By John Boyle
Earlier this offseason, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner noted that, while the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary and their defensive line get a lot of the attention, the team’s linebackers should, and will, get more attention in 2014.
“I love the D-line, and the secondary gets a lot of talk, but you will talk about the linebackers this year,” Wagner said after a June session of organized team activities.
And apparently getting attention like the secondary involves engaging in a little playful smack talk like the Seahawks’ best known defensive back, Richard Sherman.
Wagner was a guest on ESPN’s First Take Tuesday, and when Stephen A. Smith, who co-hosts the show with Skip Bayless, said he saw a Broncos team that looked “petrified” in the Super Bowl, Wagner agreed with Smith.
“You’re not wrong,” Wagner said. “They looked scared out there. Nobody wanted to catch the ball. Nobody wanted to come up the middle.”
“If you look at the previous games, they got a lot of balls across the middle,” he said. “That first hit, Kam came across the middle and smacked him.”
Later Wagner was asked about Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, who agreed to a new contract Tuesday.
“If you want your contract, get it before you play us, that’s all I’m saying,” Wagner said. “…When you play us, it’s not going to be a pretty thing for you.”
Wagner was then asked what tight ends do impress him, and he struggled to come up with one, saying “nobody comes to mind.” On Vernon Davis, Wagner first said he respects the 49ers tight end, but then added, “When he plays us, he seems scared too.”
When Bayless later noted that being better in 2014 will be difficult because, “you will be the hunted now,” Wagner replied, “We’ve got bullets too.”
Here’s Wagner’s full interview:
And speaking of Wagner, Matt Hamilton of thefootballeducator.com came up with a stat called “impact tackles” and the Seahawks’ middle linebacker ranks among the league’s best defensive players by that measure.
Wagner wasn’t the only Seahawk on the national airwaves this week, with Russell Wilson making an appearance on the NFL Network.
If you missed yesterday’s All-Star game, the American League won in part thanks to the pitching of Felix Hernandez, who threw one scoreless inning to open the game, as well as a brief appearance (and arrow launch) from Fernando Rodney in the eighth. That means the Mariners will have home-field advantage in the World Series (you know, assuming they stay in playoff position and advance to the World Series. Otherwise some other American League team will have home-field advantage).
And finally, from today’s Herald, a look at the relationship between Sounders stars Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey.