CANTON, Ohio — Offensive tackle Walter Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Jones was 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.
Many regard Jones as one of the best tackles to play the game. According to statistics kept by the Seahawks, he was responsible for allowing just 23 sacks and called for holding just nine times in 180 career games.
Jones was presented for induction by his son, Walterius Jones. There was a large contingent of 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.
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“It’s an honor to join Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy as the third player to represent the Seahawks franchise and the 12th Man,” Jones said. “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been thinking about this day ever since Cortez came into this enshrinement two years ago. Walter Jones, you’re next.
“Steve, you have set the standard for all Seahawks to follow. And Cortez, you showed us all what it’s like to be a professional and a real Hall of Famer. To you both, I plan to pay your graciousness forward. Believe me, 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 grew up in a family of eight children in Aliceville, Ala., and he paid tribute to many family members, especially his mother Earline Jones. He also thanked his coaches from high school to college to the NFL.
“Coach (Mike) Holmgren, you’ll be standing up here one day,” Jones said. “Thank you for bringing success to the Northwest. Whatever you told us, we believed, and everybody followed your lead.”
Jones also threw a “special shout out to Mike Reinfeldt for all those contract battles. …
“Being franchised really helped define my character and my career. Missing training camp wasn’t bad either.”
Jones was a consensus all-rookie selection in 1997, when he blocked for quarterback Warren Moon. The Seahawks led the NFL in total passing yards that season.
Jones was the first Seahawks offensive lineman to go to the Pro Bowl, in 1999, and was selected to eight more Pro Bowls. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2001 and had five additional All-Pro selections from 2002 to 2007.
Jones was named to the All Decade Team of the 2000s.
“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. Thank you, go Seahawks, and I love Seattle.”
The seven-member Hall of Fame class was rounded out by defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, linebacker Derrick Brooks, defensive back Aeneas Williams, punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey.
|Seahawks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|Walter Jones is just the third player to spend his entire career with the Seahawks to be elected.|
|Player||Pos.||Years w/ Seahawks|
|Notable: Mike McCormack, a coach and general manager with the Seahawks, also is in the Hall for his playing career.|