On this date: Joey Galloway traded for two first-round draft choices

Joey Galloway

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 12:

2000: Joey Galloway is traded to the Cowboys for first-round draft choices in 2000 and 2001, picks the Seahawks use to select Shaun Alexander and Koren Robinson.

2003: John Marshall is hired as linebackers coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff.

2006: Matt Hasselbeck completes 10 of 17 passes for 85 yards as the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 23-17 in a defense-dominated game that features 10 turnovers and seven sacks. Lofa Tatupu has a team-high six tackles, as well as two more on special teams, while Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Mack Strong and Robbie Tobeck help the NFC convert eight of 18 third-down situations and control the ball for 32 minutes.


On this date: Galloway traded

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 12:

2000: Joey Galloway is traded to the Cowboys for first-round draft choices in 2000 and 2001, picks the Seahawks use to select Shaun Alexander and Koren Robinson.

2003: John Marshall is hired as linebackers coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff.

2006: Matt Hasselbeck completes 10 of 17 passes for 85 yards as the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 23-17 in a defense-dominated game that features 10 turnovers and seven sacks. Lofa Tatupu has a team-high six tackles, as well as two more on special teams, while Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Mack Strong and Robbie Tobeck help the NFC convert eight of 18 third-down situations.


Class reunions

Our recap of the Seahawks’ 1997 season focused on the arrivals that changed the course of the franchise – starting with owner Paul Allen, but also including free-agent addition Chad Brown and draft choices Walter Jones and Shawn Springs.

All three players were voted to the 35th Anniversary team, making ’97 one of eight years when more than one member of the reader-selected team joined the Seahawks.

But which “class” is the class of the 35th Anniversary team? Check out their credentials and then vote for your favorite:

1976 – Steve Largent and Dave Brown. These two were there at the start. Largent arrived in an Aug. 26 trade with the Houston Oilers and went on to set franchise records – and, at the time he retired after the 1989 season, NFL records – for receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089) and TD catches (100). Brown was obtained in the March 30 veteran allocation draft and became the club’s all-time leader in interceptions (50) and interception returns for touchdowns (five).

1982 – Joe Nash and Norm Johnson. Each arrived after the NFL draft, as a rookie free agent. Each performed like a first-round draft choice. In 15 seasons, Nash played in more games than anyone in franchise history (218). He also shares the all-time lead in blocked field goals (eight), ranks third in tackles (779) and sixth in sacks (47½). Johnson holds the club record for points scored (810), field goals (159) and PATs (333).

1984 – Bryan Millard and Fredd Young. Millard came to the Seahawks after playing two seasons in the old USFL, while Young was a third-round draft choice and went to the Pro Bowl twice as a linebacker and twice as a special teams performer. Millard started 99 games and was the best lineman in franchise history until Jones was selected in the first-round of the 1997 draft. Young led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons (1985-87).

1988 – Brian Blades and Rufus Porter. Blades was the team’s top choice, selected in the second round. Porter was a free-agent addition, and a late one at that. Blades ranks second to Largent in receptions (581) and receiving yards (7,620), and he’s No. 5 in TD catches (34). He caught 80 and 81 passes in 1993 and ’94, the most productive two-season stretch in franchise history. Porter is the only player voted to two spots on the 35th Anniversary team – linebacker and special teams player. He ranks No. 7 in sacks (37½), including a club-leading 10 in 1991; and led the team in special teams tackles in back-to-back seasons (1988-89).

1991 – Michael Sinclair and Rick Tuten. Sinclair was a sixth-round draft choice, while Tuten was signed on Oct. 9 – the third punter used by the Seahawks that season. Sinclair ranks second on the club’s all-time list in sacks (73½), including a league-leading 16½ in 1998. He also led the team in sacks three other times. Tuten, who punted a league-high 108 times in 1992, is the club’s all-time leader in punts (554), yards (24,266) and punts inside the 20 (147).

1997 – Chad Brown, Shawn Springs and Walter Jones. Brown was the team’s big free-agent addition, while Springs and Jones were acquired with the third and sixth picks in the draft. Brown led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons (1997-99). He ranks No. 3 in fumble recoveries (13), No. 4 in tackles (744) and No. 5 in sacks (48).  Springs is tied for fifth in interceptions (20), and returned two for touchdowns. Jones was voted to a franchise-high nine Pro Bowls and ranks second to Largent (197) in games started (180).

