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1976 Players at a Glance

Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith was there!

First Seahawk to Rush 100 Yards in a Game:

Sherman Smith, 124 vs. the Atlanta Falcons, 11/17/76

Draft Day - 1976:

The Seahawks' first draft was a forgettable one. They selected 25 players, but were only able to land starters in linebacker Sammy Green and receiver Sherman Smith. Even first-round choice Steve Niehaus failed to make much of an impact. After playing in just 36 games, he was traded in 1979 for an eighth-round pick.

Norm Evans

“I think that this team is characterized by quality of life that some of the players live. Like salt on your hamburger. It flavors the whole attitude of the team. I’m talking about Steve Largent, Jim Zorn, Ron Coder, Sherman Smith, Geoff Reece, Doug Long, and others."

Pro Football 1976

by Larry Felser and Dave Klein Wide receivers aren’t bad. The starters figure to be Alamad Rashad and Sam McCullum, but two rookie picks, Sherman Smith and Steve Raible, and veteran Don Clune will fight for steady work. John McMakin and Ron Howard will battle young Charles Waddell for the tight end spot.

Rashad, obtained via the option-playout route, is a tried and true star. McCullum is experienced and could be a top receiver. McMakin, also experienced, is a strong blocker. Clune was a mystery with the Giants. Scouts and teammates say he should have played more; the coach didn’t agree. Picard never realized his potential and will get his chance. Howard, another of Dallas’ basketball players, showed promise. High draft picks Smith and Raible have enormous potential; one of them might even start. Waddell may be a find, too. The Chargers gamble leaving him unprotected.

The Pride of Z-eattle

By Jim Natal

Zorn also has a unique trio of favorite receivers, each with his own style of running a pass pattern. Coming out of the backfield, Don Testerman doesn't so much run a pass pattern as charge it. Sherman Smith, the other running back [who was a receiver in college], doesn't run either; he's so smooth he flows. As for Steve Largent, the Seahawks' leading wide receiver, Zorn has called him "a circus in himself." Zorn divided his passes almost equally between the three of them last year, Largent catching 33 passes, Testerman 31 and Smith 30.

Street and Smith's Pro Football 1977

The only runner of note possessed by the Seahawks is Sherman Smith, who came out of college a year ago as a quarterback. Smith led the team in ground gaining with 537 yards and a 4.6-yard average. He also caught 32 passes. The second leading rusher was Zorn, which should tell you something.

1976 Leaders and AFC Ratings

Scoring - Leypoldt, 43 points on 19 XP, 8 field goals - 23rd
Rushing - Smith, 119 carries for 537 yards, 4.5 Avg, 4 TDs - 19th
Passing - Zorn, 208 of 439 attempts for 2571 yards, 12 TDs - 15th
Receiving - Largent, 54 for 705 yards, 4 TDs - 3rd
Interceptions - Brown, 4 for 70 yds, 17.5 Avg - 14th
Punting - Engles, 80 punts, 38.3 Avg., longest 55 yards - 10th
Punt Returns - Blackwood, 19 for 132 yds, 6.9 Avg - 13th
Kickoff Returns - Ross, 30 for 655 yds, 21.8 Avg - 11th

Photo of Sherm Smith

Street and Smith's Pro Football 1978

Seattle used two power backs at the same time last year. Sherman Smith, a 6-4, 225-pounder, led the team with 763 yards and a 4.7-yard average. Don Testerman, a journeyman fullback, gained 459 yards and averaged 3.9.

1977 Leaders and AFC Ratings

Scoring - Leypoldt, 60 points on 33 XP, 9 field goals - T. 13th
Largent, 60 points on 10 touchdown passes - T. 13th
Rushing - Smith, 163 carries for 763 yards, 4.7 Avg, 4 TDs - 7th
Passing - Zorn, 104 of 251 attempts for 1687 yards, 16 TDs - 14th
Receiving - Largent, 33 for 643 yards, 19.4 Avg, 10 TDs - 24th
Interceptions - Beamon, 6 for 36 yds, 6.0 Avg - 9th
Punting - Weaver, 58 punts, 39.5 Avg., longest 59 yards - 5th
Punt Returns - Packer, 20 for 131 yds, 6.5 Avg - 17th
Kickoff Returns - Hunter, 36 for 820 yds, 22.8 Avg - 9th
Rookie David Sims, a sturdy, 216-pounder, added 369 more, averaged 3.7. Testerman caught 4 touchdown passes, Smith and Sims three each.

