So over the last two weeks I've published about Hawks history in the form of lists with names and snipets. This has been fun, but after reading the comments there was one unit woefully left off the table of discussion. Special Teams. What's sort of sad on my end is, that is the one place the Seahawks have been better than most teams during the entire length of it's existence. So rather than working in top ten, or top five lists, I figured I would walk through the legacy of special teams decade by decade.
Efren Herrera: Though famously known for his 3 catches on special teams he was a solid kicker and the points leader for every team he was a part of from 78-81
Herman "Thunder Foot" Weaver: 1977-1980 His best year was 1980 with a 41.8 yards per kick average and for most of his career he stayed around 38 yards. Considering he punted 5 times per game on average while in seattle his average per kick shows that he rarely shanked any kicks.
Norm Johnson: 1982 -1990 This guy has a special place for me as I had the chance to shake hands with him when he visited Children's hospital and made the rounds to different rooms. As a 8 year old kid, who knew the significance of this meeting? He's made more clutch kicks in Seattle's history and turned more games than any before or after him. He also saved a Shootout win against the chiefs in 1983 in a key victory that helped the Seahawks push for their first playoff appearance.
Fredd Young 1984-1987: First player ever picked for the probowl for his special teams play alone, you can not watch a game during his career in Seattle and see him missing. Every punt cover or kick cover, fredd young was destined to earhole some poor idiot who didn't understand the hard hitting of the Seahawks special teams. He forced 5 fumbles on special teams and really showed you could make plays on football's most forgotten unit.
Rick Tuten 1991-1997: The one man consistent enough to battle against the misfortunes of the Seahawks lack of offense in the '90's was Rick Tuten. He punted the ball an impressive 7 times per game for a 44.1 yard average 1992 However, the amazing stat on the Seahawks best punter is that he never went under 41 yards a kick. His volume of kicks alone could impress, but that average makes one realize that he was hardly ever off his game.
Paul Johns 1981-1984: The first real name in solid returners for Seattle. Not much even exists in recognizing his skills because his career was so brief, but he was really a key component to a feared Knox coached special teams in 1983.
Kenny Easley: Heh, you can't really talk Special teams without bringing up his name. Stepping in when Paul Johns was injured Easily had a 11.2 yards per return average
Bobby Joe Edmonds: 1986-1988 A bit of a sad tale with Bobby Joe, Though as a rookie he would set the world on fire with 419 punt return yards and made the probowl as a rookie. He was the first of several electric returners in Seahawks history.
Charlie Rogers: 1999-2001: The real bright spot during the early transition and slash and cash of the early holmgren era this guy goes largely unremembered but he racked up an amazing 3,214 combined return yards in the three seasons in Seattle. He also has the last kick return for a touchdown at the Kingdome in a playoff loss to stupid ringless Dan Marino
Alex Bannister: 2001-2005 Pobably the most electrifying gunner in hawks history. Alex Bannister was so fast covering punts as a team in 2003 teams only returned kicks an average of 2.8 yards. Bannister would make the probowl in 2003, but even though he should be known for his gunning, I love that 3 of his nine carer catches one for a touchdown came in the key game for the young seahawks playoff push after 5 seasons of Holmgren's attempts to right the ship.
Edit: Josh Brown: 2003-2006 There isn't a more contraversial picks here for me, he's seen as clutch and while it's true to some degree, he has six recorded game winning kicks in his career as a seahawk, he also missed kicks in 3 of those games, including his most famous kick against Dallas in 2005. He needs his props for coming through when it was pressure time. I just personally have to grit my teeth on this one.
Nate Burleson: 2006-2009 It took awhile, but Soon The seahawks found a new star punt returner in Burleson. His heroics against the rams and subsequent record setting 84 punt return yards in a playoff game leaves his name attached to this legacy despite it's briefness.
Leon Washington: 2010-Present, A gutsy trade by a new front office brings the lighting fast moves of this already established star into the ranks of the blue wave, his two kick returns for touchdowns against the chargers gave the Seahawks and improbable win against a much more powerful team. Leon became so feared teams stopped kicking to him by about week 9 of the Season.
Feel free to add your thoughts and critiques.
Next week: Seahawks Legacy of greatness: Wide Recievers
The Following week will be 5 vs 5: Top seahawk stars of the past and their 5 contemporaries.