Shaun Alexander in many ways is the opposite of Steve Hutchinson. Hutchinson wasn’t with the Seahawks long enough. Alexander was crazy good when he was healthy with Seattle, but he didn’t play long enough. The running back was a Seahawk for eight seasons, but it could have been so much more.
Unlike Curt Warner, Alexander wasn’t drafted to transform the Seattle offense. But he did that anyway. In his rookie year in 2000, the No. 19 overall pick in the same year’s NFL Draft started just one game and ran the ball just 64 times. From 2001 until 2005, though, he was one of the best – if not the best – running back in the NFL.
Between 2001 and 2005, Alexander had 87 rushing touchdowns. Again, that was 87. In 2005, the first season Seattle reached the Super Bowl ever, Alexander rushed for a then-NFL record 27 rushing touchdowns.
He also led the league with 1,880 yard rushing. He averaged over five yards a carry that season. Alexander made the Pro Bowl every year from 2003 through 2005. He was named the NFL MVP in 2005.
It should be noted that Alexander was able to run behind a line that featured Steve Hutchinson and Walter Jones, however. He was a great running back, but also ran behind a great offensive line.
After 2005, and after Hutchinson left in free agency, Alexander wasn’t the same back for many reasons. One, he didn’t have the same quality of offensive line to run behind. Two, Alexander got injured a lot more. In 2006, he broke his foot in the third game of the year. And in 2007, he broke his wrist. Alexander was never the same running back he was in 2005 and before.
Still, Alexander easily ranks first on the Seahawks’ all-time rushing list with 9,429 yards. He is also easily first on all-time rushing touchdowns. Alexander has 100. The next closest is Marshawn Lynch with 57.