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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:23 pm
hmmmm didn't mean to walk in on your date :mrgreen:
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:33 pm
RobDIKUM wrote:hmmmm didn't mean to walk in on your date :mrgreen:


Then get out!!!




(Oh, and it'd be nice if you don't tell Bigs, you know... :mrgreen: )
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:46 pm
TMC wrote:The Seahawks absolutely win on the landscape marks, tho... :wink:


yeah, it is so beautiful right there. Also impresses the free agents as they can fly into seattle on Allen's private jet then from the airport they walk onto a seaplane and fly and land right at the dock at the pratice facility.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:20 am
Interesting to hear the in-depth analysis of the Seahawk draft. Sounds good, and Carroll is always an interesting and exciting coach.

The 9er fans really think they have it this year and they mostly believe this because they think Singletarry is the god of tough and they will be able to smashmouth other teams around. Really, they believe that.

I doubt it myself and have absolutely no faith in Raye. I would not be surprised if they try to do the smashmouth again and lose a few winnable games because of it.

I also am a Smith doubter. He is just not quick enough or accurate enough to be more than just maybe a barely average QB. Not terrible, just sort of average.

The 9er defense should be really good and I think the team will be in most games because of that.

Conservative offenses in football are like conservative offenses in basketball. It only makes sense when the offense sucks. Low scores make every game sort of close. You can hang with a better team and maybe even get an upset now and then by hanging around, but you also get upset by bad teams that you should just blow out.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:46 am
Well, I knew the day would come when we had to say goodbye to the great Big Walt! Today Walter Jones will announce his retirement from the NFL. Here is a nice article on ESPN about the greatest lineman I have ever seen.

Thanks for all the great seasons Walter! You were a true professional.

There is no shame in admitting what is was really like lining up against Walter Jones.

Frustrating. Demoralizing. Humbling.

Walter Jones was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection."I’m embarrassed to say it, but it is the truth," former Pro Bowl pass-rusher Bertrand Berry said Wednesday.

Berry couldn't escape Jones wherever he went. They were contemporaries in college -- Jones at Florida State, Berry at Notre Dame -- before entering the NFL in 1997. Berry played for the Broncos when Seattle and Denver were in the AFC West. Berry played for the Cardinals when Seattle and Arizona were in the NFC West. Berry announced his retirement earlier this offseason. Jones' announcement is coming Thursday.

Jones made dominating appear effortless.

"He was so efficient at what he did and I remember looking up at him during a game and I don’t think he had an ounce of sweat on his body," Berry said. "I’m working my tail off and I’m exhausted and he looks like he’s just getting ready to go play a football game. It was demoralizing. To see a guy so smooth and easy about it, it was frustrating. You’re trying everything and it’s not working and it doesn’t look hard for him."

Seattle coaches counted 33 career sacks allowed. I'd bet most came in obvious passing situations and/or when Jones was playing through shoulder problems that required multiple surgeries (a kidney condition prevented him from taking anti-inflammatory medication). Jones allowed a couple of sacks to the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware in his final game while playing with what wound up being a career-ending knee injury. When Ware was a heralded rookie in 2005, I remember someone asking Jones about their impending matchup. It was clear from Jones' answer that Ware wasn't yet someone he knew by name. There wasn't anything disrespectful about it, either. It simply didn't matter who Jones went up against from week to week.

"When you say Walter Jones, I think of the best tackle I have played against in my career," Berry said with no disrespect for Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden or any of the other Hall of Fame-caliber opponents he faced. "There was nothing he wasn’t good at. He had great feet, he was strong as a bull and also a very smart guy. Walt was one of the stronger guys I ever went against. If he gets those hands on you, you can forget it. He was so physically strong and gifted at the same time, just one of those rare combination guys. Nobody really played the game quite like he did."

Playing offensive tackle in the NFL's most remote market made it tougher for Jones to get the national respect he deserved. Jones always had the respect of opponents, as reflected in the nine Pro Bowl honors he earned. Others didn't always fully understand Jones' greatness. Mike Holmgren was incredulous one time when a television announcer asked during a production meeting whether the Seahawks planned to help their left tackle in protection against a certain accomplished rusher. Jones never needed help. And when he did get beat, reporters covering the team would pay close attention to the following play. Jones would often destroy his man.

