Bobby Wagner

Bruce Irvin will never forget those that doubted Seattle's 2012 draft

Bruce Irvin will never forget those that doubted Seattle's 2012 draft

Looking back, the 2012 NFL Draft was a home run for the Seattle Seahawks. That year the team drafted future stars Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and Russell Wilson. This is also the draft where the team got solid players in Robert Turbin, J.R. Sweezy, and Jeremy Lane. 

It was basically a perfect draft for Seattle... in hindsight. 

You see, at the time, most experts thought the Seattle draft class was one of the worst in 2012.

Bleacher Report gave Seattle's draft a "D" grade, saying "The Seahawks received our lowest Round 1 grade for their reach to grab Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall. They messed up again in Round 3 with Russell Wilson."

SI.com also laughed at the pick of Irvin, saying "The Seahawks went bonkers and picked Bruce Irvin at 15. Could he develop into a solid pass-rusher? Sure, but this was a spit take-inducing selection." 

SI's take gets worse... they said, "QB Russell Wilson has a bright future, even if Seattle didn't really need him."

Irvin might be a good pass-rusher. Seattle didn't need Wilson. Right...

Even the NFL's own website called Irving a questionable pick, and said Wilson was just a "reliable reserve quarterback."

All the bad takes are something that Irvin and the rest of his 2012 Seahawks draft mates have not forgotten.

"I look at it every time the draft comes along. I'll always remember that for the rest of our life around draft time. The way they talked about us, and talked about how little Russell (Wilson) was. And talked about how I went too early and how Bobby (Wagner) this... when we got there we won a Super Bowl the next year" - Bruce Irvin on Seahawks poor draft grade in 2012

Wilson, Irvin, Wagner and Co. helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII, and the team came just one questionable play call away from repeating as champs in Super Bowl XLIX.

"I think we've really proven to people that their grade was obviously wrong," said Irvin. "Russell is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and Bobby is one of the best, and I'm going on nine years and have 50-something sacks. It is what it is. A bunch of people who grade stuff and never play the game, and obviously they was wrong."

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Kevin Calabro. 

Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright will “definitely” take Jordyn Brooks under their wings

Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright will “definitely” take Jordyn Brooks under their wings

Seattle Seahawks fans went from utter confusion to surprisingly hopeful when the Seahawks drafted Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks with their first pick (No. 27 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Another linebacker? What about LSU’s Patrick Queen? Don’t you want to protect Wilson better?

But Brooks was a player that Seattle general manager John Schneider couldn’t pass it up.

And once the reports came out of Brooks being “the next Bobby Wagner,” the pick seemed more substantial.

But what the selection also showed was the value of the linebacker position in the NFL.

Wagner, the former two-star high school recruit and Utah State prodigy recently did an interview on The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny the Dog (podcast).

At the end of the day, you want to pick the best position and hopefully it’s a good sign that people are starting to value the linebacker position. I’m supporting it, excited to have him on the team, excited to bring him in and help him the best we can because we don’t get to be around him like normal… Myself and K.J. will definitely take him under our wing. — Bobby Wagner

The Seahawks linebacking features: future Hall of Famer Wagner, K.J. Wright, and the return of Bruce Irvin to Seattle complimented by young talent such as Brooks, Cody Barton, Shaquem Griffin, and Ben Burr-Kirven. 

[RELATED]: John Schneider: Jordyn Brooks could challenge K.J. Wright for WILL LB job immediately.

[RELATED]: Matt Wells isn’t worried about Jordyn Brooks’ coverage ability with the Seahawks

[RELATED]: Jordyn Brooks could be a long time starter next to Bobby Wagner

Wagner finished the 2019 season recording 86 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one interception. Wright finished with 67 tackles and three interceptions. 

That’s not a bad group to learn from about the professional game. Of course, fans will have to wait to see Brooks and the rest of the Seahawks 2020 draft class in action once it is safe to do so.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells.

How the evolution of the linebacker position has changed in Bobby Wagner’s eyes

How the evolution of the linebacker position has changed in Bobby Wagner’s eyes

Ray Lewis.

Brian Urlacher.

Patrick Willis.

