BROCK AND SALK

K.J. Wright: What the Seattle Seahawks’ defense is still missing

Jun 21, 2023, 11:54 AM

Seattle Seahawks 49ers...

The 49ers' Christian McCaffrey runs into Seattle Seahawks defenders on Dec. 15, 2022. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ defense will look different in 2023.

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Seattle will run its 3-4 defense for the second year in a row, but the personnel has changed significantly.

At inside linebacker, the Seahawks brought back franchise icon Bobby Wagner after he spent a year with the Los Angeles Rams. They also signed Devin Bush for at that position.

In the secondary, Jamal Adams should be back at safety after missing all but one game last year with a torn quadriceps. Additionally, Seattle signed safety Julian Love in free agency.

At cornerback, Pro Bowler and Defensive Rookie of the Year finalist Tariq Woolen is set for his second season and 2022 starter Mike Jackson returns, and they’re being joined by No. 5 overall pick and All-American corner Devon Witherspoon.

No position group has seen more turnover than the defensive line, however, with many 2022 players leaving or getting cut. Then there are new faces like Dre’Mont Jones signing in free agency and Jarran Reed returning after a few years away from Seattle.

According to legendary Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, though, there’s still an important thing the defense is missing, which is a big nose tackle to anchor the middle of the defensive line.

“It is vital,” Wright said during Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. “When you talk about 3-4 defenses, you look at the history of 3-4 defenses and nose tackles, you’ve got Tony Siragusa, Vince Wilfork, Haloti Ngata. When you step on that football field and you see that big man at 6 foot 5 and 350-plus pounds, you don’t want to run the ball in the middle. You need that guy.”

The Seahawks, Wright said, simply don’t have that right now.

Video: K.J. Wright — Where are Seattle Seahawks in 3-year Super Bowl plan?

“They don’t. But we can find one,” he said. “Maybe in free agency? Maybe when someone gets cut? We definitely need that.”

When Wright played in Seattle, he really only played with one big nose tackle: Al Woods, who the Hawks cut this offseason and is now with the New York Jets.

As the roster currently stands, the lone player who comes close to filling that position is fourth-round pick Cameron Young, who played college ball at Wright’s alma mater of Mississippi State.

“With this team, right now we have the rookie there. But we need that big monster where it’s like there’s no inside running play that you’re going to run against us,” he said. “Run the ball on the perimeter, but in these trenches, it’s a no go.”

Listen to the whole K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the podcast near the top of this post.

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