Quick! Name the last Seahawk wide-receiver to make the Pro Bowl. Deion Branch was a Super Bowl MVP…before he joined the Seahawks. Darrell Jackson was leading the NFL in touchdown catches a few years back…before he got hurt (again) and missed the last three games of the season. Still thinking? What about Joey Galloway? The Seahawks traded him away for two first round picks (Shaun Alexander and Koren Robinson) after Mike Holmgren’s first year coaching the Seahawks. However, in spite of his celebrity and publicized holdout, Galloway never made a Pro Bowl. Then of course there’s Mr. Seahawk, Steve Largent, who made the Pro Bowl seven times, the last time being after the 1987 season. Two years later, in Largent’s last season, he helped the only other Seahawk wide receiver to ever make the Pro Bowl. If you haven’t thought of him yet, it’s somewhat understandable, given the mediocre Seahawk era in which he played. The answer is Brian Blades, who was also named All-Pro in 1989. And though he had a solid 11-year career, he never again made the Pro Bowl.
It has been nearly twenty years since the Seahawks landed a wide-receiver in the Pro Bowl. Lately, the Seahawks have only been landing their wide-receivers on the IR. It was bad enough in Week 1. Missing (#1) Deion Branch, (#2) Bobby Engram and (#4) Ben Obomanu, you could see the frustration growing on Matt Hasselbeck’s face with each pass dropped by Courtney Taylor and Logan Payne. In my mind, he finally said, “Screw it. I’m throwing to Nate Burleson every time.” Matt might as well have stomped on Nate’s knee. A few plays later, Burleson (#3) goes down with a torn ACL. Welcome to the IR.
In Week 2, after the Seahawks cut Jordan Kent, they came at the 49ers with wide-receivers Logan Payne and Courtney Taylor, plus Seneca Wallace, the backup QB, Michael Bumpus from the practice squad and Billy McMullen straight from the street. Obomanu and Burleson must have been begging for some company in the training room because on only the second Seahawks drive of the game, and first play of that drive, Logan Payne (6) made a great jumping catch, but gets hit in the knee as he comes down. Torn MCL. Right this way to the IR. Oh, and don’t forget that Seneca Wallace (7) is gone for at least a month after hurting his calf in pre-game warmups. Are you kidding me?! Out of the Seahawks’ top seven wide-receivers, only one is healthy.
After watching the 49ers game on Sunday, you get the feeling that the Seahawks don’t have “it” this year. What is “it?” You can define “it” in a lot of different ways, but right now, for the Seahawks a Pro Bowl wide-receiver could definitely make the difference for the Seahawks and give them what (it) they need. The Giants have Plaxico Burress; the Patriots have Randy Moss; the Cowboys have Terrell Owens. Elite teams seem to have a top-notch, Pro Bowl wide-receiver. If the Seahawks want to be one of the elite teams and get back to the Super Bowl (without 28 TDs from their RB), they’re going to need to find another Pro Bowl wide-receiver.