BY SPNW Staff 05:52PM 02/01/2014

Hall Of Famer Walter Jones: A Career Snapshot

Walter Jones, a nine-time Pro Bowler who spent his entire career (1997-08) with the Seahawks, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon.

Walter Jones poses with a statute in his likeness at Sea-Tac Airport. / Corky Trewin, Seattle Seahawks

Selected by the Seahawks out of Florida State with the sixth overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, Walter Jones completed his professional football odyssey Saturday with his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound former left tackle joins wide receiver Steve Largent (1995) and defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy (2012) as the third longtime member of the franchise to cross the portals of Canton.

Like Largent, Jones made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility (Kennedy earned induction in his fourth). Jones becomes the 10th offensive lineman to achieve that distinction. Along with other members of the HOF Class of 2014, Jones will officially be enshrined in Canton Aug. 2.

Jones spent his entire career (1997-08) as a member of the Seahawks and protected nine different quarterbacks, from Warren Moon to Matt Hasselbeck, during that time. A snapshot of his achievements:

Walter Jones / Seahawks Photo

BORN: Jan. 19, 1974, Aliceville, AL

POSITION: Tackle

AFFILIATION: Seattle Seahawks (1997-08)

HEIGHT: 6-foot-5

WEIGHT: 315 pounds

ACQUIRED: Selected in the first round (sixth overall)  of the 1997 NFL Draft.

COLLEGE: Florida State

EXIT: Announced his retirement April 29, 2010.

The most decorated offensive lineman in Seahawks history, the 6-5, 315-pound Jones made nine Pro Bowl teams (franchise record) in his first 12 years with the franchise, becoming, virtually assuring his election the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which came Saturday.

In addition to being the first Seahawks’ lineman voted to play in the Pro Bowl, Jones was named first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press a franchise-record four times. He played a significant role in springing Shaun Alexander loose for more than 100 NFL touchdowns, and for helping quarterback Matt Hasselbeck earn three Pro Bowl invitations.

Jones played in 180 Seahawks games through 2008, starting every one of them. He failed to get on the field the following season due to an injured left knee, and was unable to rehabilitate to the point that he could play again. The Seahawks announced Jones’ retirement April 29, 2010, and immediately retired his No. 71 jersey.

Jones became the most dominant left tackle of his time. In 13 seasons, he was called for holding only nine times and in 5,703 pass attempts and surrendered just 23 sacks according to coaches statistics.

His nine Pro Bowls (1999, 2001‐08), eclipsed Kennedy’s eight for most in team history, and he was also a six‐time AP All‐Pro (1st Team in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2nd Team in 2006 and 2008).

Seattle selected Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, which was acquired in a draft‐day trade with the Tamp a Bay Buccaneers in exchange for Seattle’s first‐round pick (#12, RB Warrick Dunn) and third‐round pick (#66, CB Ronde Barber).

Jones was named to his first Pro Bowl following the 1999 season, becoming the first Seattle offensive lineman to accomplish that feat.

