I’ve always been fascinated by team numbers. Numbersology as I call it. Yes I made that word up. My wife always tells me I have my own language of “Q-isms.”
The #3 is a number that we have only seen on display in Seattle a handful of times in the Seahawks short 36 year history.
Three are quarterbacks, the rest kickers and punters.
The seven men to wear the #3 since the 1976 expansion franchise called the Seahawks entered the league are…
- John Leypoldt – Kicker – 1976-77 (24 Games)
- Rick Donnelly – Punter – 1990-91 (19 Games)
- Rick Mirer – QB – 1993-96 (55 Games)
- Rohn Stark – Punter – 1997 (4 Games)
- Jeff George – QB – 2002 (0 Games)
- Josh Brown – Kicker – 2003-2007 (89 Games)
- Russell Wilson – QB – 2012-?
It’s currently being resurrected by its third quarterback now, and based on what I’ve seen in just over 6 quarters of exhibition football I have a sneaky feeling its going to be the most distinguished #3 this franchise has ever seen.
Let’s reminisce about the guys I can remember shall we?
(Born in 72, so I remember a few of them)
Josh Brown 2003-07
Current Team: Unemployed (CUT as of Aug. 27, 2012 by the N.Y. Jets)…my heart goes out to him.
Born: 4/29/1979 Tulsa , OK
Experience: 10th season
Highs: For me there’s two. The first one being the last second win vs. the Cowboys in the Super Bowl 2005 season. Who can forget BIG play Babs racing down the sideline after intercepting WSU’s Drew Bledsoe.
I can still see him running.
It was wonderful to see the infamous Cowboys on the wrong end of yet another last minute comeback.
Babs BIG play set up Josh Brown for the eventual game winning FG.
A 50 yarder with 5 seconds left on the clock. (He’d already made a 55 yarder earlier that day)
The team ran onto the field, Brown chucked his helmet and ran around Qwest like a crazy man. An epic day.
Lows: Can there be anything other than Josh Brown essentially giving the Seahawks organization (Which had made him a millionaire for kicking a ball) the bird?
The famous Brown quote “I felt like I put myself in the situation in the way that I played as to where I couldn’t be kind of a prisoner to the businessman and go off what he thought was best for me.” & “I think I’ve done everything that you asked and I would like to be compensated for it in such a manner as the market says. And the market spoke.”
Ok Josh, whatever. I’ll let you conveniently forget that botched 55 yard FG in Super Bowl XL. That would have been a nice one to have back! Anyways I digress.
Josh Brown left the Seahawks in a stab-us-in-the-back kind of way and I will never get over that. It was fun to see him hack his way around St. Louis with their years of losing while he kicked for them.
Hope that was worth it Josh.
Jeff George 2002
Current Team: Retired, or possibly still playing Arena league. Possibly a backup in the Raiders organization, I’m not sure.
Born: 12/8/1967 Indianapolis , IN
Experience: 14 Seasons
Highs: NOT With the Seahawks. I’ll spare you the details. See Atlanta 1994, 1995, and Oakland 1997.
Lows: Why the Seattle Seahawks brought this guy in I’ll never fully understand. Mike Holmgren must have really thought he was on the Titanic.
The Year was 2002.
Holmgren’s 3rd year in charge of the club. He was desperate. He needed arms so bad he even brought in Ryan Van Dyke (Who?), Ryan Leaf, and Mark Rypien.
George I believe was the 18th, or 8th QB in the system that year. It was crazy.
Trent Dilfer had won the starting job from Matt Hasselbeck (after single-handedly winning the Super Bowl vs. the Giants for Baltimore) and went down with a season-ending injury, Holmgren needed a spark for his 2-5 team.
He had lost most of his faith in the young prodigy he’d brought with him from Green Bay, so what better a move than to bring in the gunslinger George.
The same man who was seen in 1996 screaming at Coach June Jones. It was either George or try to talk Elvis Grbac out of retirement. We got the George.
Thank goodness Hasselbeck found his inner peace and found a way to resurrect his career in the process or George (and his arm) might have played more than 0 minutes that season.
Rick Mirer 1993-96
Born: 3/19/1970 Goshen , IN
College: Notre Dame
Experience: 12 Seasons
Highs: Man, this is going to be tough to write. I DM’d @NWSBBrandon asking him if he could help me write anything positive about Mirer, and all I got was, “I think he completed a couple of passes once, but he was really good at running away.”
The fanfare that Mirer came with was unreal. A highly successful college career at Notre Dame, saw him get drafted by the Seahawks with the second pick in 1993. Was that ever a mistake though.
Look at the guys the club passed up. #3 Garrison Hearst. #8 Willie Roaf. #9 Lincoln Kennedy. #10 Jerome Bettis. #21 Robert Smith. #26 Dana Stubblefield, I could go on and on.
There had to be something positive other than his draft day though right?
THE RICK MIRER TRADE
The Hawks got the 11th pick overall from the Bears in 1997. They also had the 12th pick. The two players ended up being Walter Jones, and Shawn Springs.
