Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Wagner the tackling machine

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 7, 2012 at 7:46 am with 27 Comments »
December 7, 2012 7:46 am
St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson is tackled by Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

In my story today, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner reached the century mark in 12 games as a rookie, and is on pace to set the franchise mark of 136 tackles set by Terry Beeson in 1977.

It’s pretty heady stuff for the second-round draft pick out of Utah State, who had big shoes to feel in replacing Seattle’s leading tackler for the past three seasons in David Hawthorne at the start of training camp.

“He’s a first-year guy, but he acts and plays like a fourth-year guy,” Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. said. “He sees the field well, and he has really good instincts. That’s what really sets him apart – he can kind of feel things happen before they happen.

“He’s kind of a gym-rat kind of a kid. He wants to be good. And he’s willing to make the sacrifices that it takes. So when you know that about a guy, you’re not surprised he’s doing well at all.”

2012 NFL rookie leaders in tackles

Luke Kuechy, LBCarolina115
Lavonte David, LBTampa Bay108
Jerrell Freeman, LBIndinapolis107
Bobby Wagner, LBSeattle100
Vontaze Burfict, LBCincinnati85

Seahawks all-time rookie leaders in tackles

Terry Beeson, LB1977136
Keith Butler, LB1978122
Kenny Easley, LB1981107
Lofa Tatupu, LB2005105
Bobby Wagner, LB2012100
Robert Hardy, DT197987
Brian Bosworth, LB198778
Marcus Trufant, CB200378
Earl Thomas, FS201071

Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that Russell Wilson’s teammates have become believers after watching him weave his magic this season. “When rookies come in, you see how they work,” said fullback Michael Robinson. “You just watch them. He was a guy who didn’t try too hard to fit in. He just worked, and kept working, and kept working. Before you knew it, he was our starting quarterback. You turn around, and now he’s making plays. He’s just growing and improving every week.”

Clare Farnsworth of writes that Malcolm Smith is ready to fill in at outside linebacker for Leroy Hill again if needed. “You’re always waiting for the opportunity to show what you can do,” Smith said. “I prepare like a starter and want to play, so when the opportunity comes you just do it.”

Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports writes about Russell Wilson, one of several national writers who made the trek to the Pacific Northwest this week. Carpenter: “Into the year of the rookie quarterback that was only supposed to be about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III comes Russell Wilson. No one could have expected this back on the second day of the NFL draft when Wilson was taken in the third round, seemingly to be a backup to newly signed Matt Flynn. But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is forever using the word “compete”, throwing it around the team offices like a tired cliché. Every job is open the word implies, allowing for someone to burst in and seize it.”

Players and coaches respond to league commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments that the NFL is considering the possibility of eliminating all kickoffs.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter writes that the Seahawks nearly missed on Russell Wilson. Schefter: “At least three teams, and quite possibly more, planned to draft Wisconsin’s Wilson shortly after the Seahawks selected him with the 75th overall pick in the third round of April’s draft, according to league sources.”

John McMullen of the Sports Network previews the game here.

ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that there’s a good chance Seattle’s game against San Francisco in Week 16 could be flexed to Sunday night on NBC.

Darren Urban of writes that the Cardinals defense has forced 11 turnovers in the last three games. Arizona has 18 interceptions on the year.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. What happened to K.J. Wright? He had a good rookie year, but is being overshadowed by the rookie this year.

    It would be great if the Seahawks-Niners game is flexed. Hopefully the Seahawks will win their next two games and the Niners will lose one of them.

    Last year, I was envious of the Panthers for having drafted Cam Newton. This year, I wouldn’t trade Wilson for Newton.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    KJ will end up with over 100 tackles (he has 76 now). He’s played well, IMO, but the Sam ‘backer spot entails a lot of dirty work that goes unnoticed, in a 4-3. Weak-side and Middle are the “glamour” spots.

    The one real weakness Wagner has shown has been in pass coverage. I first noticed it against the 49ers in week 7 (although I’m sure he had breakdowns long before that). But in all honesty, he’s a rookie, and that really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    If the NFL does in fact do away with kickoffs, I may stop watching altogether. That would so dramatically change the game, it would simply be another game, to me.

