Big man in the middle
When the Seattle Seahawks drafted Mississippi State product K.J. Wright in the fourth round, head coach Pete Carroll figured him as depth at outside backer behind Aaron Curry and at the Leo position.
But at 6-4, 250 pounds, linebackers coach Ken Norton decided to try him at middle linebacker behind David Hawthorne, and so far the move has paid off for Seattle.
“I’m used to playing linebacker,” Wright said about the transition. “Right now I’ve just got to be in control of the defense and get everybody lined up. It’s just something that I like to do, playing off the ball. So right now it’s working well for me. I’m just trying to learn it as well as I can, and just continue to go through the season and try to learn that position, and then maybe I can learn other positions."
Wright said playing middle linebacker should also help if the Seahawks decide to move him somewhere else on the defense
“Being at the Mike you’ve got to know where everybody is at all times. So just being at that position I can know what everybody else does, including my job.”
On the end of training camp
Like every other rookie, Wright did not have the benefit of OTAs and training camp, so he’s been learning on the run, with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley installing a lot of the team’s defensive schemes over the past three weeks of training camp.
“I’m glad I got to go through this process,” he said. “ It’s been a real learning experience. I had a chance to play a new position, and get a chance to play in the NFL and play in a preseason game, so training camp went real well for me. I’m just ready to keep it going to the next phase.”
And Wright says his size helps him make plays in the interior of the defense.
“You’ve got to take on (offensive) guards and fullbacks all the time,” Wright said. “And I can also move, too. So it’s real good for me. I can use my body, and us my long arms.”Bradley said playing Wright at middle backer is good training because he has to know everybody else’s assignments. Game time
Wright was one of the rookies that shine for Seattle in the team’s first exhibition game at San Diego, finishing with a team-high of 8 combined tackles.
“I thought I did pretty good, but I could have done better with my drops sometimes,” he said. “I made some mistakes. I’m just trying to go to the next game and play as good as I can in that game.”
Wright said he’s been getting a lot of help from starting middle linebacker David Hawthorne.
“He’s been a real good mentor for me," he said. "I sit right behind him in the meeting room, and if I have any questions for him, he’s answers them for me. So he’s been real good for me."
Wet or dry?
Being a University of Memphis alum, and with Wright from Olive Branch, Miss., which is actually a suburb of Memphis, I had to ask him which does he prefer – wet or dry ribs?
Wright laughed, and said he’s a likes them wet – smothered barbeque sauce. I’m a dry guy myself, and prefer the way they cook them at The Rendezvous in downtown Memphis.
Wright says he likes Neely’s, and I can’t argue with that choice either.