2000 – Robbie Tobeck and Shaun Alexander. Tobeck was signed in free agency, after playing his first six NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Alexander was selected in the first round of the draft. From his center position, Tobeck anchored the line that helped Alexander become the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards (9,429) and touchdowns (100). Their best season came in 2005, when Alexander was voted the league MVP after leading the NFL in rushing and scoring a then-NFL record 28 TDs; and Tobeck was voted to the only Pro Bowl of his career.

2001 – Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Hutchinson and Bobby Engram. Hasselbeck was acquired in a March trade with the Green Bay Packers. Hutchinson was a first-round pick in the April draft. Engram was signed in September, after being released by the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks never would have made it to the Super Bowl in 2005 without these three – as Hasselbeck passed for 3,459 yards and 24 TDs; Hutchinson joined Jones to form the most formidable side of any line in football; and Engram led the team with 67 receptions. Hasselbeck has become the franchise leader in career completions (2,572) and passing yards (29,579) and ranks second in TD passes (176). Hutchinson was voted to three consecutive Pro Bowls (2003-05). Engram also set a franchise record with 94 receptions in 2007.

Impressive stuff. But which “class” was the most impressive? You make the call …


Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 3:

About 40 Seahawks – those under contract, as well as some scheduled to become free agents – and other NFL players gathered Thursday for their largest informal workout since the work stoppage began in March. Percy Allen of the Seattle Times filed this report, and also this blog item. While it wasn’t an OTA (organized team activity), it was a workout. Said cornerback Marcus Trufant: “It’s not exactly the same. We all know that, but you just try to make it as close as you can.”

The Associated Press also was on hand for the workout at the University of Washington’s Dempsey Indoor and filed this report. Said center Max Unger: “It’s just weird not playing football right now. We’d normally have just less than a month of offseason and then we’d be off til fall camp. … I don’t really know, man, that stuff is up in the air. There is a lot of red tape to cut through.”

Adam Schein of Fox Sports has his annual organizational rankings for the NFL and the Seahawks are listed at a – how appropriate – No. 12. Opines Schein: “The facilities are state of the art. The home-field advantage with the ‘12th man’ is significant. Coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider inherited a total mess. They were super-active last season, bringing in different combinations of players, leading to a street free-agent gem like Mike Williams. Hiring Tom Cable to coach the offensive line was a great move. Seattle, finally, has a good structure in place.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-work-stoppage item, we offer this overview and review from Andrew Brandt on what to expect from today’s court hearing in Minneapolis on the 80th day of the lockout. The primer is from ESPN.com, but Brandt has several irons in this legal fire. Offers Brandt: “Because the players and the owners disagree on almost everything nowadays, it is not surprising that they dispute which standard of review – the amount of deference the court gives to a lower court’s decision – should apply.

NFL.com has some details about the two days of meetings between representatives of the owners and players in Chicago that wrapped up on Thursday. Mum’s the word on what transpired, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered: “We can’t make a comment about it at all, but we’re trying. We’re trying. I think the fact that we’re meeting is good.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our recaps of the first 35 seasons in franchise history with a look at 1986. The Seahawks went 10-6 and beat both teams that advanced to the Super Bowl, but did not make the playoffs – despite a high-powered, five-game winning streak to close the season. We also revisit the offensive line that paved the way for the team’s Super Bowl run in 2005, with former Pro Bowl center Robbie Tobeck serving as tour guide.


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Laying it on the line

The only problem with Bryan Millard being voted into the right guard spot on the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team is that it left Chris Gray on the outside looking in.

The left guard, of course, is Steve Hutchinson, who generated almost as many votes (1,411) for the reader-selected team as Millard (758) and Gray (656) combined. But when it came to the other guard spot, the readers remembered a player who performed at a high – and at times dominating – level. Even if Millard did it from 1984-91.

As Millard put it in the 18th profile in a series of stories on the players selected to the team, “Think about it. I wasn’t just an offensive lineman; I was an offensive lineman from 20 years ago. So to have the fans remember me is very, very humbling.”

Still, it’s difficult to overlook Gray, who started a club-record 121 consecutive games from 1999-2006 – and 145 overall, at three different positions.