These are just some of the linebackers that Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner hopes to be in a similar conversation with when talking about the all time great linebackers to come through the NFL.

With good reason, he should be. 

Wagner was just a two-star recruit coming out of Colony High School in Ontario, California. His four-year reign of terror at Utah State included racking up 446 total tackles, tied for first in school history, by the time he graduated in 2011. After getting drafted by Seattle in the second round (No. 47 overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wagner continued to dominate at the professional level.

Now, Wagner will enter his ninth year in the league. 

In his eyes, the evolution of the linebacker position has greatly changed.

Wagner recently did an interview on The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny the Dog (podcast).

I feel like we have smart linebackers and I feel like we have fast linebackers and I think that’s where the league is going. Linebackers are getting faster and faster and not as big as they once were. A little bit before I was there, guys were like 250 - 260 [pounds] and you don’t really see that as much now. Guys are like 240 and below. — Bobby Wagner

There are only three linebackers on Seattle’s roster who are over 240 pounds: Wagner, K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin. The three veterans who have been in the league for nine to 10 seasons.

Perhaps the linebacker position had to change to counter the shift in the quarterback position from just pocket passers to now a mobile threat: i.e Lamar Jackson who ran for 116 yards on 13 carries in Baltimore’s 30-16 win over Seattle last season at CenturyLink Field. Divisional foe Arizona now has shifty Kyler Murray at quarterback, who the Seahawks will face twice a season for years to come. Opposing coaches try to create mismatches, putting linebackers on wide receivers or forcing them to drop back and cover more. 

[RELATED]: 10 takeaways from Seattle’s 2020 regular season schedule

Despite the dual-threat QB and the trickery, Seahawks fans can rest assured knowing that Bobby Wagner is lurking in the middle of the field.

It really challenges your intellect as a football player. I have fun trying to dissect and figure it out. There’s been plays that I feel like I’ve figured out pretty quick and plays that didn’t really go so well. So, it’s really fun and makes the game fun. — bobby Wagner.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells.

Pete Carroll's draft clues were no match for one fan on Twitter

Pete Carroll's draft clues were no match for one fan on Twitter

"With the 27th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select... Jordyn Brooks. Linebacker. Texas Tech."

Those were the words uttered by commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, much to the joy of the 12s. 

The move surprised many, as Brooks was projected to be a second-round pick. However, there was at least one smart (or lucky) fan that saw the move coming a mile away.

For years, Pete Carroll has posted videos on social media with hints about who the team is targeting in the draft. 

This time around Carroll posted a video from the movie 1917.

That may not be much of a clue for most, but one Seattle sleuth knew exactly what it meant.

That's right, Russell Massey called the pick hours before the draft, all based off of Carroll's clue. 

Of course, there was probably more luck involved in this, but it's still cool nonetheless. 

Brooks may not be a well-known name in Seattle, but he should fit in perfectly with the Seahawks. 

Seattle has long made a name for itself with a dominating defense. The Legion of Boom will go down in history as one of the greatest defenses of all-time, and it was that unit that helped Seattle win the Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

One of the players on the defensive unit in 2014 - Current Seahawks LB, Bobby Wagner. 

Wagner is a fan favorite, so it should bring fans great joy that their first-round draft pick has drawn comparisons to the Seattle great. Brooks even says so himself.

I see myself with the style of play like Bobby Wagner,” Brooks said. “We’re kind of a similar build. I think I bring to the table just aggressiveness, passion, discipline. Those are some of my core values. The fans and the organization are getting a heck of a football player. I’m a linebacker, but I see myself as a football player who can do anything. I’ve got God-given ability that I’ve been blessed with. I feel like I can do anything and add a lot of value to the team. - Jordyn Brooks

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner to speak at global startup conference

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner to speak at global startup conference

When Bobby Wagner isn’t in the middle of the Seattle Seahawks defense, he spends his time soaking up everything he can learn about the business and entrepreneurial industries.

His investments in startups and ability to negotiate his most recent three-year, $54 million contract extension with the Seahawks is why popular business magazine, Forbes, featured the All-Pro linebacker on its prestigious 30 under 30 list.

