Yesterday: The left side of the bracket is set, as Kenny Easley – a former NFL defensive player of the year as a strong safety – moved into a semifinal matchup against nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones.
Easley dispatched All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson in the second round, collecting 69 percent of the responses, or 425 votes. Hutchinson had 194 votes, or 31 percent.
Speaking of the left side, Jones and Hutchinson formed the best side of any line in football during the mid-2000s, and were especially dominating during the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl in 2005. Now that Easley has ousted Hutchinson, we’ll see how he does against Jones on Sunday.
Today: Shaun Alexander vs. Jacob Green
Talk about diversity in a matchup. Alexander is the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, while Green ranks No. 1 in sacks. Alexander was a big part of the most successful decade in club history (2000s), while Green was a cornerstone of the team’s initial taste of playoff success in the 1980s. Green was the 10th pick overall in the 1980 draft, when Alexander was 3 years old. Green was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 1995, five years before the Seahawks made Alexander the 19th pick overall in the draft.
For every impressive number generated by Alexander, Green has one to match or trump it. Alexander had 9,429 rushing yards – 2,723 more than runner-up Chris Warren. Green had 116 sacks – 42½ more than runner-up Michael Sinclair. Alexander scored 112 touchdowns – 11 more than Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent. Green had four return touchdowns – which ties for second in franchise history. Alexander had 100 rushing touchdowns – which is 45 more than runner-up Curt Warner and matches Largent’s receiving total. Green started 176 games – which ranks third behind Largent (197) and Walter Jones (180); and collected 718 tackles – which ranks No. 5.
You get the picture. They played different positions, on opposite sides of the line and in different eras. But each definitely could play – and produce.
Record-setting runner? Or franchise-record sacker? You make the call.
Tomorrow: Curt Warner vs. Cortez Kennedy