Though the proper term to characterize their present predicament can be debated – it can be referred to as a rebuild, a retool, or a reload – the Seahawks are in the midst of arguably the most turbulent changeover of their 47-calendar year historical past.
Previous thirty day period, fewer than two months right before the start off of cost-free agency, Seattle traded star quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver for a bevy of draft picks and 3 veteran gamers. The corporation also released All-Professional linebacker Bobby Wagner, who eventually signed a five-yr, $50 million deal with the Los Angeles Rams to remain in the NFC West and participate in his former team twice a yr.
Significantly to the dismay of the enthusiast base, the Seahawks parted techniques with a pair of Hall of Fame talents and two of the most well-liked players at any time to enjoy for the business in a 24-hour window. Between them, they produced 17 Pro Bowls, earned 9 All-Pro options, and led the staff to eight playoff appearances and a Super Bowl XLVIII victory. They also had been priceless leaders on the subject and in the locker room.
With those people moves, Seattle emphatically put the dagger in the coffin for the franchise’s most productive period, leaving the group with no players remaining on the roster from its most current Tremendous Bowl squad in 2014.
But whilst the exterior notion is that the Seahawks have introduced a total-scale rebuild with Wilson and Wagner gone, mentor Pete Carroll and typical manager John Schneider have publicly turned down the idea they are starting more than. The conclusions to re-indicator Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs and working again Rashaad Penny in no cost agency suggest they intend to contend in 2022.
Rely veteran defensive tackle Al Woods, who re-signed with the staff in March, among all those on the roster who are shopping for what Carroll and Schneider are offering, in big aspect due to the society that has been created in excess of the earlier 12 a long time.
“The tradition we have is a winning culture. Us staying competitive at exercise,” Woods told reporters on Thursday. “It’s not heading to be the very same group of starters. Nevertheless, everyone has bought to go out there and contend. The finest players are heading to participate in. I truly feel like when we get out there and we get started the comradery, the togetherness, and get started doing work with each individual other. Iron sharpens iron, I consider we’re likely to be all right.”
Woods, who turns 35 in May well, has expended 3 different stints with Seattle given that Carroll and Schneider to start with arrived with each other in 2010. He performed in two game titles in 2011 before last but not least latching on as a whole-time player with Pittsburgh the subsequent time. Just after a number of prosperous seasons in Tennessee and Indianapolis, he returned to the Pacific Northwest for a single year in 2019 and immediately after sitting out 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, he arrived again as soon as again previous year.
Players have arrive and gone around the many years and Woods has performed with a amount of distinctive teammates bouncing around with different businesses in 11 NFL seasons, but the society has remained the identical with Carroll and Schneider at the helm. For that rationale, and the simple fact the group has regularly competed for playoff spots, returning on a two-12 months contract was an quick decision for him irrespective of Wilson and Wagner’s departures.
“I just love it out there. It arrived down to just me currently being wherever I required to be and I wanted to be back again in Seattle,” Woods remarked. “It worked out, it was true quick. Then, we received to the quantities, the place they were. I was just like, ‘Look, gentleman, I am great, I really don’t have to have no more. I’m going to go in advance and come again, I am straight.'”
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Even though Woods wasn’t requested about the issues of replacing Wilson under center or the arrival of Drew Lock as a probable successor, he spoke at duration about how Wagner’s superior football IQ and playmaking means impacted Seattle’s protection and how the perennial All-Pro served him make performs in the trenches.
Taking into consideration Wagner lobbied for Woods to be named to the Pro Bowl past season for his initiatives generating tackles in the backfield, having up blocks, and retaining the linebacker totally free to make tackles, it’s clear they held mutual admiration for just one one more and will skip participating in collectively.
“He’s a hell of a communicator. Hell of a communicator, hell of a chief,” Woods mentioned of Wagner. “You know, the dude could see things that other men and women couldn’t see. He could constantly inform me, ‘Hey bro, the engage in may be likely this way. Let’s play our eyes this way.’ And a good deal of situations that things would perform. I would go in early to [the facility], it’s possible just sit down and discuss with him.”
As Woods attested to, players of Wagner’s excellence are unable to just be changed. He’s 1 of only 3 players due to the fact 1987 to register 100 or far more tackles in 10 consecutive seasons and his eight put together All-Professional alternatives rank initial in franchise history, which includes surpassing Corridor of Fame left tackle Walter Jones. The leadership void remaining powering by his departure will not likely be stuffed by any one player either.
But to the credit history of Seattle’s entrance business, the franchise geared up for daily life just after Wagner by deciding upon Jordyn Brooks in the initial round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Soon after receiving his toes damp in a situational role splitting reps with K.J. Wright as a rookie, he became a complete-time starter at weakside linebacker very last year and set a new franchise report with 184 tackles. Just after the time, he attained the very first of what could be numerous All-Professional votes coming his way in the long run.
From Woods’ perspective, whilst he would not anoint Brooks as the next-coming of Wagner, he thinks he has the expertise and ability set to make a identify for himself as 1 of the greatest linebackers in the NFL in his have proper. Holding provide at nose deal with, he programs to do his portion to support the youngster maintain racking up tackles in bunches.
“I necessarily mean, there is only a single Bobby, but there’s only a person Jordyn Brooks far too. I sense that he’ll do a fantastic task at it. I imagine he is going to be different at it. I believe that he’s likely to excel at it and I am psyched to see it. I’m going to do what I received to do to secure him. Make certain no person touches him and make sure he breaks the record again following calendar year.”
At this stage of his profession, Woods indicated he just isn’t playing just to dollars a pay out check out. His supreme target remains to earn a Super Bowl right before he hangs up his cleats, which certainly will be a considerably more complicated intention to achieve with Wilson and Wagner now putting on distinct uniforms. Locating capable successors for both of those players will be important to the team’s probabilities of preventing one more down time and promptly trending again towards contention.
But with Carroll nevertheless manning the sidelines and the lifestyle he and Schneider have instilled above the a long time still intact, Woods remains assured veterans such as himself coupled with an incoming rookie class can decide up the slack and make it possible for them to return to their winning strategies in speedy fashion.
“I want to win basic as that. I felt like the Seattle Seahawks missing some key pieces. But just before Bobby and Russ, they were being accomplishing their issue. But you know, it was a collective team. I think that us having a collective team of guys, which is keen to work in direction of that widespread goal, we can get that completed.”