Bobby Wagner is everything defensive coordinators dream of at night, but just how important is he?
Entering in his seventh season out of Utah State. Wagner had slight measurables but eye popping numbers on his pro-day for a traditional 4-3 linebacker that set the NFL Scouts on fire. Coming in a 6’0, 241 lbs, 24 reps, and a 4.46 40. The Seahawks scooped him up with the 47th pick in the 2nd round in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Wagner has been a day one starter and hasn’t disappointed. Anytime fans turn on a Seahawks game via their TVscreens, iPads, smartphones, or streaming services you’ll find #54 running sideline to sideline like Bobby Boucher from the 1998 hit movie “The Waterboy.” Oh man that was a comical movie, “Gatoradeeeeeee, H20!”
On to the question at hand, just how important is Wagner?
Wagner is the second most important person on the roster only behind Russell Wilson. I could make an argument that he’s slightly more important than the face of the franchise, but I’ll save that argument for the comments. Wagner is consistent, smart, knows when to be physical, knows when to play with finesse, and shows good energy. I can’t think of one bad thing about his game, which is scary.
Wagner’s isn't the “ideal” height for an inside linebacker, but when your character, film, and intangibles makes up for the difference who in the hell cares?
On to the five keys that makes Wagner so paramount compared to his colleagues.
1.) Consistency - Wagner has only missed eight games in his entire NFL career. No matter how bad the injury seems, Wagner is going to play through it. As a fan, things like that don’t go unnoticed.
2) Smart - Wagner at times can be seen pointing and heard calling out the opposing teams plays, which leads to them audibling often, very often.
3) Knows when to be physical - Wagner does a superior job of attacking the line of scrimmage and the offensive lineman that tries to combo, stack, or kick block him out of the play.
4) Knows when to play with finesse - In the film, you all can see that instead of being a crash dummy, Wagner at times uses his speed to elude the massive offensive lineman.
5) Shows good energy - As I stated above, Wagner runs sideline to sideline. That’s a trait that you can’t teach. Coaches can implement drills for conditioning, but no matter how many drills, sprints, or yelling you do; you can’t teach it. Energy or will is something that’s embedded in a players heart and soul.
In his seven-year career, Wagner stats looks like a simulated Madden season every year. Here are the numbers— 778 Tackles, 30 PBU’s, 15.5 Sacks, 8 INT’s, and 3 TD’s. I despise putting some much pressure on him, but at this rate he’s on pace to be a surefire first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer. With so many new faces potentially in the Seahawks starting lineup, it’s extremely pivotal that Wagner has a season like never before. With Sunday’s news of Kam Chancellor’s apparent retirement (which I predicted weeks ago), even more pressure will be on Wagner to stop the bleeding upfront to give the new faces in the secondary time to get comfortable to their adjusted roles.
Wagner finished rated the #1 linebacker according to Pro Football Focus’ formula last season. Most Seahawks fans didn’t need the rankings to confirm what they already know about Wagner. The 12’s get to see it up close and personal on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Wagner has been one of the best, if not the best in the NFL for at least three seasons in my opinion. Geographically, the rest of the world are just now getting an opportunity to get their full dose of his talent with the Seahawks having more primetime televised games. With me living in Texas and recently relocating to the West Coast, I’m enlivened to be able to watch more Seahawks games. . . . for free. Free is always good.
Enjoy the breakdown. It’s 7:53 seconds long, so get comfortable. Peace out.