A man of few words but also a man of great accomplishments, Seahawks legend Walter Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night with the Class of 2014.
He entered the Hall the same way he played his 12 years in the NFL — with class, dignity and respect.
Jones was often known around Seattle as a man who simply did his job and did it well. He didn’t talk a big game or try to get inside the opponents’ head, he just went out and played.
Jones became one of the greatest lineman to play in the NFL, and certainly one of the greatest players to put on a Seattle uniform.
He was the Seahawks’ first round draft selection in 1997, the sixth overall pick in the draft. He never played for another franchise.
But that’s just the way Jones wanted it, and he made sure to thank the city of Seattle and its fan base during his enshrinement speech, per ESPN.com:
“Football has been a blessing and has changed my life and those around me,” Jones said. “And to the 12s [12th man], what a wonderful group of fans. I truly loved playing for you all and cheered with you last season. I will cherish this journey the rest of my life. Thank you, go Seahawks and I love Seattle.”
Seattle loves Jones too.
The team retired his No. 71 jersey in 2010, following Steve Largent‘s No. 80 and the 12th Man’s No. 12 as the only jerseys retired in Seattle.
Jones was also just the third Seahawk to enter the Hall of Fame, joining Largent and Cortez Kennedy.
A nine-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, Jones started every game he played with the Seahawks — 180 games. And he was only called for holding nine (9) times. Nine times in 12 years!
He was the first offensive lineman to represent the Seahawks in the Pro Bowl and he played in a Seahawks-record 10 postseason games.
Always classy, Jones was one of the greatest lineman of all-time without telling everyone about it.
Welcome to Canton, Walter Jones. Few deserve it more.