Happy Walter Jones Day

No, it’s not Coug related, but we should ALL take a moment to honor the great tackle, Walter Jones, as he finally hangs up the cleats in his illustrious career.  For today has been proclaimed “Walter Jones Day” by governor Christine Gregoire in the state of Washington! 

Some facts on Jones, from Seahawks.com:

Since coming to Seattle as a first-round pick in 1997, Jones started all 180 games played while becoming the most dominant left tackle of his time. In 13 seasons, he was called for holding nine times – NINE TIMES! – and in 5,703 pass attempts, surrendered just 23 sacks according to coaches statistics. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls (1999, 2001-08), passing Cortez Kennedy for most in team history, and was also a six-time AP All-Pro (1st Team in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2nd Team in 2006 and 2008).

It’s hard to measure offensive linemen in terms of the pure “stat”.  But Jones has received major accolades since he first arrived in the NFL, from opposing players and coaches alike.  But the best of all?  Mike Holmgren called Jones the best offensive player he ever coached (yes, that includes Brett Favre and Joe Montana).  WOW. 

Check out this video of Jones.  And please, pay close attention to the block he makes in the 2005 NFC Championship Game vs. Carolina at the 3-minute mark.  I was at that game, and I remember that play in particular.  It was late in the game, and the Hawks were comfortably ahead.  It was becoming clear we were headed to the Super Bowl, and easily one of the most exciting, memorable days I’ve experienced as a sports fan.  But on that play, not only were my eyes on Shaun Alexander taking it down near the goal-line, I couldn’t help but notice Jones taking the defensive end and moving him down the field like he was on roller skates!:

So if you are heading into school or the office or whatever it is you do today, wear something Seahawks and salute a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer.  And let me ask you this – where does Jones rank in Seahawks history, as far as the greatest of all time?  It’s hard to say he’s the best ever, not when you have someone like Steve Largent, a Hall of Famer himself who retired as the leading receiver in NFL history, before Jerry Rice broke all his records.  And Cortez Kennedy had a seriously dominant run of success in the 90’s, as a game-changing, play-making defensive tackle, but he didn’t last quite as long as Jones did at staying at the top of his game?  

Now back to Coug stuff….

  • Is Gonzaga Prep running back/WSU commit Bishop Sankey becoming “soft” on the Cougs?  So sayeth Cougfan

    Sankey also intimated to SWX that the verbal commitment he gave to Washington State in December is rooted in sand, not stone. “Right now I’m still verbally committed to WSU,” said Sankey. “I’m still going to take some visits to other schools just to see what else is out there to be completely sure.”

    Nobody can blame the kid for seeing what else is out there.  And hey, most of us expected this kind of thing, that he committed SO early, and is so highly regarded (4-star talent, #19 running back in the country per Scout.com).  So I think we all believed that his commitment was more like the beginning, rather than the end.  Fingers are still crossed that it will all work out, but uh, yeah, we are a LONG way from February 2011 signing day!

  • More spring wrap-ups, from Lew Wright at Examiner.com, and Cougcenter has their take
  • Finally, a good read on Bill Moos from the Evergreen.  The primary message from Moos?

    “Believe in the Cougars,” Moos said. “We’ve shown in recent past that we can be successful. Two Rose Bowls in six years, three 10-win seasons in a row, a Sweet 16 appearance in men’s basketball. These things have all happened, and they’ve happened in recent memory. Our challenge is to get back to that point and have a plan in place as to how to stay there once we do. This is a very competitive business, and the Pac-10 is the toughest conference in the country. It’s the conference of champions.”

All for now.  Enjoy your Friday, and GO COUGS!