Holmgren once called Reggie White the best defensive player he coached and Jones the best on offense, a statement so profound that Holmgren said he heard from some of the other greats he coached. Jones is expected to be available to reporters at the Seahawks' postdraft minicamp Friday. He'll probably be humble as ever.

"He was business-like, never said a word on the field -- very professional," Berry said. "He should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and I feel privileged to have gone against him."
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:34 am
Another great article that lets you into the man himself a bit. Curtesy of Tacoma Tribune


If you start cataloging the many volumes of praise for Walter Jones, a pretty decent place to start might be a comment from his former coach, Mike Holmgren, who called him the best offensive player he ever coached.

Remember that Holmgren also coached such players as Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and Brett Favre. Mere inclusion in that discussion would mean that Walter Jones was among the best players in the history of the National Football League.

Note the use of the past tense. Jones, 36, will announce his retirement from the Seattle Seahawks today – the result of the cumulative physical toll of 13 years in the league, which caused him to be sidelined most of the past two seasons.

The news releases will mention his nine Pro Bowls, and will attempt to quantify his dominance on the field and his widespread regard as one of the best left tackles to ever play.

Harder to capture is the impact on this franchise of his quiet demeanor and professionalism, and how many teammates and fans were moved by his unwavering dignity and humility.

This region never had a superstar who managed to go so unexamined, who kept such a low profile. That’s who Walter Jones is and always will be; singular and unique, a man unto himself.

Former Hawks general manager Randy Mueller recalled when the team brought him to its headquarters for an interview the week before the 1997 draft.

“He was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans and he didn’t say ‘Boo’ the whole time he was here,” Mueller said. “He was hard to get a read on, but you knew he was uncomplicated and pure.”

Uncomplicated and pure … not modifiers generally applied to superstar athletes.

“And he never changed,” Mueller said. “He just kept working, kept his mouth shut, and kept getting better and better. In 25 years, I’ve never been around anybody like him. We’re all very fortunate to have had time with him.”

Friend and fellow Seahawks lineman Robbie Tobeck certainly spent a great deal of time with Jones, and shared some of his insights on the Walter Jones that fans never got to know.

“He’s more of a competitor than people realize,” Tobeck said. “He’s so good and has such great ability, it almost looks effortless when he’s putting somebody on his back. And the reason for it is how hard he works. He wasn’t some superstar who took days off. He’s also one of toughest human beings I’ve ever been around … the man laughs at pain.”

Laughs at pain? Tobeck told of going into the training room late one season when Jones’ shoulder was in dire need of surgery. The trainers were moving his arm to stretch it out into the range of pain. Jones’ response? Laughter.

Because of Jones’ reputation, pass rushers would gear up to try to make their mark against him. Many would try to get in his mind by talking trash.

“Walt would always just ignore them, but it would tick me off and I’d talk trash back for Walt,” Tobeck said. “Walt never said a word, but once the game started, he just wore those guys out.”

Game after game, film studies in the offensive line meeting room would highlight remarkable efforts by Jones, but, according to Tobeck, Jones never made a comment. The other linemen were in awe, though.

“Chris Gray always sat behind me and he’d say, ‘Get ready, wait ’til you see what Walt does on this play,’ ” Tobeck said.

Tobeck remembered one play when San Diego Chargers safety Rodney Harrison came flying toward the pile just before the whistle, looking to nail an unwary lineman. Jones caught him out of the corner of his eye, and when Harrison was about to unload on him, “Walt just barely flexed his elbow and Harrison went flying,” Tobeck said.

Everybody cheered. Jones said nothing.

“You talk about having pride, but not being prideful … he was the epitome of that,” Tobeck said. “A lot of guys with that kind of ability could go a lot of different ways; I was always amazed at how humble he was.”

Tobeck thinks that Jones is a product of his early environment, growing up modestly in the rural South. He never seemed interested in the spotlight.

“I was always intrigued by something he used to say,” Tobeck said. “He used to say that he never wanted to play for anybody but the Seahawks because he didn’t want to have to (get to know) more people.”

In the end, fame, wealth, success and acclaim never affected Walter Jones in the least.

We may expect him to slip into retirement, presumably in a sweatshirt and jeans – just as he arrived.

He may not have changed. But he changed the nature of this franchise, influenced the people around him, and may have forever altered the way people will judge others who attempt to play the position he mastered.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:26 pm
Amazing LT. Certainly the best I've ever seen, along with Ogden, but if I had to choose, I'd go with Walter Jones 100 times out of 100.

