#17 – Bobby Wagner

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Honestly, I only remember seeing Bobby Wagner make one play this pre-season, and that was at the tail-end of a four-day bender, so can I even be sure I saw it at all?  Nevertheless, what I thought I saw was a bolt of lightning shooting between large men to tackle a slightly-less large man with the football for little-to-no-to-negative gain.  And on that play, I saw the greatest play I’ve ever seen out of Bobby Wagner – and he came in 2nd in the Defensive Rookie Of The Year vote last year (so you know there were many great plays out of him last year)!

One of the things that happens when your front office hits on so many draft picks is that often there are players who are overlooked.  Bobby Wagner is certainly one of those guys.  When people talk about the Seahawks, they talk about Russell Wilson first, then Marshawn Lynch, then the Legion of Boom, then the wide receivers, then how the defensive line needs more pressure on the quarterback, then Tom Cable and his ragtag misfits along the offensive line, then the special teams, and THEN the linebackers.  These linebackers are the forgotten ones.  And even then, when people talk about the linebackers, they start with the question of Who Is Going To Be Our SAM Linebacker?  Followed by K.J. Wright and his transition to weak-side.  And last, but not least, Bobby Wagner.  The 53rd guy people think about when they think about the Seattle Seahawks.

This post comes somewhat timely, as Luke Kuechly last night had a game against the Ravens that has people across the NFL falling all over one another to be first in line to suck his dick.  Kuechly, if you will recall, came in 1st in the Defensive Rookie Of The Year vote last year.  He’s the next Brian Urlacher or some damn thing.  I guess.  If you ask me, I’d tell you that he’s the lone bright spot on one of the worst defensive units in the NFL.  You tend to stand out when you’re a rose growing out of a football field of shit, but that’s neither here nor there.  The narrative is that Luke Kuechly Is The Next Elite White Middle Linebacker.  So, whenever you see a televised Carolina Panthers broadcast, after they finish hyping up Cam Newton (because quarterback), the announcers are going to spend the next 30-90 seconds belaboring the “heart” and “intensity” and “fire” and “guts” and whatever buzzword you want to pull out of your ass about Luke Kuechly.  Because if America needs anything, it needs retarded hillbilly children’s pageant contestants and one great white middle linebacker every generation.

OK, soap box over.  The point is:  is Luke Kuechly all that remarkably better than Bobby Wagner?  I don’t think so.  And I think this year will go a long way toward proving that.  Yeah, as a rookie Kuechly led the league in tackles.  But, Wagner came in 7th.  Not among rookies, but among ALL NFL players.  Bobby Wagner was also on a much better defense, so he wasn’t forced to be the focal point.  Kuechly had absolutely nobody, so he HAD to be the man running around making all the ankle tackles that nobody else could make.  But, I’ll tell you what, when Bobby Wagner takes that step forward this year, becoming the impact player we all believe he can be, on THIS defense full of impact players, then you’ll know that you’re looking at one of the best middle linebackers in football.  Will he still be overshadowed by the Great White Hope?  Probably.  But, at least he won’t be overshadowed on his own fucking team anymore.  After this year, when you’re talking about the Top 10 Seattle Seahawks, you won’t be able to leave off the name Bobby Wagner.

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