K.J. Wright: Success of Seahawks will fall on safeties Diggs, Adams

Aug 25, 2022, 12:16 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm

Seahawks Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams...

Quandre Diggs high fives Jamal Adams against the Washington Football Team on December 20, 2020. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Very few people expect the Seahawks to be playoff contenders in 2022 after trading quarterback Russell Wilson and parting ways with linebacker Bobby Wagner this offseason. Longtime Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright, however, is who’s higher on the Hawks than most.

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Since the Seahawks have two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and don’t have a clear long-term option at quarterback, many expect them to take a step back in 2022 and get their quarterback of the future in the next offseason. Wright doesn’t think that Seattle and head coach Pete Carroll would be OK with that plan, though.

“Coach Carroll is a winner, right? … He’s won his whole career. He’s won at USC, he’s won in Seattle, and he plans on winning again this football season,” Wright said when he joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy in studio Thursday morning, adding later that the prospect of the Seahawks “tanking” is “bizarre.”

Wright said the Seahawks have the talent to make a playoff run this year as long as the coaching staff can put players in good positions to be successful.

“I said the Seahawks have a legit chance to make a playoff run. And people thought I was crazy,” he said. “But just wait and see. You’ve got 17 games, and I believe they can truly make it happen.”

So if the Seahawks are going to be successful in 2022, which players will be critical both on the field as well as in leadership roles? Wright thinks the answer is clear.

“Let me tell you what I did. I went to practice the other day and I walked up to a few people, and I said, ‘The success of this team is going to fall on your shoulders.’ I was talking to the DBs,” Wright said. “The success of this team when it comes to playmaking, and when it comes to leadership, it’s gonna fall in on this position group.”

Specifically, Wright was referring to safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams.

Diggs, who re-signed with the Seahawks after posting consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, is entering his fourth season in Seattle and his third full campaign. Adams, meanwhile, is a three-time All-Pro who the Seahawks traded multiple high draft picks to acquire. He was a second-team All-Pro in his first season in Seattle in 2020 but didn’t make as many big plays in 2021 as he did the year prior.

Normally, Wright said, leadership falls on linebackers on defense, but he thinks it falls on Diggs and Adams this year. That’s on top of those two needing to step up on the field.

“I look at those two guys in the back end … when things go bad – which they will, it’s ball – who’s going to be the guy to step up and get this team on the same page?” Wright said. “It’s not gonna be the offensive line, it’s not gonna be the quarterbacks, it’s not gonna be the linebackers. It’s going to have to be those those two guys. So I’m looking at them to carry this ship, to make sure this thing is successful, make plays. So it’s gonna be fun to see and I can’t want to see them get it done.”

Wright played with Diggs in 2019 and both Diggs and Adams in 2020. How does he know those two are ready to take on a bigger role for the Seahawks?

“Well, first of all, the guy that I’m looking for is Quandre. Quandre is that guy,” he said.

Diggs, first and foremost, is a great locker room guy, Wright said.

“The guys love him,” he said. “The guys respect him, he gets along with everybody, he can joke around with you, he can also be serious. And with Quandre – I played with him – when things do get bad, the frustration has got to decrease. When you do get mad, that’s when you’ve really got to kick in your leadership and get guys on the same page. And so obviously on the football field, he’s a baller, he’s a playmaker, but you gotta carry it, you’ve gotta lead guys, you’ve gotta get guys on the same page.”

What about Adams?

“And then you’ve got Jamal, (who is) completely different,” Wright said. “I’m looking for Jamal, obviously with the playmaking .. He got hurt (last year and) didn’t play like he wanted to. So with this new scheme they have, I’m really looking forward to Jamal looking how he did when he first came on the scene making those sacks, getting interceptions, putting them in position to be successful. It’s gonna be a fun year for those two.”

To hear full audio from Wright’s conversation with Bump and Stacy, click the following links: Part 1 | Part 2.

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K.J. Wright: Success of Seahawks will fall on safeties Diggs, Adams