RENTON — Here’s some of what we saw and heard from Seahawks players during Wednesday’s media sessions at the VMAC:
Bobby Wagner flies comfortably first class or not
Among the perks of winning a road game for the Seahawks is a little gift that players negotiated a few years — veteran players getting to swap seats with coaches so they can fly in first class.
It was especially appreciated Sunday with the long flight back from Pittsburgh after Sunday’s 28-26 win over the Steelers. According to the team, it took four hours and 31 minutes to fly back to Seattle after it took three hours and 51 minutes to get there.
“I don’t remember when that started,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said Wednesday. “I think Mike B (Michael Bennett, who played with Seattle from 2013-17) probably asked why they got first class and we didn’t. Then maybe, Coach’s response ‘well, if you win, you get first class.’ Ever since then, I always enjoyed winning more on the road.”
But Wagner also revealed that he manages to find a good set regardless.
“I claim the same one (after every game),” said Wagner, who is one of the team’s three captains. “Nobody will be sitting in my seat. It has a lot of leg space. It is secluded. Nobody is by you. It’s nice. I’ve got short legs, but I’ve got leg space.”
And presumably, it’s also away from defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who also played in the NFL for 13 years and isn’t real keen on losing his flying status.
“He (complains) because he goes from his first-class seat to not so much space,” Wagner said. “He complains about it, but he’ll deal with it because that means we won.”
Vet’s advice to DK Metcalf? Find a hobby to pass nonfootball time
Metcalf, the Seahawks’ sensational rookie receiver offered an interesting response when asked about what is different at the NFL level compared to college.
“I’ve got a lot more time now that I don’t have class anymore,’’ Metcalf said.
And how to fill that time, he knows, can sometimes get players in trouble.
Which is why he sought out the advice of veterans such as Wagner, Russell Wilson and Duane Brown on how to handle life as an NFL player.
“They told me to find a hobby, or try to take care of your body any chance you get,’’ he said. “So that’s what I’ve been doing.”
And what hobby is he trying?
Metcalf smiled and said he was trying to learn how to play the guitar. “But that didn’t work,’’ he said.
The problem with guitar?
“Too much learning,’’ he said.
So what now?
“Back to playing (the video game) Fortnite,’’ he said.
Whatever Metcalf is doing is so far working.
Metcalf has seven receptions for 150 yards in two games, on pace for an even 1,200, which would rank fifth in team history and the most for a Seahawks receiver since Koren Robinson had 1,240 in 2002 (Steve Largent holds the record with 1,287 in 1985).
Duane Brown says Seahawks ‘got to adjust’ to NFL’s emphasis on holding
The Seahawks have had eight holding penalties in two games, including six Sunday at Pittsburgh.
But Seattle is hardly alone — holding calls are up markedly around the NFL because of an emphasis on cutting down on holding that began late last season.
As detailed by ESPN, there have been 179 holding calls so far this season compared to 107 in the first two weeks of the 2018 season.
“It is what it is,’’ said left tackle Duane Brown, who has not been penalized. “We’ve got to adjust.’’
The NFL told teams before the year that holding would be a point of emphasis, specifically on cutting down on backside holding.
But Carroll said this week that hasn’t really been the Seahawks’ problem. Instead, their holds have mostly been for hands being outside of the body.
“They are not allowing offensive linemen to have their hands on the outside,’’ Sehawks offensive line coach Mike Solari said.
Brown said he’s watched games and “seen guys not known for getting holding calls getting holding calls.’’
Solari said complying with the new emphasis comes down to working on technique in practice and understanding that the calls are going to be made. The solution, he said, is simple — “our hands have to be inside.’’
And Brown said it’s the not the Seahawks’ place to worry about why the NFL wants to emphasize holding.
“It’s part of the game,’’ he said. “It’s evolving. We’ve got to evolve with it.’’