You're gonna enjoy this one, Bada...

Abyssinia, Walter
By Doug Farrar

Today, the greatest player in Seahawks history - and the last tie to the amazing tackle classes of the late 1990s - will retire from the game. Walter Jones, the nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro will announce that he can no longer play the game he's graced since 1997. Various injuries prevented Jones from playing at all in the 2009 season, and with the selection of Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung with the sixth overall pick, there was also the quick draft weekend announcement from Seattle GM John Schneider that a statement would be made in the following days about Jones' future. Now, we know what we previously suspected.

Having watched Jones since his early days, when he came to the NFL about the same time as Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden, I'll remember him as the player who forged my interest in offensive line play. I will especially remember his week-to-week play in the Seahawks' 2005 season, when he nearly guided his formerly moribund team to a Lombardi Trophy with a series of superhuman performances. If you can find a video clip of Jones taking Carolina Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker and riding him back about 15 yards on a Shaun Alexander run in the NFC Championship game at the same speed Alexander was running ... well, it was the damnedest play I'd ever seen. In my opinion, Alexander was a miscast MVP that season - Jones was by far the best player in the NFL in 2005, and the award should have been his. As perhaps the one 9,000+-yard rusher more dependent on great line play than any other, Alexander would certainly agree.

But the unheralded nature of his position suited Walter Jones - he's always been a gentle giant who laughed at pain (a kidney condition prevents him from taking any painkiller stronger than Tylenol) and shrugged off the conga line of defenders who wanted to make their bones by taking the big man down. I'll never forget what he did to Falcons end Patrick Kerney in the second game of the 2005 season. Kerney was a Pro Bowler coming off a 13-sack season, one of the most dynamic pass rushers in the game. By the second quarter of his "battle" against Big Walt, Kerney was a spent, wheezing mess. He was one of many elite defenders to receive a lesson in advanced protection concepts from this graceful and humble technician.

Perhaps former Seahawks and current Colts line coach Howard Mudd, who pushed for Jones to be drafted by Seattle with the sixth overall pick in 1997, said it best when he reflected on Jones' legacy: "He had this phenomenal athleticism. Walt is the kind of guy who does things so easily, it almost looks like he's playing at 75 or 80 percent. Like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, he never really struggles to get his job done, even when he's playing against the top NFL players. I don't think he ever lined up in a game where he thought he was closely matched, athletically, to the guy across from him."

Once the announcement is made, and he says a few perfunctory words, Jones will probably go back to his hometown of Aliceville, Alabama, where he used to push Escalades as a form of off-season conditioning (!) and start the countdown to Canton. But the city of Seattle will always remember him.

It was once said of Jim Brown that there are many superstars, but only one Superman. It was my good fortune to watch Walter Jones ply his trade for over a decade -- and to understand, for a time, what Superman actually looked like.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:40 pm
TMC wrote:Amazing LT. Certainly the best I've ever seen, along with Ogden, but if I had to choose, I'd go with Walter Jones 100 times out of 100.

You're gonna enjoy this one, Bada...

Abyssinia, Walter
By Doug Farrar

Today, the greatest player in Seahawks history - and the last tie to the amazing tackle classes of the late 1990s - will retire from the game. Walter Jones, the nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro will announce that he can no longer play the game he's graced since 1997. Various injuries prevented Jones from playing at all in the 2009 season, and with the selection of Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung with the sixth overall pick, there was also the quick draft weekend announcement from Seattle GM John Schneider that a statement would be made in the following days about Jones' future. Now, we know what we previously suspected.

Having watched Jones since his early days, when he came to the NFL about the same time as Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden, I'll remember him as the player who forged my interest in offensive line play. I will especially remember his week-to-week play in the Seahawks' 2005 season, when he nearly guided his formerly moribund team to a Lombardi Trophy with a series of superhuman performances. If you can find a video clip of Jones taking Carolina Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker and riding him back about 15 yards on a Shaun Alexander run in the NFC Championship game at the same speed Alexander was running ... well, it was the damnedest play I'd ever seen. In my opinion, Alexander was a miscast MVP that season - Jones was by far the best player in the NFL in 2005, and the award should have been his. As perhaps the one 9,000+-yard rusher more dependent on great line play than any other, Alexander would certainly agree.