Now, Wagner will join Chris Lyons of software investment company, a16z, at the Startup Grind Global Conference. According to the announcement on Twitter, Wagner will take part in a conversation around “The Next Generation of Cultural Influencers in Tech.”

For those who want to go and see the six-time Pro Bowler speak, a combo package deal begins at $355. The two-day event begins on Feb. 11 in Silicon Valley. 

Wagner is also expected to spend the offseason taking care of some business of his own. The Seahawks linebacker will be recovering from an unspecified injury related to his knee that was found during exit interviews. Fortunately, the injury will not require surgery.

Wagner finished the 2019 season with a league-leading 159 tackles, six passes defended, three sacks and a forced fumble. While Wagner was unable to represent his team in this year’s Pro Bowl festivities, fans can take solace that he is still taking the offseason to get better both on and off the field. 

Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner named to 2019 Pro Bowl

Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner named to 2019 Pro Bowl

One offense, one defense. It has been the foundation of the Seattle Seahawks franchise since 2012. Linebacker Bobby Wagner and quarterback Russell Wilson have been named to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl.

Here’s why:

RUSSELL WILSON

Having an MVP-like year, it seems like the 31-year-old just keeps getting better and better. Wilson is a Pro Bowler for the seventh time in his eight-year career. 

Here’s his line for the year: 67.4 completion %, 3,708 yards, 28 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 109.3 rating; 311 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

[RELATED]: A comprehensive list of Russell Wilson’s incredible records and milestones this season

Wilson joins other NFL quarterbacks: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

BOBBY WAGNER

Named to his sixth straight Pro Bowl in his eight-year career in Seattle. Wagner leads the team and ranks second in the NFL with 139 tackles, the sixth-most in franchise history in a single-season. The 29-year-old this season became the franchise's all-time leading tackler and posted his eighth-consecutive 100-tackle season, extending his own franchise record. 

[RELATED]: Bobby Wagner says ankle is ‘fine’, Seahawks avoid major crisis

Wagner joins other inside linebacker Luke Kuechly in the NFC and Darius Leonard and Dont'a Hightower in the AFC.

The Seahawks currently hold the top seed in the NFC West with an 11-3 record and have clinched a playoff berth with a win last Sunday over Carolina. 

But just two Seahawks players named to the Pro Bowl? Seems a bit odd.

More to come from our Seahawks Insider Joe Fann.

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner among nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner among nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award

He’s an eight-year NFL veteran, Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro Bowler and four-time NFL First-Team All-Pro.

And now, Bobby Wagner is being recognized for his excellence off-the-field as the Seattle Seahawks nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

The award recognizes NFL players across the country who strive to make their communities better and continue to raise the bar on community engagement. Wagner checks both boxes.

The Seahawks linebacker has given back to the Seattle community in a number of ways. He’s partnered with the Low Income Housing Institute’s “tiny house” project to help provide homes for those in need. He’s hosted the “Walk with Wagner” events at the VMAC, in honor of Stroke Awareness month. 

Recently, while packing Thanksgiving meals for Seattle’s tiny home community, he treated Safeway customers to a surprise shopping spree.

“When I do it, it’s genuine,” Wagner said of his gesture. “It’s from the heart. I don’t really care if people see that I do it or notice that I do it or even recognize that it’s me doing it. I just do it because I feel like there’s a lot of people out there that need a hand, and I try to lend a hand.”

Each Man of the Year nominee receives a donation up to $50,000 to spend on their charity of choice. Wagner has selected the HBCU Foundation, a foundation that provides scholarships to students attending historically black college and universities.

The 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year will be announced on Feb. 1 during a two-hour primetime awards special airing the night before the Super Bowl.

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Nearly six months after Bobby Wagner negotiated a three-year, $54 million contract extension to make him the highest paid at his position, the Seattle Seahawks linebacker is making waves again.

Wagner was recently named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 Sports list, which features athletes, inventive entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of media, law and development.

His accomplishments on the football field are impressive, but it’s Wagner's off-the-field accolades that caught the eye of Forbes.

“We should take the time to learn and understand how to make the money work for us, versus working for the money,” Wagner told Forbes.

