The occasion offers an opportunity to improve upon past efforts to compile a roster of the all-time greatest Seahawks.
Consider, for example, the 35th Anniversary team, reflecting fan voting on the franchise's official website (following each athlete's name is his tenure in Seattle):
|WR Steve Largent (1976-89)|
|LT Walter Jones (1997-2008)|
|LG Steve Hutchinson (2001--05)|
|C Robbie Tobeck (2000-2006)|
|RG Bryan Millard (1984-1991)|
|RT Howard Ballard (1994-98)|
|TE John Carlson (2008-2011)|
|WR Bobby Engram (2001-08)|
|WR Brian Blades (1988-1998)|
|QB Matt Hasselbeck (2001-10)|
|RB Shaun Alexander (2000-07)|
|FB Mack Strong (1993-2007)|
|DE Jacob Green (1980-92)|
|DT Joe Nash (1982-96)|
|DT Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000)|
|DE Michael Sinclair (1991-2001)|
|OLB Chad Brown (1997-2004)|
|MLB Lofa Tatupu (2005-10)|
|ILB Fredd Young (1984-87)|
|OLB Rufus Porter (1988-94)|
|CB Marcus Trufant (2003-12)|
|CB Dave Brown (1976-86)|
|NB Shawn Springs (1997-2003)|
|SS Kenny Easley (1981-87)|
|FS Eugene Robinson (1985-95)|
|K Norm Johnsonv (1982-90)|
|P Rick Tuten (1991-97)|
|KOR Steve Broussard (1995-98)|
|PR Nate Burleson (2006-09)|
The online poll evinced two deep flaws:
1. A predictable presentist bias; and
2. An alarming lack of depth.
To see how badly the presentist perspective of voters skewed the results, let's start by splitting up team history into four major coaching eras:
I. The Patera Era (1976-82; includes an '82 season under McCormick); 20%
II. The Age of Knox (1983-91)
II. The Flores & Erickson Errors (1992-1997)
IV. The Holmgren Era (1999-2008)
Now, consider the percentages of offensive, defensive and special teams players drawn from each era:
I. Patera = 1/12 offensive players (8%), 1/13 defenders (8%), 0/4 special teamers (0%)
II. Knox = 1/12 offensive players (8%), 6/13 defenders (46%), 1/4 special teamers (25%)
III. Errors = 2/12 offensive players (17%), 2/13 defenders (15%), 2/4 special teamers (50%)
IV. Holmgren = 8/12 offensive players (67%), 4/13 defenders (31%), 1/4 special teamers (25%)
It is hard to argue with the under-representation of Patera Era Seahawks. Although those years comprised 20% of the first 35 years of team history, Seattle was a pretty dreadful football team in those years, with a real dearth of talent.
While the '80s defense received due respect, voters seemed to have forgotten about the dynamic offensive production of Ground Chuck and Air Knox that contributed to the team's successes in its halcyon Silver Age. No love for Curt Warner? John L. Williams? Dave Krieg?
Voters got the Flores and Erickson Errors about right, except with regard to Steve Broussard. Bruiser was a good player, but his selection as the best kick returner in Seahawk history is explicable only as blatant homerism from Wazzu voters. (I didn't realize there were that many Husky grads with the time, patience and big hearts to help WSU alumni operate a PC, read and vote online.)
Obviously, the real problem is the gross over-representation of Seahawks from the Holmgren Era. Of course, Holmgren's decadelong tenure as Seattle's coach consumed 40% of the team's first 35 years. Moreover, those years included most of the best seasons in the team's history through 2010, and featured the most explosive offensive in team history.
So, some over-representation is understandable, especially on offense. But John Carlson as the best tight end in team history? Was that supposed to be some kind of joke? The kid could catch passes (and still can), but I've coached flag football 5th graders who block better than he did (and does).
Lack of Depth
I like depth on real teams and on all-star teams. Don't just name starters. Seattle has had enough great players to fill out an entire roster, including backups.
We can do better for the 40th Anniversary squad.