Tue, 02 Jun 2020

The Best Seahawks Players By Jersey Number: 61-80

Seahawks
22 May 2020, 20:50 GMT+10

Picking the best player to wear every number in Seahawks history.

The Seahawks recently assigned jersey numbers to rookies and other newcomers, which, combined with the fact that we're all stuck at home with nothing else to do, makes this a great time to take a trip down memory lane and determine who is the best player in Seahawks history to wear every number from 1 to 99.

Some choices were really easy, such as Seattle's four numbers retired for the Hall of Fame players who wore them: Steve Largent (80), Walter Jones (71), Cortez Kennedy (96) and Kenny Easley (45). Other numbers were less obvious-while 11 is an iconic number for the neighboring Mariners, no Seahawk past or present has exactly put his stamp on it. And one number, 79, even has a fun familial tie to it.

Is this a particularly original idea? Hardly. But what else do we have to do these days? With that ringing endorsement out of the way, we've come up with the far-from-definitive definitive list of the best Seahawks by number that we'll be putting on Seahawks.com this week. Monday, we started out with numbers 1-20, Tuesday we looked at the best players to wear 21-40, Wednesday covered numbers 41-60, and today we tackle 61-80. Check back Friday as we finish things off with numbers 81-99.

61: C Robbie Tobeck

The center on the best offensive lines in franchise history, Tobeck, along with a couple of future Hall of Fame teammates, was a Pro-Bowler in 2005 as that unit paved the way for Shaun Alexander's MVP season and Seattle's first Super Bowl appearance. Tobeck spent six seasons in Seattle and was already 30 by the time he joined the Seahawks, but he went on to start 88 games over seven seasons with the Seahawks, the final four of which saw Seattle reach the postseason.

62: G Chris Gray

Gray actually began his Seahawks career at center, but moved to right guard for most of his career, starting alongside Tobeck to help lead the way for some of the best offensive seasons in team history. Gray appeared in 135 consecutive games from 1998-2006, the longest streak in team history for an offensive or defensive player (punter Jon Ryan holds the franchise record with 159 consecutive games). Gray's 121 consecutive starts rank second to Russell Wilson, who has 128 and counting.

63: T Nick Bebout

After starting his career in Atlanta, Bebout joined the expansion Seahawks in 1976 and was Seattle's starting left tackle for four seasons. In 1978 and 1979, Bebout was part of offenses that ranked in the top seven in total offense and scoring as the Seahawks posted their first winning records in franchise history.

64: G J.R. Sweezy

It's tough to choose between Sweezy and Essink, Seattle's starting left tackle from 1981-1985. Essink started 70 games for the Seahawks, while Sweezy started 64, and both were on successful teams. But we'll give the slightest edge to Sweezy for being part of a Super Bowl-winning team, not to mention the degree of difficulty having made the move from college defensive lineman to NFL offensive lineman.

65: G Edwin Bailey

Bailey came to the Seahawks as a fifth-round pick out of Division I-AA South Carolina State and won the starting left guard job as a rookie. Over the course of 11 seasons, Bailey started 121 games.

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Kendall was followed at left guard by a Hall of Famer, but the former first-round pick out of Boston College was pretty good in his own right, starting 75 games over five seasons in Seattle. Kendall would go on to start 188 games in a 13-year career that also included stops in Arizona, New York and Washington.

67: G/T Paul McQuistan

A versatile and underrated lineman in the early part of the Carroll/Schneider era, McQuistan started 40 games over three seasons, playing both guard and tackle, including 14 games for the Super Bowl-champion 2013 squad.

68: C Justin Britt

After starting at right tackle and left guard in his first two seasons, Britt found his home as a center in 2016, starting there for four straight seasons while developing into a leadership role on offense. Britt started 86 games in six seasons, helping the Seahawks to five playoff berths in that span.

69: DT Clinton McDonald

Offensive linemen Jeff Blackshear and Floyd Wedderburn both had nice three-year stints with the Seahawks, but McDonald gets the nod for being a key contributor on a Super Bowl-winning team, providing 5.5 sacks in 2013.

70: DE Michael Sinclair

Sinclair was something of a late-bloomer, but once he got going he became one of the most productive pass rushers in team history. In his age 28-30 seasons, Sinclair was named to three straight Pro-Bowls while piling up 41.5 sacks, including a team-record 16.5 in 1998. Sinclair's 73.5 career sacks rank second in team history behind Jacob Green.

71:T Walter Jones

Bryan Millard had a very solid career with the Seahawks wearing No. 71, starting 99 games, primarily as a right guard. Unfortunately for Millard, Jones, a Hall of Famer and one of the best left tackles in NFL history, got that number in 1997 and wore it very well on his way to nine Pro Bowl selections and a spot on the 2000s All-Decade Team.

72: DT Joe Nash

Michael Bennett had a great Seahawks career and would be a great choice here if not for an incredibly impressive career by Nash, who was a first-team All-Pro on a loaded 1984 defense, and who appeared in 218 games over 15 seasons, both Seahawks records for longevity.

73: T Ray Roberts

A first-round pick in 1992, Roberts started 46 games in his first three seasons with the Seahawks, enough to give him the slight edge over Norm Evans, Seattle's first starting right tackle.

74: DT Manu Tuiasosopo

Yes, George Fant was eligible for consideration here, but the nod goes to Tuiasosopo, who started 64 games for the Seahawks from 1979-1983. Younger sports fans also know the Tuiasosopo name for the impressive resumes of his children Marquise, Matt, Zach and Leslie.

75: T Howard Ballard

Ballard's two Pro-Bowl selections came while he played for Buffalo, but he was still a quality right tackle for Seattle to finish his career. Ballard started five seasons in Seattle, including a 1997 season in which the Seahawks ranked third in scoring and ninth in total offense.

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Some very good offensive linemen have worn this number for the Seahawks, including Steve August and Russell Okung, but Hutchinson, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, gets the nod.

77: DE/DT Jeff Bryant

If we're basing this pick on quality of nickname, then Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack is the choice, but as fun as a nicknames list might be, that's not what we're doing here. Bryant had an outstanding 12-year career with the Seahawks, starting 167 games while recording 63 sacks, including 14.5 sacks in 1984. Bryant's career sack total and that 1984 season rank third in the Seahawks record books.

78: G Bob Newton

After beginning his career in Chicago, Newton joined the expansion Seahawks in 1976 and went on to start 66 games at right guard over six seasons.

79: DE Jacob Green

A member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, Green holds the franchise record for sacks with 97.5 despite playing two seasons before sacks were an official stat (unofficially Green has 116). A two-time Pro-Bowler, Green had five double-digit sack seasons, and two more with 9.0 and 9.5 sacks. On an interesting note, the second-best No. 79 in franchise history, Red Bryant, wore that number because he is Green's son in law.

80: WR Steve Largent

A strong case can be made that Largent is the greatest Seahawk of all time. A Hall of Famer who retired as the NFL's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, Largent helped put the Seahawks on the map as a seven-time Pro-Bowler who also is the only Seahawk to earn the NFL Man of the Year Award (later named for Walter Payton). Fittingly, one of the team's highest individual honors is the Steve Largent Award, a player-voted award given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks.

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