But the unheralded nature of his position suited Walter Jones - he's always been a gentle giant who laughed at pain (a kidney condition prevents him from taking any painkiller stronger than Tylenol) and shrugged off the conga line of defenders who wanted to make their bones by taking the big man down. I'll never forget what he did to Falcons end Patrick Kerney in the second game of the 2005 season. Kerney was a Pro Bowler coming off a 13-sack season, one of the most dynamic pass rushers in the game. By the second quarter of his "battle" against Big Walt, Kerney was a spent, wheezing mess. He was one of many elite defenders to receive a lesson in advanced protection concepts from this graceful and humble technician.

Perhaps former Seahawks and current Colts line coach Howard Mudd, who pushed for Jones to be drafted by Seattle with the sixth overall pick in 1997, said it best when he reflected on Jones' legacy: "He had this phenomenal athleticism. Walt is the kind of guy who does things so easily, it almost looks like he's playing at 75 or 80 percent. Like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, he never really struggles to get his job done, even when he's playing against the top NFL players. I don't think he ever lined up in a game where he thought he was closely matched, athletically, to the guy across from him."

Once the announcement is made, and he says a few perfunctory words, Jones will probably go back to his hometown of Aliceville, Alabama, where he used to push Escalades as a form of off-season conditioning (!) and start the countdown to Canton. But the city of Seattle will always remember him.

It was once said of Jim Brown that there are many superstars, but only one Superman. It was my good fortune to watch Walter Jones ply his trade for over a decade -- and to understand, for a time, what Superman actually looked like.


thanks for the article TMC. good read.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:08 pm
Yeah Jones was great... really helped turn Shawn Alexander into that career breaking year & Matt Hasselbeck was a endzone threat having that extra time on the blindside cause of Jones protection.

& to get Okung, wow thts like trading in your 1970 Ferrari for the 2010 model (well at least Okung gotta be a luxury European car ... Aston Martin at the worst 8) )

On to other matters, yo bada... im aiming to be in the Bay Area this year for NBA Season tip off... Any Chance you'd like to be in the house with me and JOEL for the Raiders v Seahawks hitout?? You probably got your own set (to Quote War Years: "RABID MOUTH FOAMING RAIDERS FANS") , but if you dont go with any of your bay area friends, perhaps you could join us (or at least meet in the carpark for a Cold Ale at one of the many leagues finest tailgating experience)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:23 am
OK, this will be my last Walter Jones tribute post... maybe... :mrgreen:

This is a well written article from long time Seahawk beat writer Clare Farnsworth.

In an age where guys like Brett Favre want all the attention around their announcements, it is so refreshing that a guy of Jones' caliber wants to go out with the quiet professionalism that he displayed his entire career.

Wish you only the best in your post football life Walter!


“You’re simply the best, better than all the rest
Better than anyone, anyone I’ve ever met …”


It’s not just that the chorus from Tina Turner’s 1991 hit-turned-retirement-anthem has become a cliché; the redundancy of its overuse has spoiled the sentiment for occasions when it really is appropriate.

Like Thursday, when Walter Jones announced his retirement after 13 seasons with the Seahawks – and a decade of dominance as the best left tackle of his generation, and perhaps the best to ever play the game.

The decision is hardly a surprise, because Jones missed all of last season after having microfracture surgery on his left knee and the club acquired his long-term replacement a week ago by selecting Russell Okung with the sixth pick in the NFL draft.

But the circumstances don’t diminish the significance of Jones’ retirement.

The club is retiring his No. 71 – making Jones and Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent the only players in franchise history to receive the honor. Also, Gov. Christine Gregoire has proclaimed Friday as Walter Jones Day in the state of Washington.

But there will be no farewell news conference, at Jones’ request – no, insistence.

“Not surprising,” tackle Sean Locklear said. “That’s Walt.”

Jones, 36, will leave the Seahawks just as he arrived as a first-round draft choice in 1997 – with a lot of other people saying glowing things about him, buy nary a word from the man himself.

Told that Jones was passing on stepping into the spotlight that he spent his career avoiding, Robbie Tobeck laughed and recalled Jones’ tweet on Super Bowl weekend that hinted at his retirement.

“As I said when he tweeted a few months back, ‘That’s probably your press conference right there. If he is indeed retiring, that’s all you’re going to hear and it’s over now,’ ” said Tobeck, the Seahawks’ center and Jones’ line mate from 2000-06.

