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Jacob Green: ‘This is the type of group I would have loved to play with’
SNOQUALMIE, WASH. – Of all the good things that have been said about the Seahawks this summer, Jacob Green might have offered the most-telling assessment.
“These guys look like they’re having a lot of fun,” Green said Monday morning before teeing off in the Seahawks Rumble at the Ridge that kicked off the activities leading up to this weekend’s Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
“Just being around them in the locker room and seeing them, this is the type of group I would have loved to play with. They’re good.”
Green was at the Seahawks’ preseason home opener against the Denver Broncos on Saturday night, and also in the locker room at CenturyLink Field after the game. Green is a member of the Seahawks Board of Advisors, which also includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy, former owner John Nordstrom and longtime executive Gary Wright.
But Green also happens to be the father-in-law of Red Bryant, the Seahawks’ defensive captain last season who wears the same number (79), plays the same position (left defensive end) that Green did from 1980-91 and is married to Green’s daughter, Janelle. So his ties to the team run even deeper.
Monday’s event at TCP Snoqualmie Ridge included an array of former Seahawks – original quarterback Jim Zorn; Dave Krieg, the QB who replaced him midway through the 1983 season and broke most of his franchise passing records; Blair Bush, the center on that ’83 team which was the first in franchise history to advance to the playoffs; Norm Johnson, the kicker on that ’83 team and the franchise’s all-time leading scorer; Paul Johns, a receiver on that ’83 team and now the team’s assistant director of fan development; Nesby Glasgow, Joe Tafoya, Kerry Carter, Alonzo Mitz, Randall Morris, Sam Adkins and Jon Kitna.
Also on hand were four members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – quarterback Warren Moon, who played for the Seahawks in 1997-98 and is now the analyst for radio broadcasts of the team’s game; defensive tackle John Randle, who produced 18 sacks in his two seasons with the Seahawks (2001-02); wide receiver Lynn Swann, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was the MVP of Super Bowl X; and cornerback Mike Haynes, who also has a place in Seahawks history because of a couple run-ins he had with Largent during the 1988 season while playing with the Broncos.
Other celebrities included former UW coach Don James and former Huskies Chuck Nelson, Ray Pinny, Damon Huard and Mark Lee; former Washington State quarterback Jack Thompson and ex-Cougar defensive end Mkristo Bruce; former Sonic Slick Watts; former Mariners Jamie Moyer, Dan Wilson and Bill Krueger; one-time Seahawks training-camp QB turned ESPN personality Kenny Mayne; and the Sounders FC contingent of Brad Evans, Marc Burch, Dylan Remick, Eriq Zavaleta, Kasey Keller and Ross Fletcher.
Like Green, Krieg and Bush also were at Saturday night’s preseason home opener. Bush, who also played at the University of Washington, raised the 12th Man flag prior to kickoff. Like Green, they were – and are – duly impressed by what’s going on with the 2013 edition of the Seahawks.
“I told everybody before the game, and as the game started, ‘These are two Super Bowl-quality teams,’ ” Krieg said. “The intensity was there right away.”
That was apparent during his brief pre-game chat with quarterback Russell Wilson.
“I said, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ ” Krieg recalled. “He goes, ‘Hey, like to talk to you but I’ve got to get going.’ He’s like me, that’s how you are before a game. You’re nice to everybody, but once you go into the tunnel (that leads to and from the locker room) it’s different.
“But I was impressed with both teams. They have the potential to be in the Super Bowl, but a lot of things can happen over 16 games. But the Seahawks have the right mindset. Pete (Carroll, the coach) has done a good job with that. They’ve got to stay away from that hype of, ‘They’re supposed to go to the Super Bowl.’ ”
Bush still lives in Seattle, so he has kept tabs on how this team has been compiled by Carroll and general manager John Schneider since they arrived in 2010.
“I think they’ve done a fantastic job of turning over the roster,” Bush said. “Typically, that doesn’t work as well as it has. Typically, you miss on more than a couple. But they haven’t seemed to have missed on too many of them.
“So they’ve increased the talent enough now that they’re competitive in any situation. It’s obviously a good job of evaluation, but Pete Carroll also has done a great job of pulling the group together.”
And making it into a team that also makes the former players proud to be Seahawks.