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Walter Jones: Ready for the next chapter

Post by Eric Williams on April 30, 2010 at 1:36 pm with 13 Comments »
April 30, 2010 1:36 pm

It probably was the most we’ve heard from Walter Jones in one sitting, as the 36-year-old shoe-in for the Hall of Fame talked frankly for about 15 minutes in announcing his retirement from the game.

Jones was honest, funny and retrospective in his comments to reporters this afternoon.

After 18 months of trying to rehab a injured left knee after microfracture surgery in December 2008, Jones said he finally came to the conclusion that he could no longer play the game he loved up to the high standards he had set for the position.

“I had to come to the fact that I couldn’t go out and play at a standard that I had set for myself,” Jones said. “So that was most of my reason, because I loved the game and my family loved the game and I don’t want to an embarrassment to them. So I had to be honest with myself.”

Jones said that when he first arrived in the league from Florida State in 1997, that he looked to established veterans to see how he needed to perform.

“That was my motivation,” he said. “I watched a lot of the tackles that they would consider the best tackles in the league, and I was saying, ‘What could I do to beat those guys out, or be better than those guys. So that was my approach each year, to try and be better than the year before.”

Several of Jones’ teammates, including Matt Hasselbeck, Sean Locklear and Chris Spencer, were on hand for the announcement.

Jones said because he hasn’t played football for a 1 ½ years that he has already dealt with reality of not playing football.

He thanked several people, but gave special thanks to former coach Mike Holmgren for raising the level of play for the franchise.

“He changed the way things were going around here,” Jones said about Holmgren. “In his first meeting he told the guys if you do it this way you will win, and we’ll be in the Super Bowl. … and it came through.”

Here are a few tidbits from the press conference.

On the statement that he didn’t know a lot of the players on the team. “It was always a joke that I didn’t know a lot of the guys, but I knew the guys. My approach was, I knew who I needed to know.”

Jones jokingly thanked former Seahawks contract negotiator Mike Reinfeldt, now with Tennessee, for all of the contract battles. Jones held out of training camp several times during his years with Seattle:

What is he most proud of? “I think it’s just being able to play this great game. And to be a part of something special for so long.”

On having his No. 71 jersey retired: “That’s a great honor for them to do that so fast. That’s a great honor knowing no one will ever wear that number again, and I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life.”

On teammate Robbie Tobeck trashing talking for him: “You had guys like Robbie Tobeck, who would mouth off at guys he’s not even going against, and try to make it tough for us. We used to be like, ‘Be quiet, man.’”

On the nine holding calls and 23 sacks he allowed during his career: “I think on those sacks it was more of the quarterback’s fault.”

And what would Jones’ advice be to Russell Okung, who is following in his footsteps:
“My advice is don’t get caught up in the pressure of you got to replace Walter. You’ve got to go out and make your own name for yourself. I think if goes out and he wants to be the best, that should be the approach he takes.”

Categories:
Interviews
Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. Aside from John Elway and Reggie White, I don’t think I have ever seen a better football player than Walter Jones in my entire life.

    This is my list and opinions – I don’t expect anyone to agree with them but nobody will change my mind either. I’m too young for Jim Brown so he doesn’t count.

    Walt is truly one of the greatest I have ever seen, regardless of position.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Walter is in any conversation regarding the most dominant players of all time.

  3. bird_spit says:

    There are whole lot of players who owe Walter Jones respect and admiration. His ability truly allowed others to be considered good or above average. (such as SA, and DJ)

    It is an end of a great chapter in Seahawk history.

    To be as dominate for so long, truly it has been an honor to have watched his entire career. Walter, you will not be forgotten in Seattle. I wish he had an opportunity rub off some of his knowledge on to Okung.

    Loved that comment about Tobeck. I think that attitude is really lacking on the 2007-2009 version of the Seahawks.

  4. I agree with Dukeshire. I just listened to the entire press conference at work on the radio, and didn’t realize how funny Walt actually was.

  5. The best ever.

  6. BrianBlades says:

    Tim Ruskell signed in Chicago…good luck with that

  7. http://www.seahawks.com/news/articles/article-1/A-glimpse-into-greatness/06aecf11-fed6-4220-9cb6-40e1f1520933

    “Even on the run blocks, with most tackles you hit into them, you lock them out and you’ve got a nice little stalemate,” Kerney said. “With Walt, you hit him, you lock out, but for some reason you keep moving backwards. And you can’t figure out why, because nobody else does that to you.”

  8. JMSeaTown says:

    “I think on those sacks it was more of the quarterback’s fault.”

    That’s the TRUTH..

  9. The Seahawks could have had Reggie White. When Seattle won the Boz sweepstakes Philly offered White for Bosworth. Reggie was still young then. Broke my heart when Seattle wouldn’t trade.

  10. bird_spit says:

    klm,

    That is a great article by Clare Farnsworth.

  11. Walter told a great story today during his interview with Brock Huard. Memorable, since Walt isn’t the celebrity-type and we’ll probably hardly ever hear from him again.

    Anyway, hilarious story:

    Big Walt and Robbie Toebeck were both on the line practicing the day that Grant Wistrom arrived as our new $16M free agent. Wistrom was trying to show his new coaches some pass-rush moves, but he was stuck going against Walter Jones. Jones just went quietly about his job, and handled every pass-rush move Wistrom threw at him.

    There was a quiet moment, and suddenly Toebeck yelled out, “Sixteen Million Dollars, My A$$!”

  12. EyeAmBaldman says:

    Stevos: That’s funny stuff!

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