A Tribue to Walter Jones

Watch a compliation of highlights from Walter Jones' 13-year carrer.

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In talking to his former teammates and coaches this week, the recurring themes were how freakishly talented Jones was on the field, and how incredibly quiet he was off the field.

On the field, he was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, including eight consecutive selections (2001-08) – both franchise highs. Also included on his resume are six All-Pro berths. He was voted to the NFL Team of the Decade for the 2000s. His 180 starts rank second in club history behind only Largent (197).

Jones was so good, for so long, that any discussion of the best players to ever line up at left tackle quickly gets to his name, if not start with his name. In 2005, The Sporting News ranked Jones as the best player in the game, regardless of position.

“Walter is the best lineman I ever coached,” said Howard Mudd, Jones’ line coach in his rookie season. “And that’s saying something.”

Mudd, who just retired after 35 seasons as a coach in the league, also was a Pro Bowl guard for the San Francisco 49ers during his seven-season playing career. He has coached and seen a lot of talented left tackles, and his list of best-ever candidates includes Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, Tony Boselli, Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace, Jim Parker and Russ Washington.

Big men who played even bigger, because of their skills and especially their passion. But in discussing them, Mudd was comparing them to Jones.

“Walt Jones, he set the bar really, really high,” Mudd said. “The next guy I think of is Anthony Munoz, and he played a long time ago. This is 20 years later, and you’ve got another one who is like that. And I’m not sure Walt isn’t better.

“So the point I’m making is, Walt is maybe the best one that’s ever played that position. Walter was a phenomenal talent, and it started the day he showed up.”


Jones’ skills and athletic ability were so abundant that they transcended his position.

“I tell people, the two greatest athletes I ever played with were Deion Sanders and Walter Jones,” said Tobeck, who played with Sanders when both were with the Atlanta Falcons.

Let that sink in for a moment. Sanders was a flash-and-dash cornerback/kick returner who also played baseball for the Atlanta Braves as well as football the Falcons – once in the same day. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Sanders also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.

“You don’t think of Walter being such a phenomenal athlete,” Tobeck said. “But when you look at the body size and makeup, and what he could do in the weight room, and what he could do on the field, it’s obvious.

“With Walter, you would say he’s one of the top athletes who probably ever played in the NFL.”

Statistics are hard to come back for offensive linemen, but those available more than support these lofty assessments of Jones’ domination and athletic ability. In 12 seasons, which included those 180 starts, he was penalized for holding nine times.

“That’s unbelievable,” said Randy Mueller, the Seahawks’ VP of football operations when Jones was drafted and now a senior executive with the San Diego Chargers. “That might be as good a stat as I’ve ever heard.”

But wait, there’s more. In 5,703 pass plays, Jones allowed 23 sacks – or one every 248 pass plays. That total includes two to Hall of Famer Bruce Smith in a 2002 game against the Washington Redskins at Qwest Field; and two to the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware in Dallas in 2008. The Dallas game was the final one Jones played, when he was hobbled by the knee that needed surgery.

“Walter was never out of position,” Lovat said. “If he got beat, and everybody does on occasion, it wasn’t because he was out of position. Usually something happened. Maybe a trip. Or somebody bumped him.”

With Jones, getting the occasional upper hand only made life more difficult for the opposing player.

“If somebody made him look like a fool once in a million plays, he took it personally,” said Steve Hutchinson, the All-Pro left tackle who played next to Jones from 2001-05. “And when Walt got pissed, there was no chance for whoever he was facing.”

Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren once called Jones the best offensive player he had ever coached – which is saying something when you consider that vast group included Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jerry Rice as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers and Brett Favre as head coach with the Green Bay Packers.

Holmgren, now president of the Cleveland Browns, softened that statement after hearing from some of those players.

“I’ve been privileged in my career to have coached Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and Steve Young, in addition to a potential Hall of Famer in Brett Favre,” Holmgren said. “Walter Jones, the great Seattle left tackle, is in that category. His quiet leadership and tremendous skills were an inspiration.”

A glimpse into greatness


The admiration for the way Walter Jones played his position – and the game – during his just-ended career carried over to the video reviews by his own teammates

Read Now

There it is again: Quiet leadership. Jones was the epitome of letting his actions speak so loudly that there was no need to hear his words – the few words he did offer, that is.

