Seattle is a relatively young franchise, as 21 of the 32 teams in the NFL were founded in 1960 or prior. Seattle has been the home for many of the NFL’s greatest players, and those players have made a name for themselves around the league while making a permanent home in the hearts of the Seattle faithful.
In the coming weeks, we will be looking at the greatest players to wear the Seattle blue and gray and white and green, and ranking them in what is sure to be a polarizing order. We welcome your comments and/or disagreements. We will kick off the countdown with numbers 25-21 and with none other than the best placekicker in Seattle’s history (not an opinion).
25. Kicker Norm Johnson (1982-1990)
Nicknamed “Mr. Automatic” by the fans, Johnson was one of the most consistent kickers during his career with Seattle. He helped kick them to the AFC Championship game in 1983, and only missed five extra points in his time with the Seahawks, and never had a field goal or extra point blocked. He is in the top 100 NFL all-time in career field goal percentage and is Seattle’s points leader on their all-time list. Johnson made one Pro Bowl in his Seattle career and was selected as an All-Pro once.
Check out his career highlights here
24. Linebacker Malcolm Smith (2011-2014)
Smith joined Seattle a year after Pete Carroll came to town, after finishing his career at USC, where he had previously played for Carroll. Carving out a role as a situational player on the defense and special teams, Smith had a solid time in Seattle, but his regular season numbers are not why fans will remember him. The only Super Bowl MVP in Seattle’s history, Smith was a spark among many on the defense in their 43-8 victory over Denver. One of only seven defenders in the history of the sport to win the award, Smith recorded ten tackles, picked off Broncos QB Peyton Manning and returned it nearly 70 yards for a touchdown, and recovered a fumble. Check out the video here of his interception in the biggest game of his career.
23. Receiver Brian Blades (1988-1998)
Often the forgotten man in Seattle lore with so much talent at receiver, Blades was the go-to guy for QBs Dave Kreig and Rick Mirer (among others), helping bridge a few eras with his speed and hands. With four 1000 yard seasons, Blades made a name for himself in his decade with the team, amassing nearly enough statistics to make a run at Steve Largent’s franchise records. Blades is second in Seattle in yards and receptions, behind only Largent. Blades struggled to score consistently, catching just three touchdowns per season. Highlights are surprisingly tough to find, so just take my word for it – Blades was a good player, even earning a Pro Bowl nod once in his career.
22. Receiver Darrell Jackson (2000-2006)
The preferred target of QB Matt Hasselbeck, it was easy to assume Jackson would catch passes and touchdowns in the prolific Seattle offense of the early 2000s. He used his speed and hands to earn his way to 4th on the franchise list in receptions and touchdowns and 3rd in yards. Jackson has the unique distinction of being tied for the Super Bowl record for most receptions in the first quarter, as he caught 5 in the first quarter of the 2005 Super Bowl against Pittsburgh. Jackson caught a touchdown as well, but it was erased by a questionable penalty. Despite his short tenure in Seattle, Jackson made a name for himself, even if the popularity vote (Pro Bowl) forgot about him during his best seasons. Jackson recorded three 1000 yard seasons and was less than 50 yards away from getting a 4th. He caught at least seven touchdowns four times, including 2006 when he caught 10.
Here is one of Jackson’s first big catches from Hasselbeck –
21. Cornerback Dave Brown (1976-1986)
When the Seahawks put the pieces of their first defense together, Brown was their cornerstone player. He played his rookie year in 1975 for the Steelers, winning the Super Bowl before coming to Seattle via the expansion draft in 1976. Brown was a day one starter and made a big name for himself in his ten years with the team, earning two All-Pro awards and being selected for one Pro Bowl. The original ball hawk, Brown finished his career as the franchise leader in interceptions, interception yards, and interceptions returned for a touchdown – and he is still the leader in all three some 35 years later. Brown is one of only ten players selected to the Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor, being inducted officially in 1992. Brown is not only the leader in interceptions in Seattle, he ranks tenth in the NFL all-time with 62.
Despite his stellar play, Brown did not get a lot of highlight reels. This one was not easy to find, and while the video quality is terrible, the quality of play from Brown was typical in that it was amazing.