Three of the individuals who helped put the legs in the most successful five-season run in Seahawks history are eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.
Coach Mike Holmgren, running back Shaun Alexander and left tackle Walter Jones are among 16 first-year eligible candidates in the 126 nominees who were announced late Wednesday. The Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates as semifinalists, who will be announced in late November. And that group will be reduced to 15 finalists in early January.
Others who played or coached for the Seahawks on the preliminary list are running back Ricky Watters and coaches Tom Flores and Chuck Knox.
Jones is the leader of this Seahawks pack. He was voted to a franchise-record nine Pro Bowls, selected to the NFL All-Decade team for the 2000s and chosen as the best player in the NFL by The Sporting News in 2006. Jones was selected with the sixth pick in the 1997 NFL Draft and played his entire 12-season career with the Seahawks, who retired his No. 71 in 2010. Jones allowed 23 sacks in 5,703 pass plays – or one every 248 pass plays.
Alexander is the only player in franchise history to be named league MVP. That was in 2005, when he scored a then-NFL record 28 touchdowns and led the league in rushing with 1,880 yards during the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl. Alexander, a first-round draft choice in 2000, ran for a franchise-record 9,429 yards during his eight-season stay in Seattle. He was voted to three consecutive Pro Bowls (2003-05).
Holmgren won five division titles in 10 seasons as coach, including four in a row from 2004-07. The Seahawks also advanced to the playoffs six times under Holmgren. His highly successful stay in Seattle was the second chapter of his career as a head coach in the NFL. He also led the Green Bay Packers to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1996-97 and won the title in Super Bowl XXXI.
The Class of 2014 will be selected and announced Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII.