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Appreciating Jon Ryan: The last Seahawk standing from the Tim Ruskell era

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan is under contract through the remainder of the 2010s. He’s the longest tenured Seahawk on the roster, and thanks to the departure of Brandon Mebane in the previous offseason, Ryan is the only player signed by previous Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell who is still with the team today. In fact, the only other Seahawks to have played under both the Holmgren/Hasselbeck and Carroll/Wilson eras are Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Marcus Trufant, and Leroy Hill.

This obviously isn’t a particularly new discovery, but it is a testament to Ryan’s productivity that he’s remained a part of Seahawks football even after John Schneider and Pete Carroll discarded an overwhelming majority of Ruskell’s busts players just within the first two seasons.

Ryan was cut by the Green Bay Packers prior to the start of the 2008 season. Seattle was still using the services of Ryan Plackemeier, but Ruskell sent him packing after a poor performance against the Buffalo Bills, with Roscoe Parrish returning one of his punts for a touchdown. Justin Forsett and Jordan Kent were also cut to make way for Ryan and the catch-averse Billy McMullen. All this time, Ruskell kept two placekickers on the team. Long live Brandon Coutu.

Jon’s very first punt as a Seahawk came in week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers. It was a semi-shank which traveled just 39 yards and gave San Francisco the ball at their own 43. Not a good start. His second punt?

Classic Big Play Babs. Julius “Average” Jones would score a touchdown just a few plays later.

Ryan had a pretty awful debut. He wound up getting a touchback on a punt from the 49ers 40, and then nearly gave away the game in regulation with a 38-yarder that gave San Francisco the ball in Seattle territory. Joe Nedney missed the game-winning field goal in regulation, but would win it in overtime after J.T. O’Sullivan and Isaac Bruce destroyed a woeful Seahawks secondary. The 2008 season was a giant sack of misery.

Nine years later, and Ryan is a key part of what has historically been a very good special teams unit under ST coach Brian Schneider. He’s the Seahawks franchise leader in total punts (678), punt yardage (30,339), and average yards per punt (44.7).

I don’t know how much longer we’ll have Ryan in a Seahawks uniform, but it’s amazing he’s lasted this long because, well ... he’s taken some tumbles.

Jon Ryan is more than just a punter. He’s a ninja warrior, a placekicker (okay not really), an incredibly funny character, and most importantly a legitimate offensive weapon. Even including the fumble-turned-concussion against the Rams, Ryan has a proven track record of picking up first downs as a rusher on designed plays.

Russell Wilson may need a new backup quarterback pending what happens to Trevone Boykin and the possible probation violation. Should the Seahawks go after someone late in the draft or pick up a veteran backup? I don’t see why they need to, because Ryan is a proven scrambler who can throw on the run.

Here’s to another year of Seahawks football with one of Canada’s finest treasures.