Lows: If draft day and a trade out of town were the HIGH points of his career in Seattle that doesn’t bode well for the LOW, a list nobody wants to be on.
Rick Mirer is in the top 5 on the list of TOP 10 DRAFT busts in the HISTORY of the NFL.
There’s no way to get around that.
I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. He flamed out bad.
His last season in Seattle under Coach Dennis Erickson Mirer had five TD passes, 12 interceptions, and was the NFL’s poorest-rated quarterback.
He couldn’t connect with Joey Galloway, he couldn’t find Brian Blades, he couldn’t find Ricky Proehl (everyone found Proehl) and he sure couldn’t find James McKnight. Four uber-talented WR’s.
He was eventually replaced by John Friesz, but one could make the case that even Stan Gelbaugh (the emergency QB that year) was a better QB for Seattle.
Things got so bad for Mirer after he left Seattle that he made the Seattle PI’s “Most hated Seattle Sports Figures list”.
Mirer was the Seahawks starting QB as a rookie and that year they went 6-10 and Mirer put up 2,833 yards, completing 56.4% of his passes. A mediocre quarterback at best. No winning seasons in his four years at the club.
As we all know he didn’t last long at any of his subsequent teams either. The Bears in 1997, the Jets in 99, the 49ers in 2000, and the Raiders in 2003.
I hear he’s making wine now.
Good for him.
Let me bring this conversation full circle now.
Russell Wilson can change how I feel about the history of the #3 uniform for the Seahawks
The Wilson Era begins – 2012
Height: 5-11 (ON tip-toes)
Born: 11/29/1988 Richmond , VA
High School: Collegiate School [Richmond, VA]
All the guy did at Wisonsin was throw for 3000+ yards and 33 TD’s. Yes he lost in the Rose Bowl but Wilson is not destined to have his career play out in the CFL like other “short-statured QB’s”.
He is destined for greatness.
Upon setting foot in the pro’s all he did was wow the Seahawks during the team’s rookie minicamp, so much so that Coach Pete Carroll immediately made Seattle’s quarterback competition a three-way affair between Wilson, the new free agent signing Matt Flynn from the Packers and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson.
You could feel the era beginning
That is not the Seattle Seahawks homer in me talking.
You could feel it the day he was drafted. You could feel it in the way he talked, and acted, practiced and played. You could feel it in the way other coaches around the league respected him. You could tell by the way his own organization felt about him, and spoke about him.
You could tell by watching his first three PRO games in the NFL. (Yes – the pre-season game variety)
- Game 1. 12/16 75% 124 Yds 1 TD 1 INT 91.7 QB Rating 3 Rushes 59 Yards 19.7 Average 1 TD
- Game 2. 10/17 59% 155 Yds 2 TD 0 INT 128.3 QB Rating 5 Rushes 33 Yards 6.6 Average 0 TD
- Game 3. 13/19 68% 185 Yds 2 TD 0 INT 134.8 QB Rating 2 Rushes 58 Yards 29.0 Average 0 TD
Those stats aren’t to shabby are they?
This week of course the big news was coach Carroll naming Wilson the Week 1 starting quarterback. Pete said his play this preseason made the decision easy.
Carroll went onto say “he wasn’t suprised by Wilson, he was impressed by him.”
We said the other day that you can’t look past the fact that Wilson has frequently been mentioned as the first player in the facility and the last player to leave.
Players rave about how hard he works in the gym and in the film room.
His hard work on the field shows.
Everyone so far has been impressed with Wilson as he has slowly taken over as the lead topic of all Seahawks conversations.
He’s the only interview the Seattle press want to speak to now that TO has left town.
He’s here to stay if he has his way
He expects greatness of himself. He expects and demands greatness of his teammates.
He says he’s on an “eternal quest for knowledge.” which is music to my ears.
Russell Wilson is going to make us all see the #3 uniform of the Seahawks in a new light.
Thank goodness Pete Carroll and John Schneider have decided to do the OPPOSITE of everything that is conventional in the NFL.
Pretty cool as well that his college coach predicted Wilson would be the day 1 man…
“By NCAA rules, I cannot bet – but I bet you I’ve told hundreds of people since draft day to where we are that he will be the starter” - Bret Bielema
The Seahawks are on the front pages of the National media now, Sports Center is talking about our club, and if I have my way we’ll stay front and center on the homepage of NFL.com until Super Bowl XLVII, on February 3rd, 2013, scheduled to be played at the Superdome in New Orleans.
With Russell Wilson leading this team, throwing to Sidney Rice,
Kellen Winslow, Zach Miller, and Doug Baldwin, a more than capable backup QB in Flynn, a beast in Marshawn Lynch and a Hulk in Robert Turbin, a more than reliable top-5 defense, and a Pete Carroll and John Schneider made-over roster I expect nothing but greatness.
Russell Wilson will make us remember his number in a very positive light. I can feel it.
Greatness is on the horizon and he is wearing “3”.