  3. “But in all honesty, he’s a rookie, and that really shouldn’t come as a surprise.”

    If only that same logic could’ve been applied to our QB at the beginning of the season. I’m definitely not picking on you Duke. I guess what I’m trying to say is that most all rookies take a little time to get acclimated to the game on defense, offense, whatever.

    Wags, Bruuuuuce and R Dub were fantastic picks despite the many draft critics. This team is really starting to come together and is looking good at the right time of the year.

    Hope they don’t overlook any of their next opponents.


  4. Roger Goodell, Quit trying to change the game!!!!
    No Hitting, no Kickoffs, what’s next? no FAns!!!
    Maybe everyone on the team should play every game, don’t keep score, and everyone wins the Superbowl so no one has their feelings hurt.
    Bring out the flags and take off the pads the No Football League is coming.
    BOOO!!! Roger Goodell

  5. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Agree about the Kickoffs Duke.

    Perhaps it will get to where the NFL won’t allow players that run under 4.5 in the 40 to play because of increased possibility of creating a bigger impact on collision. Lol.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    joreb – Lol. In fact, I did apply that to Wilson. For sure. The “problem” is that he’s now playing at a level I didn’t think he’d reach at any point in his career. Um… lol

  7. pabuwal says:

    Crazy how fast Wilson went up the learning curve. I expected that next year, not this year.

  8. RDPoulsbo says:

    What Wilson is doing right now is nothing short of amazing for a rookie. In addition to all the talk about OROY between Wilson, Luck and RG3, there’s also a lot of talk that those 3 guys might be having the best rookie performances in the history of the NFL.

  9. madpunter88 says:

    I love all the attention DangeRuss is getting now. But Schefter’s premise that the Seahawks were lucky to get him is silly. So what that other teams thought about taking him…they didn’t. And so what that other teams after the Seahawks might have picked him. After all, the Jaguars drafted a PUNTER before Russell Wilson was taken…so it is not like teams always make rational moves on draft day. The Seahawks took a modicum of criticism for selecting him as a wasted pick after the Flynn signing. So they deserve credit for the selection, not warnings about how lucky they were he fell to them.

    I am sort of in favor of getting rid of the kick-off and/or the extra point. The KO is so dangerous and so often results in touchbacks now as to be just an unnecessary interlude between two long commercial breaks. The extra point is even worse…that should be moved back to the 20 or 25 yard line to add some challenge to it. After a TD it is score…commercial (if there is a potential review)…extra point…commercial…kick-off…commercial. Bad for the TV flow of the game.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Eliminating the extra point and kickoffs will not reduce the interruptions for TV timeouts. The business of football will ensure that they will sell as much advertising as possible. In fact, I might argue that eliminating those two things opens more time for commercials to be packed into a 3 hour time frame.

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    madpunter88, Wow! The Jags drafted a punter before Wilson. I forgot all about that.
    Do you think the jags are kicking themselves now?

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    madpunter88- With your username being what it is, I can fully understand why you would want the NFL eliminating the extra points and kickoffs. Lol.

  13. mojjonation says:

    Georgia…they will make anyone who runs a sub 4.5 to carry sacks of cement mix in backpacks until they run a sub 4.5. No sandbagging allowed.

    Why does Seattle get the two chuckleheads for announcers? The way they call a game, it seems as if they are rooting for the other team half the time. I think I’d rather have a half drunk Warren Moon and Divish do it than those two guys.

    How much of the success the big three are having has anything to do with the fact that they have turned it into a touch football game? The QB can’t be hit. The receivers can’t be hit. Luck has skewed numbers because he has no running game and a porous defense. As much as people gush about RG3, he has a 1000 yard back in the backfield with him. RDub Mighty Mouse had a porous line at the beginning of the season and at least 1/3 of the reps taken from him in training camp. If we are grading on a curve, it is RDub in a landslide. If it just straight stats, Luck will probably get it due to numbers, the Colts are a darling NFL franchise, Pagano is fighting cancer, and they have a creampuff schedule.

    Goodell is a tool. As much as I think someone in New Orleans is guilty, the way he handled that reeks of gradeschool hall-monitor police-academy-dropout-wanna-be-cop. Somewhere in there is a reality tv show.

