Ladies and gentlemen, lets get away from the present and look back at our past. The Seahawks were a great team this decade, one of the best in the league on the whole. I thought this might be a good time to look back and make a 2000-2010 dream team. Curious about your feedback.
Quarterback - Matthew Hasselbeck
No debate here. Hasselbeck has been arguably the best QB to ever don the Seahawk blue, and his recent struggles do not take away from his overall success this decade. In a lot of ways, the Seahawks success is almost unimaginable without him.
Running Back - Shaun Alexander
We may never understand what happened to Alexander after 2005, but everything changed. Still, to revise history and say that Alexander was always the same back he just had an incredible O-Line is unfair. In 2005, Alexander failed to convert exactly one 3rd/4th and 1 conversion and it was in the last week in a meaningless game. Alexander was tough, fast enough, and had very good vision. All of that disappeared in 2006, and Hutchinson is not the only reason. Still, Alexander was incredible for the first half of the decade, and it's clear that no one has replaced him yet.
Fullback - Mack Strong
No WCO is complete without a bruising fullback who can catch passes when needed. Few fit the bill better than Mack Strong. Strong led (literally) Alexander to his rushing title and MVP in 2005 with a ton of help from the O-Line. He was a great lead blocker and proved that he could be a threat when trusted with the ball. He is less dynamic than runner-up Leonard Weaver, but fits the role a little better.
Tight End - John Carlson
Finally! We found a tight end after 8 years of searching, signing and drafting mediocre players or troubled jerks, Carlson is immediately the best TE of the decade after his first year and reinforced further after his sophomore effort.
WR 1 - Darrell Jackson
Jackson was not a great receiver, but his rapport with Hasselbeck was undeniable. They thought alike and read coverages alike, which is why he looked like a star despite never being one. He also is the closest thing we've had to a #1 save for Jerry Rice who never really played like the guy he had once been.
WR 2 - Nate Burleson
Burleson came to the Seahawks and struggled mightily. In fact, he was benched. He went to the coach and said, basically, 'look, I feel bad that I'm not performing, but put me in wherever you can and I'll make it work.' Holmgren responded by handing the keys to the punt return game over to Burleson and there was an instant spark. With that confidence came "mad skills" in the receiving game in 2007 when he led the team in receiving touchdowns. A torn ACL in 2008 ruined that effort, but he came back in 2009 and was the most consistent target for his QB until suffering a high ankle sprain. Injury prone, yes, but very talented and a hard worker.
WR 3 - Bobby Engram
He would be higher on the list, but he never wanted to be. Engram was the quintessential slot reciever and had the best rapport with Hasselbeck of anyone that's ever played with the guy. Those two read eachothers minds and as a result Engram became one of the most impactful offensive players of the decade despite likely lacking much of the raw talent that a guy like Koren Robinson or Houshmandzadeh has.
Right Tackle - Ray Willis
He isn't great, but he's better than Locklear, right? Willis is a bully on the field and one of the biggest "dirtbags" we've got. He'll hit you and if you look at him funny he'll hit you harder. He's not terribly agile and I fear he's not long for the league based on his knee pain, but Willis has been one of the better RTs we've had over the last few years. Locklear was better than him when Lock was playing at a high level, but he just hasn't been for too long to be counted.
Right Guard - Chris Gray
Gray understood the offensive line better than most guards ever will after moving over from Center when the Seahawks signed Robbie Tobeck. Gray was an absolute durability machine. He wasn't the best guard in football, he wasn't even the best guard on the team, but he was going to be playing every snap in every season he could pull his bones onto the field. The single most important factor with offensive line play -- at least if you listen to the people who have played the position -- is consistency, being out there with the same guys over and over again, so you can predict every move they're going to make. Gray allowed this in a way that the litany of guard successors have failed to do.
Max Unger Robbie Tobeck This pick is two-fold. First, I think Max Unger will end up being the best guard the Seahawks have had in a decade and we'll look back at 2009 and say "Wow, what a draft pick." Second, I don't want this to be a 2005 love-fest. Based on merit and experience alone, this would probably go to Robbie Tobeck, but I get to name the top guy and it goes to Unger just because it feels right, damnit!
Okay, okay, you guys are right. It's totally Tobeck. I was concerned people were gonna get on my case about this being the 2005 offense, which it is almost to a player... but if you guys are all about Tobeck, so am I, he was the best just like that offense was the best. Here's hoping Unger can get there!
Left Guard - Steve Hutchinson
This is obvious, of course, but that's okay. Hutchinson was in many ways the heart and soul of the offensive line, and that heart and soul was one of a brutal beast, a mauler, a dirtbag, an absolute affront to all that is good in the world... but only on the field. Off the field, Hutch has never gotten into a lick of trouble. He rivals Chris Gray in durability and was even more consistent, probably the best guard in the NFL for the decade. We have not yet come close to replacing his presence or his skill on the line.
Left Tackle - Walter Jones
Considering he took about 90% of the snaps, it'd be hard not to give it to Jones regardless of skill, but the fact of the matter is that Walter Jones is probably the most dominant player in the history of NFL, at least on the offensive side of the ball. A gifted freak of nature, Jones went years without surrendering a sack and at his peak he almost looked bored out there pushing pro bowl DEs around. The only blotch on Jones' career is that he never had a chance to go one to one on Lawrence Taylor, but I suppose we can't hold that against him.
What do you think? I'd love to see everyone's All-Decade offense. I'll try to get defense up soon.