Seahawks OTA takeaways: Solari focusing on details, Duane Brown feeling like part of the group
The Seahawks wrapped up their seventh session of OTAs Monday. The practice was open to the media, as Thursday’s will be as well, which means reporters got a chance to ask a few questions of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and left tackle Duane Brown. Here are some highlights:
1. Bobby Wagner is ecstatic to have Ken Norton Jr. back.
Wagner is excited to be reunited with his old linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr., who this offseason left Oakland to return to Seattle as defensive coordinator.
“It feels amazing,” Wagner told reporters. “We went through a lot those first three years and obviously I paid close attention when he left. So when I heard he was coming back I just had a lot of joy, had a lot of excitement, because I felt like we had a little bit of unfinished business. And it’s just good to have him back; good to have that mind back. Because he’s helped me more than just a player, (he’s also helped me) as a person, and I’m excited to grow with him.”
As an aside, Wagner said Norton encouraged he and the other linebackers to start a book club a few years ago.
“He kind of made me the reader that I am today,” Wagner said.
The book club developed into a habit, and Wagner and Wright naturally share books and talk about what they’re reading today. Wagner added that he recently gave a book to rookie Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
2. Wagner expects Earl Thomas to return.
Two weeks ago, Wagner offered an unprompted show of support for safety Earl Thomas during an interview with Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle.
“No man, we just want him back,” Wagner said, when asked Monday whether he had another message for Thomas.
“You know, we appreciate him. That was said from the heart, because I feel like we go and we don’t appreciate players until they’re gone. I feel like that goes for a lot, we don’t appreciate the people that we have until they’re gone. So I’m trying to just focus on making sure everyone knows they’re appreciated.”
Wagner said he’s expecting Thomas to return soon. The statement echoes sentiment from head coach Pete Carroll, who earlier told reporters he expects to see Thomas at minicamp on June 12.
“Hopefully,” Wagner said. “I’m expecting him to be here. I’m hoping he’ll be here and we’re gonna have a lot of fun together.”
3. Solari has a strong focus on technique.
Brown calls Mike Solari “a great football mind” and says the Seahawks offensive line coach has been stressing technique and attention to detail.
“Me going into my 11th year, I feel like there’s some things I need to sharpen up to continue to play at a high level,” Brown said. “He coaches everyone the same, no one’s a favorite. If you mess up a rep, you’re doing it over. If you mess it up again, you’re doing it over. And I’ve got a lot of respect for that. I think we’re going to be a very sharp O-line, very technically sound, and play with a great deal of aggression.”
4. Brown is feeling like part of the group.
The Seahawks acquired Brown in a midseason trade last year. Now, the Pro Bowl left tackle gets a chance to start a season with his new team.
“I’m very excited at the opportunity to get the work we’ve got this time of the year,” Brown said. “I think this is when you build that camaraderie, where you start to gel as a unit … I think they got a glimpse of what I could do and the kind of ability I brought to the team (last year), but now being able to work day in and day out, I’m able to learn everyone, they’re able to learn me more, and it’s just a better feeling. I feel more a part of the group. And being able to lead more right now in the offseason meetings, practices, workouts, it’s a great feeling.”