The Seahawks have landed four players on the All-Pro team that is selected by the Associated Press, it was announced this morning.
There were two on offense – running back Marshawn Lynch and center Max Unger; and two on defense – cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas. This is the first time any of them have been selected All-Pro, but Lynch, Unger and Thomas were voted to the Pro Bowl last month.
Sherman received 39 of a possible 50 votes, while Thomas got 28, Lynch 24 and Unger 16.
The Seahawks are in Georgia for tomorrow’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Falcons in Atlanta.
The four-player contingent matches the largest in franchise history. In 2005, the season the Seahawks made their Super Bowl run, running back and league MVP Shaun Alexander, left guard Steve Hutchinson, left tackle Walter Jones and fullback Mack Strong made the All-Pro team. The 1984 team had three players selected – kicker Norm Johnson, nose tackle Joe Nash and strong safety Kenny Easley, with wide receiver Steve Largent and cornerback Dave Brown getting second-team honors.
“That is taking individuals and saying they are the best in the NFL at that position and that’s what I wanted to be,” Sherman said. “The Pro Bowl is taking three from each side, it’s more of a popularity contest. The All-Pro, you’re the best at your position. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fifth-rounder or fourth-rounder or undrafted. If you play the best, you’re All-Pro.”
Unger took the opposite view, saying that the Pro Bowl means more because the squad is selected by other players and coaches in the league – as opposed to the media members who vote on the All-Pro team.
“To have other players say you’re the best at your position, that really means something,” Unger said, and then added with a smile, “But being named All-Pro is pretty cool, too.”
Unger, Thomas and Sherman are the first players in franchise history at their positions to be named first team All-Pro. Lynch joins Alexander as the only running back to be named first-team All-Pro, and Alexander also made the second team in 2004. Curt Warner was a second-team selection three times (1983, 1986 and 1987), while Chris Warren got second-team status twice (1994 and 1995).
Jones holds the franchise record with four first-team selections (2001, 2004-05 and 2007), and he was a second-team pick in 2008. Defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and Easley were named to the first team three times – 1992-94 for Kennedy, who also was a second-team selection 1996; 1983-85 for Easley. Largent made the second team four times (1978-79, 1984 and 1987).