“There’s a guy who doesn’t get enough respect,” said Lofa Tatupu, the middle linebacker on the 35th Anniversary team. “Chris Gray was one of the best O-linemen I ever played against. That was one of the toughest dudes I ever met. And what a nice guy.

“Looking at him, he’s always got that same expression – just kind of stares at you. But get him on the field, man, and he was just unbelievably tough.”

Robbie Tobeck, the center on the 35th Anniversary team, played next to Gray from 2000-06. Tobeck also casts a vote for Gray, by casting a blanket vote for the entire unit that was so dominant during the team’s run to the Super Bowl in 2005.

Left tackle Walter Jones, Hutchinson and Tobeck made the reader-selected team. Gray and right tackle Sean Locklear did not – as Howard Ballard was voted the right tackle, with Locklear finishing third in the balloting at tackle behind Jones and Ballard.

“I would vote for that line,” Tobeck said of the ’05 unit. “I always take that unit as a whole.

“You’ve got a Hall of Famer in Walt and possibly in Steve. But each guy on that line had their place. If you had taken one cog out of there, it’s not the same line.”

That became apparent as Hutchinson left after the ’05 season in free agency, Tobeck retired after the 2006 season, an injury forced Gray to retire during training camp in 2008 and Jones retired last year after spending the 2009 season on injured reserve following microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Together, this foursome played 35 seasons for the Seahawks (13 by Jones, 10 by Gray); started 481 games (180 by Jones, 145 by Gray); and was voted to 13 Pro Bowls (nine by Jones).

Here’s the line on that line, from the player who anchored it:

Tobeck on Jones: “Walt was your shutdown left tackle who had his way of doing things that you kind of followed as an example.”

Tobeck on Hutchinson: “Steve was a heckuva athlete; very strong.”

Tobeck on himself: “I had my role, which was to kind of coordinate it and quarterback it and be the ornery little pisser – the guy who’s always stirring it up.”

Tobeck on Gray: “Chris was our conscience. We wouldn’t have been as good a line without Chris. And what I mean by conscience, he was the guy that was always thinking of the scenario we might get in a game; and reviewing the plays with us; and pulling the notes out that we’d taken during the week and going over them on Saturday or going over them before the game in the locker room. We was constantly talking about what-if scenarios that you don’t have time to cover in your meeting room. About twice a season, he would come up with something and we’d walk out on the field and say, ‘Thank God Chris covered this.’ ”

Tobeck on Locklear: “ ‘Cornbread’ was the young guy we’d mess with. He was just trying to fit in and keep up.”

Tobeck on the entire group: “Everyone was equal in their own way, if that makes sense. It wasn’t like Michael Jordan and the Bulls. It wasn’t Walter Jones and the line. That’s what it’s all about. It’s that family within a family. If your team is a family, if you come together as a family – and you do on those good teams – then the offensive line is a family within that family. And that’s a special thing.”


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks today, May 24:

A lot of people were surprised when the Seahawks selected James Carpenter in the first round of the NFL Draft last month, including the offensive tackle from Alabama. Steve Wyche of NFL.com caught up with Carpenter on Monday and filed this report. Carpenter his working at Competitive Edge Sports in Atlanta during the work stoppage.

Dave Boling of the News Tribune weighs in on Paul Allen’s new memoir, “Idea Man, and how it reveals the fan inside the owner of the Seahawks and NBA’s Trail Blazers. Offers Boling: “For our purposes, Paul Allen is the most influential person in Pacific Northwest sports. And aside from the revelations about his professional, business and personal relationships, the book provides at least a couple of chapters of insight behind the scenes of sports development in the region.”

Former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander was inducted into the University of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend, and did this interview with a local TV station. After he rushed for 3,565 yards and scored 50 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide – both school records – there’s just one question: What took them so long?

The NFL owners are holding their annual spring meeting in Indianapolis, but it is hardly business as usual – as you can read in this report from the Associated Press. It wasn’t all about the work stoppage, but close. As Jeff Pash, the NFL’s lead negotiator, said, “The only way we’re going to solve this is by saying, ‘OK, let’s put this behind us. Let’s put the litigation on hold and let’s solve our own problems.’ ”

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com is in Indy, and in this report he also touches on what everyone really wants to do: Will there be a season this year, and when will it start? Says Judge, “People want to know if and when we’ll have pro football in 2011 and, if so, what it will be like. My guess is the owners want to know too, though they seem optimistic – maybe even confident – that something will happen.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our profiles of the players elected to the 35th Anniversary team with this look at center Robbie Tobeck – as well as the other eight members of the 35th Anniversary team that weren’t on the 25th Anniversary team that was selected by the Seattle P-I in 2000.


