Tackle Walter Jones, who represented the Seahawks in nine Pro Bowls during his NFL career (1997-08), became one of 15 finalists Thursday night for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. The selection committee will meet in New York Feb. 1 to vote on the Class of 2014, which will be revealed on the NFL Network that night.
Don Coryell, a Lincoln (Seattle) High graduate and former University of Washington letterman (1949) who coached the St. Louis Cardinals from 1973-77 and San Diego Chargers from (1978-86), and is the only man to win 100 games at both the college and pro levels, failed to advance to the finals.
Eligible for the HOF for first time, Jones played in 180 games, second most in Seahawks history behind Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent. In addition to his nine Pro Bowl selections, Jones made first-team All-Pro six times. Jones was Seattle’s first-round pick in the 1997 NFL draft, selected sixth overall.
In a poll of voters on NFL Network Thursday, Jones was voted as one of five “locks” for induction into the Hall of Fame.
In addition to Jones, the other finalists are: PK Morten Anderson, RB Jerome Bettis, LB Derrick Brooks, WR Tim Brown, LB Kevin Greene, DE Charles Haley, WR Marvin Harrison, S John Lynch, WR Andre Reed, OG Will Shields, DE Michael Strahan, CB Aenas Williams, coach Tony Dungy and owner Edward DeBartolo.
JONES NOTES: 6-5, 300 pounds, attended Florida State . . . Seahawks traded up to select Jones as sixth overall pick . . . Earned starting left tackle spot during rookie training camp . . . Named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in October 1997 and a consensus pick for multiple all-rookie teams . . . Provided blindside protection for quarterback Warren Moon as Seahawks topped NFL in total passing yards that season . . . Following 1999 season, became first offensive lineman in Seahawks history elected to Pro Bowl . . . In 2001, was recognized with first selection as first-team All-Pro . . . Highlights included Jones and line mates opening holes for Shaun Alexander’s 266-yard rushing game . . . A team leader, Jones was integral part of Alexander’s MVP season in 2005 … Jones helped his running back chalk up a franchise-record and league-high 1,880 yards while establishing the then NFL mark for touchdowns in a season (28) as Seattle led the NFL in scoring with 452 points . . . Jones’ team-record 10 playoff starts included 2005 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XL . . . Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Born Jan.19, 1974 in Aliceville, AL.
Originally, nine individuals with connections to the state of Washington were nominated for induction. Only Jones and Coryell reached the semifinals. The other seven were, alphabetically, Shaun Alexander, former Seahawks running back; Drew Bledsoe, former Washington State quarterback and the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft; Tom Flores, former president and head coach of the Seahawks; Mike Holmgren, former head coach of the Seahawks; Chuck Knox, former head coach of the Seahawks; Eric Metcalf, a Seattle native who played in the NFL from 1909-02; and Ricky Watters, former Seahawks running back.
Hall of Famers With Washington Connections
Ten individuals with ties to the state have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mel Hein, who starred at Washington State, was a member of the inaugural Canton class in 1963.
|1963||Mel Hein||C||WSU||Selected the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1938 — as a center|
|1969||Glen Edwards||OT||WSU||Selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1930s|
|1970||Hugh McElhenny||RB||UW||The six-time Pro Bowl star also enshrined in College Hall of Fame|
|1974||Tony Canadeo||QB/RB||Gonzaga||“Gray Ghost” made the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1940s|
|1976||Ray Flaherty||Coach||Gonzaga||Posted an 80-37-5 record as an NFL head coach|
|1981||Red Badgro||DE/WR||USC||Orillia native elected to the Hall at 78 (oldest-ever inductee)|
|1984||Arnie Weinmeister||DL||UW||Played for New York Yankees (1948-49), New York Giants (1950-53)|
|1995||Steve Largent||WR||Tulsa||Seahawks’ first superstar inducted in first year of eligibility|
|2006||Warren Moon||QB||UW||Made 9 Pro Bowls during tenures with Oilers, Vikings and Seahawks|
|2012||Cortez Kennedy||DT||Miami||Eight-time Pro Bowl choice with Seahawks; All-Decade Team, ’90s|