Seahawks notes: KJ Wright says he wants to come back.  But any return will be in a non-playing role

Seahawks notes: KJ Wright says he wants to come back. But any return will be in a non-playing role

RENTON — KJ Wright, one of the Seahawks’ best players during the team’s greatest streak, said last week he would like to end his career in Seattle.

“I want to go home,” Wright said on the “Half-Forgotten History” podcast last week with Trey Wingo. “I think it’s as simple as that. Seattle knows I want to come back. They know how much they mean to me.

Could this happen?

Well, while coach Pete Carroll didn’t seem to completely dismiss the idea when asked about it on Sunday, a source confirmed that his comments were about Wright returning to the team in a non-player role and not as a player.

“I love KJ,” Carroll said of the player who was a mainstay on the Seattle defense from 2011-20 as a linebacker. “I already talked to him about stuff for the future and all that. I heard he was talking about acting, and we talked about it before.

Although the vagueness of Carroll’s comments could lead to interpretation, a source confirmed that the team did not speak to Wright about his return as a player, but rather in a non-playing role.

Wright, who spent last year with the Raiders, will turn 33 in July and the team’s moves in recent months make it clear the Seahawks are in the midst of a youthful move after deciding to trade Russell Wilson . The only players older than Wright on the list are defensive tackle Al Woods and guard Nick Bellore.

And the Seahawks are so far attached to their young inside linebacker duo of Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton, who played in all but one game in the last two games of last season – each wins – after center linebacker Bobby Wagner was injured in the first game of the penultimate game of the year.

The expected shift to a defense that places more emphasis on a 3-4 defensive scheme this year than the 4-3 of the past may also mean the Seahawks are adjusting the linebacker roles they have.

After Wagner’s release, some were surprised the Seahawks didn’t bring in an inside linebacker. After the draft, Carroll and general manager John Schneider said they liked what they had on the inside linebacker roster.

“I think we’re in good shape the way we line up deep,” Carroll said. “…As always we will keep working but I like the guys we have and I think we are in good shape there. We didn’t need to go there (in the draft).

The Seahawks also added to their depth at inside linebacker this offseason by signing free agent Iggy Iyiegbuniwe, who spent the last four years with the Bears when Sean Desai — now the Seahawks’ associate head coach for defense — was on. with Chicago.

While Iyiegbuniwe has played sparingly on defense for the Bears, he has had 1,214 special teams snaps over the past four years and reserve linebackers generally have to be basic special teams, which means they participate in virtually all special teams units. It’s not something Wright would likely be asked to do at this point.

Other Seahawks inside linebackers include former UW standout Ben Burr-Kirven, who is back in the running after suffering an ACL injury last August, and Tanner Muse, a Raiders third-round pick. in 2020 who played six games after being signed. in September. While Muse didn’t play defense last year, he played 100 snaps on special teams.

Jon Rhattigan, who played 14 games last year as a backup inside linebacker with 250 special teams snaps, is also on the roster but is recovering from a knee injury suffered in a December game against the rams. Bellore is also listed as a linebacker, having played there earlier in his career, and as special teams captain a year ago has a big role on those teams and projects again in 2022.

And according to Carroll, one of the stars of this weekend’s rookie minicamp was Vi Jones, one of the team’s 14 undrafted rookies.

Interestingly, Jones wore Wright’s old number 50 during rookie minicamp — no player wore that number in 2021 — and spent time playing Wright’s old weakside linebacker, though. he can also play outside.

Jones is the son of former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Robert Jones, who won three Super Bowl rings in the 1990s, and a former four-star recruit to USC who later transferred to Carolina State. North. At NC State, he blocked three kicks in 2020 to earn honors as Co-Special Teams Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Jones even looked a little like Wright on the court, especially with his length — he has a wingspan of 79 1/8 inches right next to Wright’s famous 80-inch measurement.

“He looks the part,” Carroll said. “He’s quick and really athletic. He’s got a good general knowledge of what he’s played, and you can see he’s got a lot of athleticism. It’s really fast, really fits the bill. One of the guys who wasn’t the draft pick that I totally went with, was thrilled to see him, and you can imagine that. He could be a member of the special team. He could play a bit on the outside, play a little inside backer for you, if you need it, and he could play with some guys. So he had a good camp. A very good campsite. »

Which means that for now, any Wright return will be in a role of mentor to young linebackers, not joining them on the field.

Go through phases

The Seahawks still have two weeks of being in phase two of the offseason program when, according to the NFL, on-field workouts can include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect play drills.” and drills with offensive players facing offensive players or defensive players lined up opposite defensive players, conducted at a step-by-step pace. No direct contact or team offense against team defense drills are allowed.

They will begin phase three of the program, better known as Organized Team Activities, or OTAs, on May 23. OTAs are when teams can complete 10 workouts that include 7v7, 9v7, and 11v. -11 exercises but no direct contact.

Remarks

  • Cornerback Tariq Woolen, a fifth-round pick, didn’t do full-speed drills during minicamp due to a hamstring issue, but did attend the media tour on Sunday.
  • Linebacker Tyreke Smith, also a fifth-round pick, didn’t work full speed Saturday due to an undisclosed issue but was also on the field for Sunday’s visit.
  • One Test player Carroll mentioned as catching his eye was Idaho safety Tyrese Dedmon. The Seahawks may sign up tryouts on the roster after camp. But with the full roster, any signing means a corresponding move to cut a player.

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