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The Top Ten Seahawks Stories That Weren't: #4: The Invulnerable Walter Jones

The end is near for Jones, but there's little reason to think he's any more likely to be injured this coming season than he was in 2006 or 2007. 34 sounds ancient in the sports world. It sounds especially ancient for football. But offensive tackles do not fit the standard aging curve. Concerns about Jones inability to take a pain killer stronger than Tylenol are no more valid today than they were last year or the year before. Jones has prospered despite that handicap. It is a handicap, no doubt, but we must conclude sometime in the last 12 seasons Jones has adapted. He's involuntarily missed but two games throughout his career. Discovery, it's one of the top 10 reasons I write this site. I think I just discovered Seattle won't need a new left tackle until 2011. -John Morgan

What a rube.


In retrospect, the entire reasoning behind this post was flawed. Did I expect the list of Hall of Fame enshrined tackles to be rife with malingerers and deadweights? That's assuming a list of three is capable of being "rife". Of my three examples, two, Anthony Munoz and Gary Zimmerman, ended their careers in part because of injuries. So too may be true of Walter Jones.

Jones underwent season ending microfracture surgery on December 11, 2008. I really don't know the severity of the injury. I do know that I can't cite a single case of successful microfracture surgery for an NFL lineman.

In my defense, the above was an island in a sea of draft a tackle,


Seattle has done many things well, but it frightens me that they - seemingly - fail to see offensive tackle as a need. It's a gamble and one with a serious cost. They need depth at the position, minimum, and I think Barton is a great value here...C'mon Ruskell, we need this.

Draft a tackle,

Combining the inherent value of the position, the age of the incumbent and the overall team depth, no position presents a greater need for Seattle than offensive tackle.

Draft a tackle,


Draft a Long Term Replacement for Walter Jones

For most priorities I do not define exactly how the team should fill a need, but left tackle is an obvious exception. Top left tackles rarely see free agency, and when they do, are frightfully expensive. Further, this is a gangbusters draft for offensive tackle talent. If Seattle does not acquire a young offensive tackle this offseason, it will be hard to rate this offseason as anything but a failure.

Draft a tackle.

And a month later I would write:

In my soaring, many-buttressed vision of the 2008 season, a crack exists that spans roof to foundation. Best as I try, through faith and historical precedent, to patch that crack, it won't mend. And the ghouls that peak through, hungry, quick-footed and relentless, keep me awake at night.

Walter Jones is no longer the great left tackle he once was. The pattern of his failings makes me fear that injury, swift decline or an amalgam of each is very possible.

Seattle never signed a left tackle. Discounting Kyle Williams' brief and very tenuous success, Seattle never signed an offensive tackle of any impact. I was right with my criticism and wrong because my optimism. Blundering into the fourth spot gives Seattle a shot at almost any offensive line prospect they wish. In 2008, Seattle needed an offensive tackle. In 2009, Seattle is desperate for an offensive tackle.