O’Neil: Seahawks’ most inexplicable trend continues with Pro Bowl snubs
There were more former Seahawks who made the Pro Bowl this season than current Seahawks who received that honor, continuing what remains the single most inexplicable trend in the most successful decade in Seahawks history.
This team’s collective accomplishments have not correlated with individual awards.
Pete Carroll has not been named Coach of the Year, an award that Bruce Arians has won twice.
John Schneider has not been named Executive of the Year, an award that has regularly been given out to guys who’ve been canned within a few years of receiving the award.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner has never been named Defensive Players of the Year, Russell Wilson has never received so much as a single vote for MVP, and now those two players, who are now perennial Pro Bowlers, were the only Pro Bowlers from the team.
No Duane Brown. No Chris Carson, who has as many 100-yard rushing games the past two seasons as Ezekiel Elliot. No Jadeveon Clowney nor Tyler Lockett.
And if an 11-win team like Seattle really has only two players who are Pro Bowl caliber, then you’d think that Carroll would be a leading candidate for Coach of the Year, yet that’s not the case, either. That’s probably going to San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan, who has corrected that franchise’s four-year nosedive with the benefit of a defense loaded with first-round selections not to mention Richard Sherman, who along with Baltimore’s Earl Thomas and Kansas City’s Frank Clark made up the three former Seahawks chosen for the Pro Bowl this season.
Clark’s selection might be the most puzzling because he was more productive last season in Seattle than he has been this year in Kansas City, yet this was the year he got the recognition. And if reputation is what explains that, well how did Duane Brown go from making the Pro Bowl three straight years with Houston from 2012 through 2014 to being merely an alternate after getting to Seattle?
This isn’t a complaint per se. Pro Bowls aren’t much more than a footnote in a player’s biography. Sure, it’s meaningful for a player to be recognized, but the team’s playoff position and its Super Bowl chances are far more important to most.
And while it’s tempting to point to Seattle’s relative isolation in the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks have become one of the more recognized and talked about teams nationally. Their overtime victory over the 49ers was one of the most watched games on Monday night this season.
It’s just that all that success hasn’t correlated with individual awards, which is odd because at some point along the way, you’d think that somebody from a team that’s won 10 or more games in seven of the past eight seasons would get recognized for their role in that success.
Oh well, maybe next year.