Teammate's career-ending injury ended his search for hypocrites

By Art Toalston
Jun 5, 2000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--"That Jesus stuff really works, doesn't it?" Sherman Smith had caught a fellow Seattle Seahawk in a compromising position; later, tapping him on the shoulder, Smith took aim at the player -- the "hypocrite" -- who had called himself a Christian.

Smith, running backs coach for the Tennessee Titans the past five years and nine-year NFL veteran, recounted his disdain for hypocrites during a June 2 chapel service at the Southern Baptist Convention Building in Nashville, Tenn. -- and during that evening's Billy Graham crusade in the city's Adelphia Coliseum.

"I'm a visual learner," Smith said. One of his pet phrases was, "What you do speaks so loud I can't hear a word you're saying." Although he had an interest in knowing Jesus Christ as a teenager and young adult, Smith devoted more attention to how athletes and others who called themselves Christians acted rather than what they said.

And he wasn't impressed.

Not during his college career as a quarterback at Miami (Ohio) University, tallying a 33-1-1 record. And not as a second-round draft pick of the NFL's Seahawks.

Not until Ken Hutcherson showed up for training camp.

A hard-hitting middle linebacker and unabashed Christian, Hutcherson caught Smith's attention, and Smith watched Hutcherson closely for six weeks, looking for him to stumble, to be a hypocrite like so many others.

Then, unexpectedly, came the test. A gut-wrenching test.

Hutcherson was cut down from behind in a play during the last preseason game of 1976, left on the ground crying out in agony with a knee injury. Somber teammates watched as he was carted off the field. Later came the news that Hutcherson had suffered a career-ending blow to his knee.

Teammates came by to console Hutcherson after the game, the last of whom was Smith, who still had Hutcherson's faith under a microscope.

"Sherm," Hutcherson, somehow upbeat and smiling with ice packs on his knee, said to Smith, "I'm excited to see what God has planned for my life.

"You see, Sherm, I'm a Christian and nothing happens in my life unless it's filtered through God's hands first."

Smith responded to Hutcherson in a way he never had to a Christian before: "Tell me more."

And right there in the locker room, Hutcherson did, sharing the gospel with Smith, telling him of God's love, God's yearning to impart forgiveness and a new life through faith and trust in his Son, Jesus Christ, as Smith's Lord and Savior.

Smith listened but didn't take that step of faith -- until a few weeks later, when he was facing a less-serious knee injury that nevertheless had left him feeling, "It's over with."

Sitting in his car, Smith finally took hold of what Hutcherson had said. "Lord, I need you to take control," Smith prayed, humbling himself, confessing his sinfulness, inviting Christ into his life, and sensing something new. Supplanting his preoccupation with hypocrites, it was "a peace and a confidence I had never known before."

A Seahawk Blueprint: from expansion to contention

Source: Norm Evans’ Seahawk Report
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 1979
By Gary Huff

The bulk of the Seahawks first team in 1976 came, of course, from the veteran allocations draft. Many of those drafted merely filled positions until the college draft could provide quality replacements. Only four of those expansion draftees, Nick Bebout, Art Kuehn, Sam McCullum and Dave Brown remain today.

The Hawks' first-year college draft, while tainted with a few drafting errors, added five quality players. The selection of Steve Niehaus, the team's initial first-rounder, must now be regarded as one of the team's larger draft mistakes. In the third and fourth rounds, where a team should come up with some fine down-the-road players, the Hawks bombed. Jeff Lloyd (DL) and Randy Johnson (OG) didn't survive training camp. Rick Engles (P), Don Bitterlich (K) and Andrew Bolton (RB) didn't last much longer. All of these players have had shots with other teams, but their careers are essentially over.

Despite these shortcomings, the `76 draft did produce some important members of the `79 team: Sammy Green, Sherman Smith, Steve Raible (all in the second round), Steve Myer (4th) and Don Dufek (5th).

Seattle's Zorn married

Waterloo Courier
April 9, 1979

SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn married Christine Joy Sturton Saturday in Bellevue, Wash. Seahawks wide receiver Steve Largent was best man, and his wife was the matron of honor at the church wedding. The ushers included other members of the National Football League club — running back Sherman Smith, tight end Ron Howard, guard Ron Coder and former linebacker Ken Hutcherson. About 20 Seahawks, including office personnel, were among those attending.

The Zorns planned a week's honeymoon before moving into a home Zorn recently bought on Mercer Island.

Collecting Sherman Smith?

1977 Topps #337