Walter Jones committed very few false starts in his 13-year career with the Seattle Seahawks.
But he had to abruptly stop and compose himself a few times Sunday when the emotion overtook him as he addressed the CenturyLink Field crowd on the occasion of his inclusion in the team’s Ring of Honor.
“It was great; it was a great honor … you don’t prepare to see your name up there,” Jones, a 2014 Hall of Fame selection, said of the halftime ceremony that included him with Steve Largent, Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Pete Gross, Curt Warner, Jacob Green, Kenny Easley, Dave Krieg, Chuck Knox, and Cortez Kennedy.
Jones started 180 games with the Seahawks, and was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times.
Jones got to spend the day with offensive linemates from the 2005 Super Bowl team: Steve Hutchinson, Robbie Tobeck, Chris Gray and Sean Locklear.
“We built a bond; we did something very special together, we were fighting together,” Jones said. “It’s just like sisters and brothers, we always bond. No matter when you get together you start reminiscing about old times and it’s like we were never apart from each other.”
That line helped block the Seahawks to 11 straight wins in a 13-3 2005 season. Along the way, running back Shaun Alexander benefited from their work by tying a then-NFL record 27 rushing touchdowns. Former San Diego Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson scored 28 touchdowns the following season.
Jones showed up after the 1997 draft wearing a pair of carpenter jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. On Sunday, he was given a ceremonial blue jacket with a Ring of Honor patch on the chest.
“I’ve come a long way,” Jones said. “That’s the process. The majority of people saw (in the crowd) saw me from Day One until now. So, no matter how hard (I) tried, it was very emotional. It’s amazing for the fans to see (the start and end).”
Jones spent his entire 13-year career with the Seahawks, and that, too, contributed to the emotion of the day for him.
“I was telling my mom that this was the perfect place for me to play football,” he said. “I am from a very small town, went to Florida State, but to come out here — I didn’t know anything about Seattle until I got drafted by Seattle — and basically focus on football and play the game of football, it was amazing for me. (I am) so, so honored to be able to have my name up in the Ring of Honor.”