The game stopped at the first-half two-minute warning to unveil the retired jersey on the east side of Qwest Field. The Seahawks retired his number earlier this year when Jones announced he was done after playing games in 12 seasons for Seattle.
The No. 71 unveiled during the second quarter at Qwest Field wasn’t Seattle’s only tribute to Walter Jones Sunday.
There was a play the Seahawks put in, too — a formation with three receivers and two running backs that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said was installed as a subtle homage to Jones.
The plan was to run it once, Hasselbeck said. A tribute to the lineman so good his team could run the ball without the tight end. The Seahawks did, and the result was a 6-yard rush.
“It was a good look,” Hasselbeck said.
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So they ran it again. And a few more times after that.
Seattle’s other tribute to Jones was a lot more overt, with the game stopping at the first-half two-minute warning to unveil the retired jersey on the east side of Qwest Field. The Seahawks retired his number earlier this year when Jones announced he was done after playing games in 12 seasons for Seattle.
Jones walked out on a red carpet and offered thanks to his family and the fans.
“The ref was trying to get the game back going,” Hasselbeck said. “It wasn’t a TV timeout, but Walt was talking, which doesn’t happen often. So we all took our time and listened.”
It is the third number the Seahawks have retired, along with Steve Largent’s No. 80 and the No. 12 that is dedicated to Seattle’s fans.
Jones’ mother, who received a bouquet of roses from Chris Gray, Jones’ longtime linemate, and his children were on the field for the ceremony, too, with his son learning just how significant the honor was when he heard of the select company his father was in.
“When I told him that they put my number up there, he said, ‘They put your number up there with Steve Largent?’ ” Jones said.
Yes, the Seahawks did.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org