A trip down memory lane with Kenny Easley
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Former Seahawks safety Kenny Easley shared some football memories with KJR radio's Dave Mahler during an interview Thursday. A few highlights:
(on defensive backs he admired) I always had a nice appreciation for Jack Tatum. Many people thought Jack Tatum was a dirty football player. But also, many people thought Kenny Easley was a dirty football player. I think it was '86 or so when Sport Magazine did a cover story on me and put 'Scourge of the West.' There were a lot of folks, including some players from the Miami Dolphins, that really thought I was a dirty player.
But I just think the way we went about playing the game was hard and it was going to be, you know, for two-and-a-half, three hours, you were going to have to pack your lunch if you came to play against me or against Jack Tatum. And one of my contemporaries who I really enjoyed watching play -- I didn't watch many defensive backs play -- but when Ronnie Lott was playing I always wanted to tune in to see what he was doing. Because you had to pack your lunch when you played against Ronnie Lott as well.
(on matchups with receivers) Not so much wide receivers, but I did play against a couple wide receivers in the scheme. I was one of the few strong safeties that on third down stayed in the game and played in the nickel or the dime package. So, I did get to cover some wide receivers.
But most of my battles were against tight ends and most of the tight ends that I played against and had some real serious battles against was Todd Christensen, Ozzie Newsome, Kellen Winslow. All three of those guys, two of them are in the Hall of Fame and I believe Todd Christensen certainly has credentials to be there as well.
I had some great battles with those guys. And also in terms of wide receivers, you can bring in Wes Chandler and other guys. But most of my battles were done down in the trenches, between 10 to 15 yards, bumping and grinding with guys who were 20 and 30 pounds heavier than I was, but some great, great battles.
Easley also shared thoughts on why he thought the Seahawks lost to the Raiders in the AFC title game, shooting down the idea, allegedly attributed to a teammate, that Seattle must have thrown the game.
I never covered Easley when he played and I was actually a Raiders fan at that time, but my appreciation for that era seems to grow as I age. Perhaps you have or will find that to be the case. You wind up defending or at least appreciating some of the teams and players you rooted against as a kid, as if you are defending the era itself.