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On his terms

One of the best things about Robbie Tobeck’s 14-year NFL career is the way it ended: On his terms.

The veteran center not only knew it was time to walk away; he was prepared to step into the next phase of his life. Tobeck, who played his final seven seasons with the Seahawks (2000-06), is a partner in Griffin MacLean Insurance, hosting a Saturday morning fishing show on 710 ESPN and enjoying watching his sons play the sport that was such a large part of his life for so long.

“I knew I was done. I knew it was time,” said Tobeck, who has lost 40 pounds. “I worked at Griffin MacLean in the offseason when I played. After I announced my retirement (following the 2006 playoff loss to the Bears in Chicago), I went to Costa Rica and fished for 10 days. Then I came back and I was in the office that Monday.

“That was the transition for me. It was just boom-boom and here I was.”  

Tobeck is one of nine players voted to the 35th Anniversary team who was not on the 25th Anniversary unit – most of obvious reasons. His story is the latest profile of the players the readers of Seahawks.com voted to the 35th Anniversary team.

Here’s a what-a-difference-10-years-can-make look at the changes from the 25th Anniversary team that was selected by the Seattle P-I in 2000, starting with Tobeck:

Center: Tobeck over Blair Bush. Tobeck didn’t join the Seahawks until 2000. He is the only center in team history to play in the Pro Bowl (2005) and was the anchor in the middle of the line on the 2003-06 teams that won three consecutive NFC West titles and advanced to the playoffs four years in a row.

Guard: Steve Hutchinson over Edwin Bailey. Hutchinson was not drafted until 2001 and played only five seasons, making 68 starts – compared to 11 seasons and 120 starts for Bailey. But Hutchinson was voted to three Pro Bowls, and is the only guard in team history to play in the Pro Bowl.

Tackle: Howard Ballard over Mike Wilson. Ballard was a Plan B free agent addition in 1994 and started 74 games in five seasons. Wilson started 60 games in four seasons (1986-89), but on better teams. Ballard was not the same player who had been a mainstay on the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl teams from 1990-93, but he got 982 votes in finishing second to Walter Jones (4,065) among the tackles – while Wilson got only 46 votes to finish tied for ninth in the 11-tackle field.

 

Tight end: John Carlson over Mike Tice. Carlson was a second-round draft choice in 2008 and became the first rookie to lead the team in receptions since Steve Largent in 1976. Still, the voting at this spot was the tightest on the 35th Anniversary team – 1,898 for Carlson to 1,880 for Tice, who started 83 games from 1981-88 and in 1990-91.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck over Dave Krieg. Hasselbeck was obtained in a 2001 trade with the Green Bay Packers, and has since broken Krieg’s club records for career attempts, completions and passing yards. Hasselbeck has been voted to three Pro Bowls. Krieg also went to the Pro Bowl three times, and had a 70-49 record as a starter (.588 winning percentage) – compared to 69-62 (.527) for Hasselbeck.

Running back: Shaun Alexander over Curt Warner. Alexander was a first-round draft choice in 2000, but didn’t become the fulltime starter until 2002. He went on to obliterate the club records for rushing yards (9,429) and rushing touchdowns (100). Alexander also became the first Seahawk to be voted league MVP in 2005, when he led the NFL in rushing and scored a then-league record 28 touchdowns.

Fullback: Mack Strong over John L. Williams. Strong joined the Seahawks in 1993, but Williams was just so productive during his eight-season stay – 4,579 rushing yards, No. 4 in club history; and 471 receptions, No. 3 all-time. Williams went to the Pro Bowl in 1990 and ’91, while Strong went in 2005 and ’06. Strong’s best seasons came after the 25th Anniversary team was selected.

Middle linebacker: Lofa Tatupu over Keith Butler. Tatupu was a second-round draft choice in 2005. While Butler ranks No. 2 all-time with 813 tackles, Tatupu is the only player to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive seasons and he also was voted to three Pro Bowls.

