Q. Is Walter done?
A. That's certainly the easy thing to assume.
At the press conference, Jim Mora was reportedly hesitant and melancholy when asked whether Jones had any chance to play next year.
When asked about Jones' chance to play again, Robbie Tobeck politely stated that he assumed that Jones would retire, simply "because of the type of injury it is," not because of any inside information.
All the beat writers, of course, were sour - the consensus was that if Walter played again, it wouldn't be for the Seahawks. (?? - who would be more motivated to give him a chance?)
Kevin Calabro, a guy I'd rather listen to than literally any other non-athlete voice on the radio Seattle or national, was vehement that the Seahawks needed "to be proactive" in telling Jones where he could get off, and moving on to the next generation.
(This is, IMHO, colored by Calabro's own experiences in watching aging NBA legends albatross their franchises at the end of their careers. "You only get 53 slots," quoth Kevin. Um, ok, only 53, huh?)
Q. So why does D-O-V get to be contrarian?
A. Because after all this, Walter Jones gave his own press conference and calmly informed everybody that he'd play next year. Seattle radio, Oct. 28, 2009, Jones said, quote, "I'll do whatever it takes to get back on the football field."
You might retire on his behalf, but it doesn't take him off the NFL active players' list until he retires on his own behalf. And he ain't retiring.
My man Calabro went into his don't-let-the-inmates-run-the-asylum mode, which is cool coming from an NBA guy, but in the NFL the wardens run the asylum.
There was some question whether Jones would be able to play this year; the doctors didn't rule that out. Jones will have had a year-and-a-half of rest on the microfracture.
And like we said before, Jones doesn't have to run the hardwood and jump and dunk. He has to shuffle five or six steps sideways on grass.
I'd guess like 60%, 70% chances that he doesn't play next year, but also a 1/3 chance that he would.
Q. Would he be any good?
A. Just last year, 2008, he gave up a grand total of 3.5 sacks all season. What would you do with a RDE that totalled 3.5 sacks playing every down?
Provided they're healthy, which is a Jones-sized "if," then HOF linemen can play at 36-37. Jackie Slater played well at the age of 40. Forrest Gregg, 37. Kevin Mawae, 37. With their wing span, size, and technique, they can play.
For sure, a lot of these guys do quit right about at the age of 34-35. But I think a lot of great NFL tackles retire not because of playing badly, but because their legs give out ... oh, wait. :- )
Anyway, the point is, if Walter felt okay, I wouldn't bet against his playing well at 36-37, if he wanted to.
How he feels is the key. I hit 36-37 and that was precisely the age at which my legs started feeling bad. Nobody's saying Walter might not be done. He might be. But I wouldn't call it impossible for him to play well again; that's overstating it.
Q. Would it be a charity act on the Seahawks' part?
A. That's what my man KC was selling, but I ain't buying. I think Walter Jones will be better at 38 than an ordinary tackle at 28.
Part of the reason the Seahawks burned six games on Walter, was that they thought he could dominate at 35, right?
He just did get done dominating at 34, last year.