    Schefter can be good at times and sound like a colossal fool at others. Lucky to get him? Seriously? 74 picks in front of him and we were lucky to get him. The only two guaranteed picks were one and two. Tanny-Fanny and Wheezen were picked in front of him. Were Mimi and Cleveland lucky to get those two?

    madpunter…to me, the kickoff or punt return is one of the reasons for the game. Yes there are mad collisions, but when a team has momentum, it can be a game changer. When the last guy to beat is a kicker and your returner is at the 50 and you see the guy make a half hearted attempt to tackle him, and he’s gone, name a sports bar in the country that is’t blowing up. Beer gets drank, wings get eaten, waitresses get more tips. Life is good. 4th and 15 from your 30. Punt or go for it. Just say no to stupid ideas.

    And yeah. The whole TD. Commercial. Extra point. Commercial. Kick off. Commercial. First play of that possession… Is bad for the flow of the game. You have to love sponsors.

  14. GeorgiaHawk says:

    mojjonation- Well I’m not going to stop drinking Beer regardless, but funny stuff!

    Wheezen. Lol.

  15. rramstad says:

    At what point does this become professional Sarcastaball?

    (xref South Park, excellent episode, recommended, though NSFW)

  16. Goddell is making another mistake. First he bans the “Wedge”this the receiving team forms a three or four player wedge to run opposing players down to protect thier punt receiver. Now he wants to eliminate Kick-offs.. One of the main reason for a Fan is to watch possibly a run-back for TD.. This is so exciting to watch & is a big plus for the NFL(the No Fun League). Defenseive players can`t hit Offensive Players (I can see where no head to head shots should be aloud. Bring out the Flags for each team…I love watching Leon Washington run for a TD.. Stop taking the Fun out my Sunday`s!!!!

  17. I can’t wait to see the piece on Wilson with Mooch this Sunday. The teasers they had playing during the game were pretty good. I think a lot of people haven’t had the chance to hear him speak as often as we do. After this interview, with it being this time of the year, it’s going to really launch him onto the scene.

    Side note: I watched a football life with Barry Sanders this week. Hands down…my all time favorite NFL player other than Kenny Easley. So humble, so magical, I cried when he faxed in his retirement. It was devastating. Russell Wilson is not quite as spectacular an athlete like Barry Sanders (although his build is slightly similar), but his humility reminds me of Sanders. Whereas Barry never stated he wanted to be the best or to break records and such, Wilson has said he does want to be the best as a goal, but I hardly characterize him as cocky or arrogant, just confident and I like that approach too. Sometimes it sounds a little too canned in his interviews, I’m sure some would see as a goody two shoes, but I interpret it as disciplined and determined. He’s not a HOFer, he’s not even an all pro yet, but I do feel very fortunate to have him as our QB. I’m sure he’ll have a bad game here and there, but if he’s stay healthy, it’ll be really great for all Seahawks fans. He’s the ultimate team player, a diligent student of the game…we’re all pretty lucky.

    Here’s to beating the snot out of the Cards this weekend. They’ve played us tough lately and deserve a good beat down!


  18. Agreed…Goodell is f*cking up with this idea. Think about all the excitement Leon has brought to this team for the ability to run back a kickoff (and punts). It’s incredibly exciting when this happens. I think back to vs Chargers in 2010, when he took 2 to the house (i think both were kickoffs, not punts…?). But regardless, as a fan, it can be the most exciting thing to watch when a player takes one to the house. The return Leon had against Miami this year was so freaking exciting for a fan. It turns the game around in a hurry and there’s nothing more awesome than that moment. Please Roger, stop all this nonsense (unfortunately, he wont come to his senses, and we will see a change soon. It is sad to see

  19. I’m a fan of Goodell’s kickoff idea and I’m also a fan of making sure Kam Chancellor doesn’t end up like Kenny Easley, Dave Duerson or Andre Waters in 20 years.

    So, in the end, while I hate to see Thomas called for the roughing the passer a few weeks ago, I am in favor of changes to make the game safer. I hate reading about the crippled players or the quality of life of some of the players I grew up rooting for in the 80s.

