By Tim Booth | The Associated Press
RENTON — At this point of his career, Bobby Wagner is among those who almost expect the Seattle Seahawks to make some sort of splash at an unanticipated time.
Whether it’s past moves to get the likes of Duane Brown or Jadeveon Clowney, or last Saturday’s massive trade that brought Jamal Adams to Seattle, not much really surprises the Seahawks’ star linebacker anymore.
“[GM] John [Schneider] always likes to make moves, man,” Wagner said Wednesday. “He always does the best he can to make sure we have a great team and he’s going to make any moves possible to do that. So I’m excited about it.”
Wagner was given more help on the defensive side when the Seahawks landed Adams last weekend by sending two future first-round picks and veteran safety Bradley McDougald to the New York Jets. It was a surprising maneuver by the Seahawks, not so much for their willingness to do it but for the amount of capital it took to land the 24-year-old safety coming off an All-Pro season.
Wagner doesn’t really care about the draft picks Seattle had to surrender. He just knows his job likely got easier.
“I’ve always admired his game from afar. Likewise mind. So excited to have him on the team, excited that we’re able to kind of get that going,” Wagner said. “Obviously it’s another playmaker on the field, another guy you have to respect. So he’ll get a little bit of attention.”
Wagner’s ninth training camp — and one unlike any previous camp — got underway Tuesday when the Seahawks reported for their first round of COVID-19 testing. Once the Seahawks begin their team activities, there is a lengthy to-do list for their defensive captain.
There’s getting Adams acclimated to Seattle’s defensive system and figuring out the best ways to use the versatile safety. There’s helping rookie first-round linebacker Jordyn Brooks get used to the NFL.
Perhaps most importantly, there’s Wagner using his influence to make it clear to teammates that this season needs to be approached differently.
“This year is going to be a year that we’ve never experienced, especially for rookies. Rookies don’t even know what to expect going in and it’s going to be nothing like any of us has seen before,” Wagner said. “I think discipline is gonna be the biggest thing. Understanding we’re not going to be able to do the things that we normally do. And we have to think about not just ourselves, but our families, other people’s families and understand if we do something reckless or do something that goes against what we’re trying to do, it doesn’t just affect you and your family, it affects everybody else.”
From the standpoint of personal responsibility, Wagner joked that being in Seattle with its relatively tame nightlife — especially with most bars and restaurants locked down for indoor service — could have its advantages in keeping players in line.
“Again, it’s gonna take a lot of discipline to get this done, and really being on top of everybody and really just keep pushing their message. … Luckily we’re in Seattle, so there’s not really any clubs or things of that nature to go out to. But just understanding you need to be more conscious of your surroundings, you have to really be mindful of who you trust,” Wagner said.