There is a sentence that I hate that flies out of the mouthes of many seahawk fans. It's lazy and a slight to one the greatest football players to ever dawn pads. "The Seahawks can't run because Hutch left." It was weird, I used to defend Shaun after this argument sprouted, but I missed something I should have seen a while ago. Walter Jones did the most of any left tackle ever when it came to run blocks. He did more in key spots for the running game than anyone including myself ever seemed to notice.
I sat down with the Vikings vs Seahawks game from 2004. I wanted to have some fun and so I had planned to watch this and the Redskin playoff wins in which Darrell Jackson had lit it up. (I like Darrell Jackson, sue me.) Though this game, if it's remembered by hawk fanatics, it's often related to the strange Moss to Boulware interception.
However, something happened that I couldn't remember happening then. Steve Hutchinson was replaced in the Second half by Journeyman backup Jerry Wunsch. No injury is claimed or reported. He simply misses the entire second half. The Seahawks would go on to gain 112 yards in the second half on the ground. After only putting up 39 yards rushing in the first half. I watched in awe at how many times Wunsch executed plays to near perfect timing and somehow Walter's play always affected his.
My Jaw dropped on a power sweep play because I almost thought Hutch snuck back in the game,. but Walter had perfectly smashed his man down into the line as Wunsch pulled free on the sweep Shaun gained about eight on the play, but the execution was so well done I laughed. I laughed like an idiot. I laughed because Walter had dominated his man so smoothly the guy looked as if he were a dummy to be moved back into a supply closet.
Walter Jones has become the forgotten man in the Seahawks running game in favor of a flashy or gritty hutch who built his reputation on 240 pound linebackers and some blinside downfield pops on safeties that never even saw him coming. If we blame anyone for the decline of the power running game, blame father time and Walter's later career injuries. It's time we really see Walter as the complete dominating player he was, not just a ninja style pass protector. He was so much more.