  20. Impressive company to be among names like Beeson, and Butler. Those guys left their mark as some of the best LB’s this franchise has ever had. Doesn’t Butler still hold the all-time mark for total tackles? Wagner’s short comings in coverage are fairly obvious, but at the same time he’s also mere inches away from making big plays in coverage. He had a nice INT against Tannehill taken away due to a fairly weak roughing the passer penalty on Earl. If that INT stands instead of being taken away, Wagner probably gets some kind of ‘Defensive player of the week’ award.

  21. sherminator says:

    I am not in favor of eliminating the kick-off, it can make such a difference in the game. I am in favor of eliminating the PAT kick, though. I much rather see 2 point conversions be the only option – that is a more exciting play by far, and would cut down on OT games, which would lead to fewer plays where players are exposed to injury.

    I agree with MikeRob – “Russell Wilson is a baad man, a very baaad man” (in the good way). The way he keeps his cool during the game, and his roboQB answers to questions, I’ve got to wonder if he has a titanium structure under that skin.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    I’m curious how eliminating the kickoff keeps a player like Chancellor from the terrible health issues someone like Kenney Easley suffered(s) from, considering Chancellor isn’t on return nor kick coverage. That said, I am all for protecting player health as well, within the confines of the game.

  23. SandpointHawk says:

    I don’t know, having played the game, I remember the utter joy of running down field with a full head of steam and flattening the returner. As a former wide receiver who also got to receive kickoffs, I also remember the elation of having a great return and how much it could change the whole game. Of course, I suppose I can always tell my great grand kids about how back in the day they used to have the most exciting play in the NFL called a kick-off…Flag football anyone?

  24. freedom_X says:

    Seattle properly understood the draft value of Russell Wilson and selected him where they needed to in order to get him.

    That’s the big difference between draftniks and professional personnel departments – the good pro departments not only have evaluated the talent, they also have a good idea what other teams are thinking and set their prices accordingly.

    The Seattle front office has proven it again and again, yet they continue to get fan criticism about how “they overpaid” or “overdrafted” people. If you go off draftnik information, 8 out 10 players in Seattle’s past two drafts were “overdrafted.”

  25. raymaines says:

    Have you guys thought about how cool the game could be under the proposed Non-kick off rules?

    The scoring team would get the ball on their own 30 yard line and the situation would be 4th and 15. The scoring team would probably punt and that would be essentially the same as a short kick off leading to lots of good returns, or they go for it and either give up the ball somewhere short of the 45 yard line or keep possession of the ball near the 50. I’m kind of liking that idea.

    What if your favorite team scored a TD with 1:30 to go and now were only behind by 3. Wow. Choices, choices.

  26. What they need to do is get rid of the “illegal block in the back” penalty. Every single freakin’ kick or punt there is one of those. Is that a safety issue? I think not. One thing I agree with Jon Gruden is that this league is far to yellow-hanky happy. Quit the ticky-tack crap, just call the things that could result in injury, and let them play, gawdammit.

  27. rynehawk says:

    I fail to understand how the proposed kickoff revision helps in any way. The biggest issue I see is the wear down factor. A team goes on a 10 minute 90-yard drive and wears out a defense. So to prevent injuries lets make them stay on the field for another play and if they cant stop that lets make them stay on the field longer. It can easily become a snowball effect which in my opinion introduces more risk of injury instead of less.

    I saw that stats for succesfull onside kicks and conversions of 4th and 15 plays were about the same (20-22%ish). Heres the flaw with that stat; not every kickoff is an onside attempt (I dont know the % of kicks that are onside vs standard but it cannot be high).

    I can easily see this as a major shift in advantage to offensive teams. If one out of five attempts is successful to retain the ball I bet the chances go up each consecutive time it works; particularly ifit leads to a score. On success, teams would only need to move the ball 20 yards to get into field goal range. A valid strategy would be to go for it every time given that any one could lead to a rapid succession of possession, making it feasible for teams to have possesion 20+ minutes in a half or even possibly the entire half as defenses cant get a rest. With a one in five chance of that happening after a score why wouldnt teams do that?

    I am not against making some kind of change but this idea seems like it would make things worse on the injury front instead of making it better not to mention a possible landscape change to the game itself.

    Anyone else find it ironic the guy that proposed it to reduce injuries (Schiano) is the guy that slams his entire team into opponents on kneel downs?

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