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Seahawks have some career marks that will be difficult to erase

Posted Jul 2, 2014

Even at his current league-leading pace, can Richard Sherman surpass Dave Brown’s franchise record for career interceptions? And is Brown’s mark destined to be the longest lasting in Seahawks’ history?


Richard Sherman doesn’t need to be the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL to prove that he is the best cornerback in the game.

The statistics compiled by the Seahawks’ two-time All-Pro speak to just how productive he is – and just how good he is. Since Sherman stepped into the starting lineup midway through his rookie season in 2011, no player in the league has more interceptions (20) or passes defensed (60).

But that also planted the thought: Will Sherman become the franchise’s all-time leader in interceptions?

The late Dave Brown holds that distinction. He intercepted 50 passes from 1976-86. Think about that for a moment: Fifty. It will take Sherman another 4½ seasons at his current league-best rate to match that total.

Sherman’s 20 picks in 42 starts ties for the second-best three-season total in franchise history behind Kenny Easley (21 from 1982-84). Apples and oranges because Sherman didn’t start the first six games of his rookie season? No, apples any way you slice it, because the 1982 season was reduced to nine games due to the players’ strike.

John Harris (1980-82) and Brown (1983-85) also had three-season stretches with 20 interceptions.

And all of this led us to: Is Brown’s interception total an unbreakable record? And if not, which franchise record is the least likely to be broken?

The game has changed since the Seahawks entered the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1976. There is now a 16-game regular season, free agency and a salary cap. So players can sign elsewhere. Or be released when their age and salary make it fiscally prudent to go with a younger player.

So which franchise record will last the longest?

Here are the cases for five career marks, and we ask you to make the call:

Games played

218, Joe Nash (1982-96)
This is another number worth pondering. To get to 218, a player would have to appear in all 16 regular-season games for 13½ seasons. In the Seahawks’ 38-year history, only three players have achieved that level of longevity – Nash (15 seasons) and Steve Largent and Mack Strong (14 each). And while we’re at it, we could expand this list to include Largent’s mark for games started (197).

Touchdown passes

195, Dave Krieg (1980-91)
It took a career-ending neck injury to backup QB Steve Myer to get Krieg on the roster. It took a midseason slump in 1983 by Jim Zorn to get Krieg into the starting lineup. But just look at what the plucky passer from Milton College accomplished. Matt Hasselbeck broke most of Krieg’s other career passing marks, but he fell 21 shy of this one. Russell Wilson has 52 TD passes in his first two seasons, but that gets him only slightly past the quarter pole in chasing Krieg’s mark.

Interceptions

50, Dave Brown (1976-86)
See above, and also consider that only two Seahawks have had double-digit picks in a season – Harris (10 in 1981) and Easley (10 in 1984).

Sacks

116, Jacob Green (1980-91)
How do you collect 116 sacks? One sack at a time; and also by leading the team in sacks or sharing the lead nine times, as Green did. He started modestly with 6.5 his rookie season, but also had five seasons with double-digit sacks (12 in 1981; 16 in 1983; 13.5 in 1985; 12 in 1986; 12.5 in 1990). Only four other players have led the team in sacks for multiple seasons – Chris Clemons (three) and Michael Sinclair, Rufus Porter and Jeff Bryant (two each).

Largent’s Hall of Fame legacy

819 receptions, 13,089 yards, 100 TD catches
When Steve Largent retired after the 1991 season, he was the NFL’s all-time leader in all three categories. Those NFL marks have since been surpassed, with Jerry Rice now the all-time leader (1,549 for 22,895 and 197). But Largent’s totals that made him a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame selection in 1995 seem ridiculously out of reach for any receiver in a Seahawks uniform.

Here’s something else to ponder:
Of the players who hold these records, only Green was drafted (in the first round in 1980). Nash and Krieg made the team as rookie free agents, while Brown was acquired in the 1976 veteran allocation draft and Largent in a trade with the Houston Oilers that same year.