The moment that the Seattle Seahawks faithful has been awaiting with bated breath has come to pass.
Friday morning, the Associated Press announced that Seattle’s first round choice and sixth of the draft overall, tackle Russell Okung, has signed a deal for $58 million with a cool $29 million guaranteed.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has a way of getting out in front and expressing himself with prompt certainty. With Okung, this was one of those occasions as he promptly announced that he was making him his starter before the draft celebrations in New York had concluded.
Okung realizes that he is following in the face of legendary footsteps. The recently retired Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones is a sure NFL Hall-of-Fame member in waiting.
Jones was so good at his position that he was called by many observers the greatest football player of his era when measured by the overall standard of how definitively a player dominates the post to which he is attached.
John Madden, one of the NFL’s greatest coaches and its all-time premier analyst, called Jones the greatest player at his position and perhaps number one all time.
Okung knows what is expected of him and whose awesome shoes he has been selected to fill. He acknowledges that every time he walks past the locker room of the great tackle Jones that it fills him with a sense of responsibility and determination for what lies ahead.
With the announcement, it was stated that Okung was in the building and signing the final papers on the deal with the Seahawks. From there, he was expected to jump into immediate action and begin working out today.
Brock Huard is a popular Seattle based ESPN sports commentator who was once a star quarterback for the Washington Huskies. Huard had some immediate comments concerning the concluded transaction.
“People are saying it is such a terrific deal for the Seattle Seahawks,” Huard said. “It is a terrific deal for Russell Okung. He has $29 million guaranteed. This is a day of great blessing for him.”
As a former player, Huard knows what is expected of a player, particularly a first round draft choice following on the heels of one of the game’s greatest legends at the tackle position.
“He still has a learning curve as all rookies do,” Huard noted realistically.
The learning curve statement is true. What Pete Carroll was stating, however, when promptly announcing that Okung would be his starter was that he and his board of strategy, notably including General Manager John Schneider, had concluded after watching plenty of film and interviewing numerous people that here is someone who can climb that learning curve quickly.
Will Russell Okung make significant strides in his rookie season to fill the shoes of the great Walter Jones?
It is just a restatement of the old axiom that the truly gifted, including athletes, can push past the early adjustment process and arrive at a reasonably polished, ready to perform level quicker than those not possessing those rare essentials.
There will be a lot of weight on Okung’s shoulders when it comes to being a major cog in erecting a protective fortress for the Seattle offense to shine both in the passing and running games.
So the number one Seahawks draftee is aboard. Let the games begin!