Bobby Wagner had a team record 167 tackles last season. He also had 4.5 sacks, the second-most in his career, and grabbed his first interception in three years. So after a career season, what’s next and what’s left?
RENTON — Bobby Wagner is coming off the best season of his career and one of the best seasons ever by a Seahawks’ linebacker.
Wagner had a team-record 167 tackles last season. He also had 4.5 sacks, the second most in his career, and grabbed his first interception in three years.
He was asked the question asked of all players after a career season: What’s next? What’s left?
“I like to be consistent so I like to challenge myself with consistency,” Wagner said. “Anybody can do it once. Can you do it again? I feel like I had a lot of good plays last year, but I feel like there’s a lot that I left out there, too. And I feel like I’m still getting better and there’s still room to grow. My goal is to really be a dominant player in this league and have nobody question that. That’s what I strive for. I strive for being great.
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“I watched the guys before me like Ray Lewis and Derrick Brooks and Brian Urlacher and all those guys. When all is said and done, I want to be in that area and be in that realm. That’s what I strive for: I strive for being those guys.”
Wagner is one of the prominent and most disruptive members of the Seahawks’ defense and should be in his prime. His speed has always been his most prized attribute because it allows him to cover so much ground. But each year Wagner has become a better, surer tackler. Last season, the Seahawks turned him loose on blitzes, and he often forced quarterbacks to get rid of the ball early.
This offseason he wants to get better at man coverage, recognizing routes and converting his QB pressures into sacks.
“I watched all my film from last year, and I just feel like those are the areas that I can get better at,” Wagner said. “I had a lot of QB pressures but not a lot of sacks. So turning those pressures into sacks so hopefully whenever I get my name called, I hope to have a sack instead of a pressure.”
He was named first-team All Pro for the second time in the last three years and, just this week, was voted 39th on the NFL Network’s top 100 players list.
It did not change Wagner’s perception of himself or of the top 100 list, however.
“I think coming into the league, I thought it was an honor whereas I’m in the league I kind of do look at it as a joke,” he said. “There’s a lot of special players that get left off that list. Guys like K.J. Wright, who I think is a top player in my opinion. It’s cool. I appreciate all the peers and whoever voted for it. But I would rather have K.J. on there.”