season stay in Seattle with 6,705 rushing yards, 55 rushing TDs and three Pro Bowl berths.
2003: Marcus Trufant is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, thanks to an assist from former Seahawks tight end and then-Vikings coach Mike Tice. When the Vikings let their time elapse before making a selection at No. 9, the Seahawks jumped in and grabbed the former Washington State cornerback with the 11th pick overall. Trufant, who is now an unrestricted free agent, started 125 games over the next 10 seasons; was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007; and named to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
2008: Lawrence Jackson is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, which also delivered tight end John Carlson (second round) and defensive lineman Red Bryant (fourth round). Jackson, a defensive end from USC, started 24 games in two seasons before being traded to the Lions.
2012: Pass-rushing defensive end Bruce Irvin is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, with the 15th pick overall. Irvin led all NFL rookies with eight sacks last season.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 25:
1991: Chuck Knox signs a two-year contract extension through 1993, but the ’91 season would be his ninth and final with the Seahawks as the extension includes a buyout clause. Knox would return to the Rams from 1992-94, after coaching the team from 1973-77.
1993: Rick Mirer is selected with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. Following a productive rookie season when he started all 16 games and passed for 2,833 yards, Mirer would start 35 games over the next three seasons before being traded to the Bears in 1997.
1997: The Washington State Legislature passes the stadium-funding plan – Referendum 48 – for what would become Seahawks Stadium and is now CenturyLink Field. It is the next step necessary for Paul Allen to complete his purchase of the franchise from Ken Behring.
2008: Mike Holmgren wins the Horrigan Award, which is presented annually to the NFL executive who helps the media do its job. Having not won the award had become a running joke with the team’s coach and reporters who covered the Seahawks.
2009: Aaron Curry is selected with the fourth pick overall in the NFL Draft. Hailed as the “safest pick” in that year’s draft class, Curry would start 30 games at linebacker before being traded to the Raiders during the 2012 season.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 22:
1989: Tom Flores is named president and general manager to replace Mike McCormack. Flores became head coach in 1992, replacing Chuck Knox.
2002: Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Sinclair is released. Sinclair leaves after producing 73½ career sacks, including a league-leading 16½ in 1998, to rank second in franchise history to Jacob Green (116).
2005: Matt Hasselbeck is signed to a multi-year contract and Shaun Alexander is given the franchise tag. Both would be instrumental in the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl that season, as Alexander scored a then-league record 28 touchdowns and led the NFL in rushing while being voted league MVP and Hasselbeck passed for 3,459 yards and 24 touchdowns while compiling a career-best 98.2 passer rating.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 29:
1979: Steve Largent, the Seahawks’ first representative to the Pro Bowl, ties a then-record by catching five passes but the NFC wins the game 13-7 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
1984: Chuck Knox coaches the AFC Pro Bowl team after the Seahawks lose the AFC Championship Game to the Raiders, and has Kenny Easley and Curt Warner on the squad. But the NFC wins 45-3. Rams safety Nolan Cromwell, who would later coach the Seahawks wide receivers, returns an interception 44 yards for a touchdown.
1989: Dave Krieg is 3 of 14 for 21 yards and the AFC manages only a field goal in a 34-3 loss in the Pro Bowl. Rufus Porter also was on the AFC squad.
A look some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 26:
1983: Chuck Knox is named head coach. Knox previously had coached the Rams (1973-77) and Bills (1978-82), guiding seven of his 10 teams to the playoffs and winning six division titles. He would lead the Seahawks to their initial playoff berth, and the AFC Championship game, in his first season. Knox wins 80 games in nine seasons with the Seahawks and is inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2005.
1999: Mike Reinfeldt is named senior vice president, following executive VP of football operations/general manager and head coach Mike Holmgren from Green Bay to Seattle.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 9:
1992: Assistant coaches George Dyer, Rod Perry, Joe Vitt, John Becker and Chick Harris leave the Seahawks to join the staff of former coach Chuck Knox with the Rams.
2000: In the last game ever played at the Kingdome, and the team’s first playoff game in 11 years, the Seahawks take a 17-10 lead in the third quarter on Charlie Roger’s 85-yard kickoff return only to have the Dolphins score 10 fourth-quarter points to win the wild-card game 20-17. The Kingdome, which had been the Seahawks’ home since 1976, is imploded on March 26 to make room for construction of their new stadium.