AWARDS / HONORS

  • Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Feb. 1, 2014, in a class including DE Michael Strahan, WR Andre Reed, LB Derrick Brooks, CB Aeneas Williams, DE Claude Humphrey and punter Ray Guy.
  • Selected to the NFL’s 53-man All-Decade Team (2000s) Jan. 31, 2010.
  • Team-record nine Pro Bowls, including eight in a row from 2001-08.
  • NFL first-team All-Pro in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007, and second-team All Pro in 2006 and 2008.
  • First Seahawks’ offensive lineman to play in the Pro Bowl, following the 1999 season.
  • First-team All-NFL by the Associated Press in 2001 and first-team All-AFC by Pro Football Weekly in 2001.
  • First-team All-NFL by the Pro Football Writers Association and first-team All-NFC by the Pro Football Weekly in 2002.
  • First-team All-NFC by Pro Football Weekly in 2003.
  • First-team All-NFL by the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly in 2004.
  • First-team All-NFL by the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly in 2005.
  • Second-team All-NFL by the Associated Press in 2006.
  • First-team All-NFL by the Associated Press in 2007.
  • Second-team All-NFL by the Associated Press in 2008.
  • Offensive Rookie of the Month for October, 1997.
  • Consensus All-Rookie choice in 1997.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Made 180 starts, second most in franchise history behind Steve Largent’s 197.
  • Part of an offensive line that sprang Shaun Alexander loose 1,880 yards and an NFL record 28 touchdowns in 2005.
  • Anchored a line that enabled Alexander to score an NFL-record five first-half touchdowns against Minnesota Sept. 29, 2002.
  • Part of a line that helped the Seahawks amass a club record 320 yards rushing against the Houston Texans Oct. 15, 2005.
  • Signature play occurred in the 2005 NFC Championship Game at then-Qwest Field, when Jones blocked Carolina defensive end Mike Rucker about 15 yards downfield and then dropped him near the goal line, allowing Alexander to score a touchdown.
  • At the time of his retirement, was the last remaining Seahawk to have played in the Kingdome.
  • Ranked No. 8 (and No. 1 among Seahawks players) on the list of the 100 Greatest Athletes in Washington state sports history by “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists” in 2009.

2009

  • After undergoing microfracture surgery in December, 2008, to repair his left knee, and undergoing a second surgery, was unable to get on the field in 2009.
  • Managed to get through just two practices during training camp before undergoing arthroscopic surgery in August to clean up scar tissue.
  • After Jones was unable to resume practice, the Seahawks placed him on injured reserve Oct. 28, ending his season.

2008

  • Played in 12 of Seattle’s 16 games (12 starts at left tackle), but missed the final four games of the regular season after undergoing microfracture surgery on an ailing knee.
  • Recovered third career fumble.
  • Uncharacteristically beaten by Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware for two sacks in a nationally televised Thanksgiving Day game (played on a bad knee).
  • Selected to the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in his career, a franchise record.
  • Named second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press.
  • Finalist, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year.

2007

  • Played in 15 of Seattle’s 16 games, starting all 15 at left tackle.
  • Selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the eighth time, tying Cortez Kennedy for most in franchise history.
  • Selected first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for the fourth time (also 2001, 2004-05, 2007).
  • Selected All-Pro by The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America); named All-NFC by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).
  • Ranked as the 10th-best player in the NFL by Sports Illustrated.
  • Started both of Seattle’s postseason contests.

2006

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the seventh time.
  • Named to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time, tying Steve Largent (1976-89) for the second-most selections in franchise history.
  • Named All-Pro by The Sporting News; second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
  • Named All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).
  • Named All-NFC by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).

2005

  • Started 15 of Seattle’s 16 games at left tackle; missed final game of the season with a back injury.
  • Recovered second career fumble.
  • After serving as the team’s “franchise player” for three consecutive years, signed a seven-year, $52.5 million contract Feb. 16.
  • Started in the Pro Bowl for the sixth time.
  • First-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for the third time in his career and joined Kenny Easley (1981-87) and Cortez Kennedy (1990-00) as the only Seahawks named first-team All-Pro three times.
  • First-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).
  • Played an integral role in Alexander’s record-breaking season: 1,880 yards, 28 TDs, NFL MVP.
  • Started all three of Seattle’s postseason games.

2004

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the sixth time.
  • Designated the team’s “franchise player” (tag: $7,080,000); missed all of training camp, reported and played season under a one-year tender.
  • Selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the fifth time.
  • First-team All-Pro by The Associated Press.
  • First-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America) and first-team All-NFL by The Sporting News.

2003

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the fifth time.
  • Designated the team’s “franchise player” (tag: $5,734,000); missed all of training camp.
  • Named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time.
  • First team All-NFC by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).

2002

  • Started 14 of Seattle’s 16 games at left tackle after missing two games in a contract dispute.
  • Designated the team’s “franchise player” (tag: $4,920,000); missed all of training camp and two regular-season games.
  • Named to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
  • First-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).
  • First-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).