“He’s the quietest future Hall of Famer you’ll ever meet,” said Mack Strong, who played fullback for the Seahawks from 1994-2007. “Unless he’s around people he’s really comfortable with, you probably won’t get five words out of him.”

But once you cracked that comfort zone and gained Jones’ trust, well, he could be the life of the locker room – if not the party.

“Early on, I heard he didn’t say much,” said Locklear, who didn’t join the Seahawks until 2004 and then played opposite Jones at right tackle on the line that paved the way for the Super Bowl run in 2005.

“But he was like a kid almost as he got older. He was yelling stuff across the locker room. He enjoyed being funny. He was almost like the clown on the team. You just didn’t see that side, until he got to know you.”

Or, you got to know him and his family, as Tobeck did at the Pro Bowl after the 2005 season. Jones turned his annual Pro Bowl selection into a family vacation – and his extended family, at that.

“Meeting his family at the Pro Bowl one year was a real special treat, because you see how special family is to him,” Tobeck said. “It takes awhile for him to get to know people and become ‘family.’

“That’s what happened over the years with the Seahawks. He was in one place so long that all the faces around him became family to him.”

This humble man comes from humble beginnings. He grew up in Aliceville, Ala., and a billboard on the rural road that leads there sports Jones’ picture and proclaims the community’s pride: “He grew up in Aliceville,” it reads, “and boy, did he grow up.”

Jones weighed 11 pounds, 15 ounces at birth. “Big and beautiful,” is the way older sister Beverly Jones described the baby Walter to the Seattle Times in 2006.

Walter is the next-to-youngest of Earline Jones’ eight children, a brood that also includes, in order: Beverly, Cornelius, Gwendolyn, Danny, Valerie, Tony and Tanya. As for his own family, there’s his wife, Valeria; stepson Rafael; and the twins with the hard-to-forget, just-as-part-to-pronounce names, Walterius and Waleria.

It takes a family that large to provide the roots necessary to nurture a man of Jones’ size (6 feet 5, 325 pounds).

“Walter isn’t just a good football player, he’s a good person,” said Tom Lovat, Jones’ line coach from 1999-2003.

Not to mention a wealthy one. Jones played the game – and beat the system – when the Seahawks named him their franchise player in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Jones skipped training camp and the preseason, finally reporting and signing his one-year tender that was an average of the Top 5 players at his position – at price tags of $4.9 million, $5.7 million and $7.1 million.

Jones didn’t just step in upon his return, he stepped up. He was voted to the Pro Bowl each season, and named All-Pro in 2004 and 2005.

Then he signed the long-term deal that both sides had preferred – a seven-year, $52.5 million contract in 2005 that included a $15 million signing bonus.

“There’s no question Walter beat the system,” Mueller said. “Plus you throw in the fact that he missed three training camps, which is when everybody works on their trade. He’s already the best. So it’s scary to think that he could have been even better.

“So he beat the system in every way.”

Just another chapter in his lengthy legacy, as Jones turned out to be worth every comma, decimal point and dollar sign.

Just how good? The best left tackle of his generation? Definitely. Which brings us back to that question: The best to ever play the position? Very possibly, perhaps even likely.

One thing that Jones definitely became was the “gold standard,” as Mueller put it, for left tackles. Since leaving the Seahawks, Mueller has worked for the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and now the Chargers.

“Every place, guess what they wanted? They’re trying to find the next Walter Jones,” Mueller said. “You compare everybody now to, well, he’s not Walter Jones. Everybody compares to him. That’s the way the conversation goes.”

It’s also the way the conversation began when the Seahawks were able to trade up to the sixth spot in the 1997 draft to select Jones.

13 Years of Photos


View photos from Walter's career in Seattle.

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“What you had to keep telling yourself was: This is a 300-pound guy, because he moves like a point guard,” Mueller said. “He just danced and played with people.”

Mueller will get no argument from Pro Bowl defensive end Patrick Kerney, who retired two weeks ago after playing with Jones (2007-09) as well as against him while with the Falcons (1999-2006).

“I faced a number of other Hall of Famers who were fantastic players, and Walt was head and shoulders above them,” Kerney said.

What was it like to play against Jones? “It was like wrestling a bear for three hours,” Kerney once said of the matchup in the 2004 season finale at Qwest Field – when Kerney entered the game with 13 sacks and left with the same total.

This week, when asked that question again, Kerney elaborated.