Punt returner: Nate Burleson over Bobby Joe Edmonds. Burleson was signed as a restricted free agent in 2006. He actually volunteered for punt return duties, and ended up as the career leader in returns (125) and yards (1,288) despite being with the team for only four seasons.


Better than Brown?

After the Seahawks signed linebacker Chad Brown as a free agent in 1997, then-vice president of football operations Randy Mueller allowed himself a congratulatory moment.

“There’s no question this is the best signing we’ve ever had,” Mueller said.

Mueller should know, because he’d been with the team since 1983. Plan B free agency didn’t begin until 1989 and the current system started in 1993.

And Brown did nothing to let Mueller and the team down. He led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons, was voted to the Pro Bowl twice and put up numbers during his eight-season stay in Seattle that rank among the Top 5 all-time in tackles (fourth, 744), sacks (fifth, 48), fumble recoveries (third, 13) and fumble returns for a touchdown (first, 3).

But that watershed signing of Brown happened 15 year ago. Has the club added a free agent since that would make Mueller alter his assessment? (You tell us below…)

Here, in chronological order, are a dozen candidates – including Brown, of course:

LB Chad Brown (1997) – see above.

QB Warren Moon (1997) – He started 24 games in two seasons, posting an 11-13 record. In ’97, he passed for 3,678 yards (third-highest in club history) and 25 touchdowns, including a club record-tying five in a 409-yard passing performance against the Raiders – three weeks shy of his 41st birthday.

RB Ricky Watters (1998) – He led the team in rushing for three consecutive seasons (1998-2000) and his 4,009 yards rank No. 5 on the team’s all-time list. He also scored 22 rushing touchdowns, which also ranks No. 5, and averaged 51 receptions from ’98-2000.

OL Chris Gray (1998) – Signed to add depth to the offensive line, he started 145 games in 11 seasons – at three different positions (center, right guard and left guard). Including in his unexpected run were a club-record 121 consecutive starts from 1999-2006.

P Jeff Feagles (1998) – He was one of the best directional punters in the league during his five-year stint with the Seahawks. He ranks second on the club’s all-time list in career punts (385) and third in career average (42.1 yards). He averaged 44.1 yards in 1998 and had 34 punts downed inside the 20 in 1999.

C Robbie Tobeck (2000) – Like Brown, Tobeck was voted to the 35th Anniversary team. He started 88 games from 2000-06 and was the QB of the line during the team’s run of winning the division title four consecutive seasons (2004-07) and advancing to the playoffs five years in a row (2003-07).

WR Bobby Engram (2001) – He holds the club record for receptions in a season (94 in 2007) and was the leading receiver on the 2005 Super Bowl team. Engram, who was voted to the 35th Anniversary team as the third wide-out, ranks fifth in career receptions (399) and fourth in receiving yards (4,859).

DT John Randle (2001) – He played the final two seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Seahawks, and made the most of them. Randle led the team in sacks in 2001 (11), when he was voted to the Pro Bowl; as well as in 2002 (7).

WR-KR Nate Burleson (2006) – Voted to the 35th Anniversary team as the punt returner, Burleson also finished second on the team in receptions in 2009 (63) and 2007 (50). He is the club record-holder in career punt returns (125) and return yardage (1,288), and had scoring returns of 94 and 90 yards.

LB Julian Peterson (2006) – He was voted to the Pro Bowl in each of this three seasons with the Seahawks (2006-08) and had 19½ sacks in his first two seasons, including team-leading 10 in 2006. He also averaged 83 tackles.

DE Patrick Kerney (2007) – He led the NFC with 14½ sacks in 2007, when he also was voted to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro. Injuries limited him to 16 starts combined in the next two seasons, but he still led the team in sacks in 2009 (five). He’s also the reason Grant Wistrom, Bryce Fisher and Chike Okeafor didn’t make this list.

K Olindo Mare (2008) – He has been the team’s leading scorer in each of his first three seasons with the Seahawks, and holds the franchise record for consecutive field goals made (30 in 2009-10). His mark is the sixth-longest in NFL history, and 14 more than the second-best streak in club history.

The other 11 are definitely worth considering. But better than Brown? You make the call.