Okung’s his own man
It is nearly impossible for a player to follow a legend.
That is exactly what Pete Carroll and John Schneider asked Russell Okung to do when they selected him with the 6th overall pick in 2010, their first draft.
Chances are, if you’re still reading this, you know the legend that I am referring too, Walter Jones.
In my opinion, #71 Walter Jones is several things:
- The BEST left tackle in Seahawks history
- The BEST offensive lineman in Seahawks history
- The BEST left tackle that has ever played the game
- The BEST Seahawks player of time
- One of the top 5 offensive lineman in NFL history
- A sure fire First Ballot Hall of Famer
- 9 time Pro Bowler
- 7 time All Pro
Russell Okung is NOT Walter Jones, but he is:
- Starting Left Tackle for your Seattle Seahawks
- The best current offensive lineman on the team
- A Starter in the 2012 Pro Bowl
They are not without their similarities:
- Both players were drafted by the Seahawks
- Both were chosen with the 6th overall pick
- Both stand 6’5″ tall
- Both had injury hampered rookie seasons
- Both started every game they played in
- Both went through a rebuilding of a team, including a jersey style change
- Both were selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in their third season
But here’s the reason I love Russell Okung
I feel like I have had to defend Russell Okung against fans calling him a “bust” since his rookie year.
I hope that being selected as the NFC’s starting left tackle in the 2012 Pro Bowl, only his third year in the league, helps him step out of Walter’s shadow a little bit.
Russell Okung is not Walter Jones, no one could be. However, what Russell can be, and is, is an outstanding young left tackle who the Seahawks and the 12th man are lucky to have.
We all know Jones is a big Seahawks fan these days, I’m sure even the legend himself is a fan of Okung’s.
Just because you recognize how good Russell Okung is doesn’t mean you are forgetting Big Walt, it just means you’re moving forward.
I was there when Walter Jone’s number 71 was hung up in the rafters, I cried while he was giving his speech, I screamed “We Love You Walt” as he walked into the tunnel.
I will be in Canton Ohio when Walt gives his speech, again I will be crying.
Walt was everything we could have dreamed of, and more, nevertheless it is Russell Okung’s turn.
Let’s enjoy his career, and watch him build his legacy. Who know’s, maybe we will be crying when the number 76 finally hangs from the rafters too.