April 25, 2015

Highlighted Year: Ken Easley, 1983

Safety, Seattle Seahawks

Age: 24
3rd season in pro football & with Seahawks
College: UCLA
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 205

Highly regarded after an outstanding college career, Easley was taken by the Seahawks in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1981 NFL draft. He immediately moved into the starting lineup at strong safety and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1982. In his first two years, he intercepted seven passes as he demonstrated excellent ball-hawking skills to go along with his solid tackling.

1983 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 7 [6, tied with eight others]
Most interceptions, game – 1 on seven occasions
Int. return yards – 106 [13]
Most int. return yards, game – 48 (on 1 int.) vs. Dallas 12/4
Int. TDs – 0
Sacks – 3
Most sacks, game – 1 at Cleveland 10/2, at LA Raiders 10/30, at Denver 11/20
Fumble recoveries – 3

Punt Returns
Returns – 1
Yards – 6
TDs – 0

Postseason: 3 G
Sacks – 1
Interceptions – 0
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Seahawks went 9-7 to finish second in the AFC West and qualify for the postseason as a Wild Card entry. Won AFC Wild Card playoff over Denver Broncos (31-7) and AFC Divisional playoff over Miami Dolphins (27-20). Lost AFC Championship to Los Angeles Raiders (30-14).

Easley followed up with a 1984 season in which he led the league with 10 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press as well as receiving consensus first-team All-NFL and Pro Bowl honors. An injury suffered while returning a kick cost Easley three games in 1985, but he was still an outstanding and disruptive performer when healthy and was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection for the third straight year as well as a Pro Bowl honoree for the fourth straight. Continued ankle trouble hindered him further in ’86 and he had surgery. Easley came back to gain a fifth Pro Bowl selection in the strike-interrupted 1987 season but, due largely to acrimony related to his role in the players’ strike, he was traded to the Cardinals in the offseason. He never played for the Cards, however, when a physical revealed a kidney condition that forced his retirement. In seven seasons, Easley intercepted 32 passes and set the standard at his position, but his outstanding career came to a too-early end.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970