Wagner made a five-figure investment in startup Denali Therapeutics in 2014 that has since gone public with shares close to $18. The 29-year-old also recently joined Andressen Horowitz’s $500,000 minimum investment cultural fund, which features companies like Hipcamp and Lime scooters, and included investors such as Diddy and Shondra Rhimes. 

This isn’t the first time Wagner has been recognized for his entrepreneurial pursuits. In 2017, he was part of a group of current and former NFL players who invested in 12-year-old Mikaela Ulmer’s lemonade business “Me & the Bees.”

Wagner has stressed the importance of athletes not only learning business, but understanding it. He has also talked about his desire to pursue something in the business field post-football.

“I love business and I love to get into different investments and things of that nature,” Wagner said last summer. “I envision myself negotiating deals down the line and, so, I told myself (if) I wasn’t willing to risk challenging myself with my own money and my own cash then I’ll never take that risk down the line. That’s why I was focused on it.”

At 29, Wagner has seemingly done it all on the football field. He’s been to five Pro Bowls, earned four first-team All-Pro nods and helped lead Seattle to its first ever Super Bowl.

But with the Seahawks at 10-2 and on top of the NFC West, he could soon add another Super Bowl title to his collection.

“We still have room to improve on, which is the scary thing because we can still get better.”

Bobby Wagner explains value in trading jerseys with fellow NFL superstars

Bobby Wagner explains value in trading jerseys with fellow NFL superstars

Bobby Wagner recalls Richard Sherman being one of the first to trade jerseys with another player. Now the tradition has become a mainstay following each NFL game. 

Wagner has a vast collection of threads that began with acquiring the jerseys of all his teammates – Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, Michael Bennett and others. He then began trading with other stars around the league like Von Miller and Derrick Johnson or players he had a personal connection to like Saints safety and longtime family friend Marcus Williams. Wagner grew up with Williams’ older brother and Williams was good friends with Wagner’s younger brother.

“I think it’s a way to kind of show respect about the people that you’re going against and your friends that you play against – trying to have something to remember this league that doesn’t last for long,” Wagner told NBC Sports Northwest on the recent episode of the "Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

Wagner has now gotten to the stature to where young players in the NFL will approach him postgame and ask for his jersey. Last year it was Dallas Cowboys linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. 

“That’s pretty dope to have that type of respect in the league,” Wagner said. “It’s a cool feeling.”

He’s pulled the same move. In 2018, when everyone expected it to be Larry Fitzgerald’s last season, Wagner sought out Fitz following one of their matchups to gift the receiver his jersey. He said that Fitz has long been one of his favorite players to go against. 

Fitzgerald, being the exceptional human that he is, made sure to express his gratitude. 

“At some point during the offseason, I got a FedEx, and he sent me a jersey in return,” Wagner said. “That just speaks to the type of person he is. Obviously I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

He added that Aaron Donald is next on his list.

So what will Wagner do with all of the jerseys? He said he’s already hung up a few in his house, but he’s workshopping a few ideas for how to organize the rest.

“It’s going to be something unique,” Wagner assured. “Something dope.”

Wagner obviously isn’t the only player around the league with a treasure trove of game-worn jerseys, but it is further insight into his enlightened mindset and approach to football. 

A few months back we saw the linebacker serve as his own agent, flex his business acumen and negotiate the richest contract for a middle linebacker in league history. His collection of jerseys shows how deliberate his is when it comes to making the most of his time in the NFL.

“Sometimes it’s important to slow down and appreciate all you’ve accomplished so far knowing that you still want more,” Wagner said. “As the game slows down, life slows down as well, and you’re able to appreciate a lot of things.”

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Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Joe Fann 1-on-1 with Bobby Wagner

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Joe Fann 1-on-1 with Bobby Wagner

Seahawks Insider Joe Fann breaks down Seattle's win in Atlanta, diving into the worries that could come from a weak second half against the Falcons.

Also, Joe sits down with Bobby Wagner, linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, and the two talk about the importance of trading jerseys in the NFL and what celebrity Wagner has given his jersey to.

Plus, with the Seahawks halfway through the season, Joe gives out grades for the Seahawks performance so far, and looks to what this could mean for the future of the team.