2001

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the fourth consecutive year.
  • First-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for the first time.
  • First-team All-NFL by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).
  • Helped Alexander bust loose for 1,318 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

2000

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the third consecutive season.
  • Helped the Seahawks avoid a sack in back-to-back games at Atlanta Dec. 3 and at Denver Dec. 10.

1999

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the second straight year.
  • Named to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
  • Recovered first career fumble.

1998

  • Started all 16 games at left tackle for the first time.
  • Held All-Pro Derrick Thomas without a sack in the Seahawks’ 17-6 win at Kansas City.

1997

  • Started 12 of Seattle’s 16 games at left tackle after breaking into the lineup during training camp.
  • Became the second rookie to start at left tackle, following Ray Roberts (1992).
  • First-team All-Rookie by Pro Football Weekly (Pro Football Writers of America).
  • First-team All-Rookie by The Football News; AFC West Outstanding Rookie by The Sporting News.
  • NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month (October).

PERSONAL / MISCELLANEOUS

  • Lettered in football and basketball at Aliceville High in Aliceville, AL.
  • Attended Holmes Community College in Holmes, MS., before transferring to Florida State, where he became first-team All-America.
  • Second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference as a junior.
  • Famous for unusual off-season workout routine: pushing an SUV around a parking lot twice a week in his hometown of Harvest, AL.
  • Weighed 11 pounds 15 ounces at birth.
  • Has eight brothers and sisters.
  • Married to Valeria and a father of twins, Walterius and Waleria, and one stepson, Rafael.

SAID

  • “He’s the best offensive lineman, clearly, that I’ve ever had. He’s a phenomenal player.” – Mike Holmgren, who coached Jones for 10 years in Seattle
  • “A great teammate. A pro. A guy you can count on. That’s what Walter was. A great teammate. It just happened that he was also the best player on the team.” – Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawk quarterback, after Jones announced his retirement
  • “All the rest of us needed coaching up. But with Walter, you’d just point to the guy he needed to block and it was done.” – Mack Strong, former Seahawk fullback.
  • “He is what you want to model your offensive tackles to be. He just looked the part and, more importantly, always played the part.” — John Randle, former Seahawk and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • “It took me a year of being in Seattle before I realized this. Every time we lined up, the best player on the field was my left tackle.” – Trent Dilfer, Seahawk quarterback from 2001-04
  • “He makes it look easy. He was born to play left tackle. There are things he can do physically I just can’t do. There are things he does linebackers probably can’t do. He’s in a class all his own.” – L.J. Shelton, Miami offensive tackle, talking about Jones in The Sporting News in 2006.
  • “He dominated people. He dominated every single play and every single game. He totally took his man out of the play. He’s easily one of the top two or three tackles of all time, and in my opinion he’s the greatest Seahawk ever.” – Ray Roberts, former Seahawk offensive lineman
  • “He’s the best. Bar none.”– Alex Brown, Chicago Bears defensive end, on Jones in 2006.
  • “With all due respect to Jonathan Ogden (Baltimore Ravens), Walter Jones is the man. He’s got it all: the size, the foot speed, the hands. He uses angles very well. He has a basketball player’s agility in a big man’s body.”– Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins defensive end, on Jones in 2006.
  • “Jonesy? Best football player in the league, in my opinion, regardless of position – Steve Hutchinson, Minnesota Vikings guard who spent his first five seasons playing next to Jones in Seattle.
  • “I faced a number of other Hall of Famers who were fantastic players, and Walt was head and shoulders above them. It was like wrestling a bear for three hours.”–Patrick Kerney, who played three years with Jones.
  • “I don’t think there’s any question that Walter is a Hall of Fame lineman. Walter is better than some of the guys that are already in the Hall of Fame. I tell people that the two greatest athletes I ever played with were Deion Sanders and Walter Jones.”– Robbie Tobeck, Seahawks teammate, on Jones in 2007.

 


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