Walter Jones Enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame
August 2, 2014
By Bill Boehlke
|Video: Walter Receives His Jacket||Video: Walterius Presents Walter||Video: Walter’s Full Speech|
And Walter makes three.
Walter Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 2, in Canton, Ohio. A nine-time Pro Bowl selection who spent his entire 12-season career with the Seahawks, Jones was selected for induction in his first year of eligibility after retiring following the 2008 season.
In his induction speech, Jones paid respect to the other two Seahawks enshrined in Canton. (Walter’s Full Speech)
“It is an honor to join Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy as the third player to represent the Seahawks franchise and the 12th Man,” he said.
He was presented for induction by his son, Walterius. There was a large contingent of Seahawks fans seated to the left of the stage, all of them wearing Seahawks-colored T-shirts with the name “Jones” and the No. 71 on the back.
Walter began his speech by saying he was “truly blessed” and honored to wear a gold jacket. He continued that it was an honor to represent the Seahawks franchise and the 12th Man, which drew some cheers from the crowd.
“I have an attitude of gratitude, for so many people who helped me become who I am; and today I want to share with you who I am,” Jones said.
He grew up in a family of eight children in Aliceville, Alabama, and he paid tribute to many of his family members, especially his mother, Earline Jones. He also thanked his coaches from high school to college to the NFL.
Jones had a special shout-out to his high school coach, Pierce MacIntosh, who said to him early in his prep days: “I think you’re a million dollars walking around broke.”
Later, Jones mentioned how Kenny Easley, the Seahawks’ former star safety and Ring of Honor member, merited enshrinement in the Hall.
He went on to thank ex-teammates and players. Jones even apologized for slapping Matt Hasselbeck at training camp, which drew plenty of laughs from the crowd, as well as from Hasselbeck, who was in the audience with a number of Jones’ former teammates. Jones also called the pairing of himself and left guard Steve Hutchinson a “pretty good” combo, which drew a big smile from Hutchinson.
Jones was the No. 6 overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft and was immediately one of the most dominant left tackles in the game. He finished his career on top, and seeing him make it into the Hall this quickly isn’t even a little bit surprising. The Seahawks attempted 5,500 passes while Jones was on the field, and individually he gave up a total of only 23 quarterback sacks.
He was only penalized for holding nine times throughout his career. Jones was also named a first-team All-Pro six times, with one second-team selection on top of that. The Seahawks have already retired his No. 71 jersey.
“Football has been a blessing. It has changed my life and those around me,” Jones said. “It is a bond that keeps a family together, and provided opportunities where there was just inspiration and determination. The thing I’ve learned along this incredible journey, I’m not only cheering for the rest of my life, but pass it on to anyone that loves the game.”
Seahawks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
|Years with Seahawks|
|Mike McCormack, a coach and general manager with the Seahawks, also is in the Hall for his playing career.|