K.J. Wright: What Seahawks get in adding Leonard Williams, who it helps

Nov 1, 2023, 12:07 PM

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams...

Leonard Williams of the New York Giants on Nov. 7, 2021. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks made one of the biggest moves at this year’s NFL trade deadline, acquiring veteran defensive tackle Leonard Williams from the New York Giants for second- and fifth-round draft picks.

Huard: Why Seattle Seahawks gave up more for Williams than 49ers did for Young

It’s one of the biggest moves the Seahawks have ever made ahead of the deadline under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, and one that a franchise legend is 100% on board for.

“I love it. Give me someone that’s 6 foot 5, 300-plus pounds, adding some depth to this defensive line,” former linebacker K.J. Wright said during his weekly Seattle Sports show on Wednesday.

Wright shared why he likes the move and what it means for the 5-2 Seahawks.

What the tape shows

When the trade was announced Monday, Wright said he quickly started to watch film on Williams. On Wednesday, he shared what stood out.

“He plays with a motor, uses his hands well, turns his hips well when he rushes the passer. You can put him at 3-technique, you can put him on the outside against tackles, line him up inside,” Wright said. “So with him, (defensive tackles) Dre’Mont (Jones), (Jarran Reed), Mario Edwards, gonna rotate these guys and it’s gonna be really, really fun to watch. You don’t want Dre’Mont and J-Reed playing the majority of those snaps. They can do it, you want to rotate these guys so they’re fresh, they’re popping, they’re playing fast.”

“He can get there and penetrate on third down, you can see that he communicates with the defensive ends, communicates with the defensive linemen,” Wright later added. “… His football IQ I love, as well … I just love how hard he plays, and you can really move him anywhere on the defensive line.”

Who benefits most from addition of Williams?

Williams is a big name to be added to the Seahawks’ defense, so which of his new teammates will benefit the most from his presence?

“Jarran Reed and Dre’Mont Jones benefit tremendously from it,” Wright said. “They may not realize it, because I was talking to (defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt) and I said, ‘Hey, if someone brought in a linebacker, I’m livid. You trade for a linebacker in the middle of the season, what are you doing, John Schneider? What are you thinking here? Get this man out of here.'”

But Wright added that it’s a bit different for defensive linemen rather than at linebacker.

“It’s a rotation business. It is a, ‘You go, I go, we split it up here’ because they take a lot of banging, and they want to keep those guys fresh,” Wright said. “But those guys really benefit from it. And obviously the linebackers, they benefit. Coach Hurtt benefits from it. This makes the team so much better … He benefits from this as well because he’s a talented guy.”

Seattle Seahawks locker room thoughts

What about how the locker room reacts to a move like this?

“We go from good to another level above,” Wright said of the first-place Seahawks. “I’m happy, I’m loving this. And like I said last week, when you make a move, it’s sending a message. It’s really sending a message to your team of, ‘We’re going for it. We’re really trying to make something happen.’ … We could wait until the draft but no, let me take a guy that I know is proven, a guy that’s been to the Pro Bowl, a guy that’s a top-100 player. Let me get this guy in my building now to help this football team. I just love the aggressiveness versus just sitting back and waiting.”

The K.J. Wright Show airs weekly live at 8 a.m. Wednesday during Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. Listen to this week’s full edition at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Lefko: Gap closed? How Seahawks, 49ers match up after trade deadline
• Seahawks Football 101: How will Leonard Williams fit into defense?
• Seahawks’ defense continues locking down opponents in second half
• Peters’ Seahawks debut just one reason to highlight O-line
• Why can Leonard Williams ‘hit the ground running’ with Seattle Seahawks?

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