Those are the famous last words from Bobby Wagner not quite the return of the prodigal son but encouraging words sure to make the 12’s giddy with excitement for the upcoming football season. After a year with the Rams Wagner has returned to one of his homes.
QUITE A WEEK FOR 12’s
Excuse the 12’s for their giddiness. It has been quite a week. First Geno Smith sends Seahawks Nation a love letter then the franchise’s most beloved player opens up about his return to Seattle.
While he was with the Rams who underwent a dreadful year the Seahawks, on the other hand, were re-tooling and winning. Wagner met with the Seattle media to discuss his return. The first question posed to Wagner was how he would handle his return being a former captain and locker room leader.
“I kind of think I approached it from the standpoint of treating it as a new situation and treating it as somewhat coming into a new team. Even though I know everybody in the building, even though I know a lot, and know the program, I think it is big to come in and learn everybody because like myself, I have been away for a year and I have grown and matured in a lot of ways, so I assume everybody has done the same. Maybe not (Quandre) Diggs, but I am excited to get back in, learn everybody, and get back into the flow of things.”
It was no surprise to learn that Wagner had more lucrative offers but chose to sign with the Seahawks. A good sign that Wagner is still considered an elite player who can elevate any defense. For Wagner returning to Seattle was not about the money. It was the culture of the organization, the city, and the players.
“Just the culture, the relationships that I have built over the years within the organization and outside the organization, and just the love that I have for the city. I just think it was something that I wanted to get done, something that I wanted to have happen. I’ve been around for a long time, so I saw guys leave this place and I also saw opportunities for guys like Marshawn (Lynch), who was able to come back, (Richard) Sherman almost came back in different situations, so I thought it was the right fit for me and the right fit for my family.”
SIMILARITY IN DEFENSIVE STYLES
The continued makeover of the Seahawk’s defense was due in part to a shift in formation. Since hitting rock bottom in 2020 the Seahawks have transformed into a 3-4- base front similar to the Rams 2022 scheme.
“Last year, I was fortunate enough that the scheme I went to with the Rams was the scheme that Seattle was transitioning to. I was able to kind of play in that system for a year and get a little bit of understanding. I think the biggest thing that will be an adjustment for me is learning the terminology that they use and learning the different intricacies to how they do it, but they will still be running some of the stuff that I ran when I was here. I think it will be a combination of stuff that I ran before I left and some of the stuff that they ran when I wasn’t here. I’m just excited to compete, find my way on the field, and keep playing at a high level.”
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
For Wagner, his time with the Rams gave him a different perspective on not only football but his leadership skills and how to interact with new individuals in a new environment.
“I would say a combination of both. I think coming into a new team, obviously, a lot of people knew about me outside of the Rams organization from playing them so many times but coming in and trying to learn a new scheme, learn new people, get entrenched into a new culture definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things. I feel like I was able to do that. The guys were grateful enough to allow me to lead them as much as I could with already having established guys there. I think it was both, I learned a lot about myself and I learned about things outside of football.”
NOT A ONE OFF
Another positive note for the 12s is that Wagner was clear that this is not a retirement season. Yes, Wagner wants to retire as a Seahawk but he is not planning on that happening after next season.
I hope to play longer than this, but I think we are at the point where you take it a year at a time.”
Fair enough and words of wisdom. For Seahawks Nation, it’s to revel in the fact that one of the franchise’s greatest players has returned to make a difference on and off the field.