“Really frustrating, is the best way to put it,” he said, laughing. “For someone who moves like that and is so light on his feet, you’d figure, ‘OK, I’ll be able to move this guy.’ Then you drive you head in his chest to try and bull-rush him. He doesn’t move an inch and you bounce back two feet.

“It really is frustrating. That’s what made Walter so special.”

The essence of Jones’ 13-season run is not lost on the player who will replace him: Okung, the tackle from Oklahoma State the Seahawks drafted last week. While playing a game against Washington State at Qwest Field in 2008, Okung got his first glimpse of the world Jones lived in – and dominated.

“Just seeing his locker made me think that this somewhere that I definitely want to be one day,” Okung said.

When that day finally arrived – last Saturday – Okung took a moment to check out Jones’ cubicle during his tour of the team’s facility on the shores of Lake Washington. It is adorned with the brick-a-brack befitting a warrior of Jones’ stature – decals to signify the team’s AFC West title in 1999, the wild-card playoff berth in 2004, the four consecutive NFC West division titles from 2004-07 and the NFC championship in ’05.

“It’s impressive, definitely,” Okung said of Jones’ locker.

Just like the player who used it.

Now, Jones gets to hurry up and wait – for his induction into the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor and his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

With him, it’s not a matter of if, but when. For all the obvious reasons.

“The young man,” Strong said, “is a freak of nature.”
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 11:41 am
Day 1 Mini-Camp in the books

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:04 am
Day 2 in the books

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:54 am
Going to answer Xbay's question in thsi thread instead of Niner thread.

Xbay wrote:Don't wanna turn this into a Seahawks thread, but what's the status on Lofa Tatupu? Contract wise and health wise?


Contract - he also signed an extension to his rookie deal in 2008. Was a 6 year extension that runs through 2015 so he is locked up long term.

This is a HUGE year for him. He needs a bounce back year. Certainly injuries have played a large part, but even when healthy, he has played below his level for two seasons now. A big part of that is the defensive line ahead of him.

Tatupu, unlike Willis, is not a physical speciman. If lineman get to his level, he sometimes struggles getting free. He also took poor angles last season... almost seemed a bit lazy.

Tatupu thrives on smarts on the field. He studies more film than just about anyone and always seems a step ahead in anticipation. I think having Carroll there will rejuvinate him.

But he is a true leader and works extremely hard in helping out his teammates on the field. I look for a bounce back season from him. But if not David "The Heater" Hawthorne showed he is more than adequate. Not nearly as smart as Tatupu, but is more like Willis in terms of being a physical presense.
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:14 am
I think Tatupu will be fine. Don't know if pro bowl fine, but he won't be a reason for concern.


I'd be more worried about Leroy Hill, tho. They've told him to stay away from the camp these last few days, and that's certainly not good news for his long term future with the Seahawks.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:27 pm
Seems like the new Strenght and Conditioning coach that came from USC with Carroll is making a huge impact.

Many players have seen their bench press rise by 40-50% in just 3 months. Quite a staggering increase. Perhaps this guy can help the Seahawks avoid all these injuries they have been experiencing.

Sounds like this coach is well regarded.

Former head coach Pete Carroll has dealt a major blow to the USC Football program. Next to Carroll, himself, the person most responsible for USC’s rise as a college football powerhouse this past decade has been Chris Carlisle, the head strength and conditioning coach.

Carlisle is the man who put the muscle into the program. He is the one most responsible for the strong second half finishes that Carroll’s Trojan teams displayed throughout the decade.

Today Carroll called, and Carlisle listened.

He will join the man who brought him to USC in Seattle to become the Seahawks new strength and conditioning coach.

It is one great move for Carlisle and the Seahawks and a terrible loss for the Cardinal and Gold.

Lane Kiffin and the USC administration wanted to keep Carlisle on board. But Carlisle’s allegiance lay with Pete Carroll. The only question was why did it take so long for Carroll to invite Carlisle to join his staff.

Carroll placed all his trust and faith in Carlisle back in 2001 when he hired Carlisle who was battling Hodgkin’s disease, a form of cancer.

So, it is understandable that Carlisle should remain loyal to Carroll and take advantage of this opportunity.

Although the Trojan community is devastated by this loss, the staff, players, and fans all wish Carlisle, a revered coach at USC, the very best.

Carlisle’s program was so unique and state-of-the-art that former Trojan players often returned in the offseason to train with Carlisle rather than train at their respective NFL facilities.
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