In my story today, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner reached the century mark in 12 games as a rookie, and is on pace to set the franchise mark of 136 tackles set by Terry Beeson in 1977.
It’s pretty heady stuff for the second-round draft pick out of Utah State, who had big shoes to feel in replacing Seattle’s leading tackler for the past three seasons in David Hawthorne at the start of training camp.
“He’s a first-year guy, but he acts and plays like a fourth-year guy,” Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. said. “He sees the field well, and he has really good instincts. That’s what really sets him apart – he can kind of feel things happen before they happen.
“He’s kind of a gym-rat kind of a kid. He wants to be good. And he’s willing to make the sacrifices that it takes. So when you know that about a guy, you’re not surprised he’s doing well at all.”
2012 NFL rookie leaders in tacklesSeahawks all-time rookie leaders in tacklesLarry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that Russell Wilson’s teammates have become believers after watching him weave his magic this season. "When rookies come in, you see how they work," said fullback Michael Robinson. "You just watch them. He was a guy who didn't try too hard to fit in. He just worked, and kept working, and kept working. Before you knew it, he was our starting quarterback. You turn around, and now he's making plays. He's just growing and improving every week." Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that Malcolm Smith is ready to fill in at outside linebacker for Leroy Hill again if needed. “You’re always waiting for the opportunity to show what you can do,” Smith said. “I prepare like a starter and want to play, so when the opportunity comes you just do it.”
Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports writes about Russell Wilson, one of several national writers who made the trek to the Pacific Northwest this week. Carpenter: “Into the year of the rookie quarterback that was only supposed to be about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III comes Russell Wilson. No one could have expected this back on the second day of the NFL draft when Wilson was taken in the third round, seemingly to be a backup to newly signed Matt Flynn. But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is forever using the word "compete", throwing it around the team offices like a tired cliché. Every job is open the word implies, allowing for someone to burst in and seize it.”
Players and coaches respond to league commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments that the NFL is considering the possibility of eliminating all kickoffs.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter writes that the Seahawks nearly missed on Russell Wilson. Schefter: “At least three teams, and quite possibly more, planned to draft Wisconsin's Wilson shortly after the Seahawks selected him with the 75th overall pick in the third round of April's draft, according to league sources.”
ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that there’s a good chance Seattle’s game against San Francisco in Week 16 could be flexed to Sunday night on NBC.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com writes that the Cardinals defense has forced 11 turnovers in the last three games. Arizona has 18 interceptions on the year.