K.J. Wright: Seahawks’ new pass rush reminiscent of vaunted 2013 defense
The question marks surrounding the Seahawks’ pass rush seemed to vanish overnight with the arrival of star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in a trade with the Houston Texans. Adding a three-time Pro Bowler who has amassed 39 sacks in 55 NFL starts goes a long way in alleviating any concerns, but just how good can this defense be?
“It’s going to be scary for teams to face us,” veteran Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Thursday ahead of the Seahawks’ season opener against Cincinnati.
Wright went on to say that he sees similarities between the Seahawks’ additions of Clowney and fellow defensive end Ziggy Ansah and the team’s 2013 signings of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.
“It reminds me… it’s exactly the same thing,” Wright said. “Just having two guys in Cliff and Mike who are already super talented and had outstanding careers, and you have these guys come over who are super talented with outstanding careers, it’s just going to be fun. I believe the difference is that when Cliff and Mike B. first came they weren’t starters, and I believe that either Ziggy or Jadeveon will have to be… in the first year more of 50-play guys versus you know Cliff and Mike B. just coming in on third down.”
Obviously if this year’s Seahawks defense can compare to the 2013 defense in any way, that’s a very promising sign for the season. The 2013 defense was the best in the NFL that year, allowing a league-low 14.4 points per game. With players like Avril, Bennett and Bruce Irvin, Seattle had several options that could be moved around and utilized in a variety of ways. That depth and versatility has been missing in recent years, but Wright seems confident that the Seahawks may have something similar now.
“We know that’s one of our strengths, just sending guys,” Wright said. “You don’t know who’s going to come, whether it’s Mychal (Kendricks), whether it’s me or Bobby (Wagner), whether it’s the corner blitzing – we’ve got a lot of stuff we can do. It’s going to be real scary. (Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.) just has to call it and we just have to execute it.”
The pass rush isn’t the only thing Wright is excited about when it comes to his new teammates’ abilities.
“I always watched those guys,” Wright said of Clowney and Ansah. “With Clowney, I love how he runs his inside stunts, fakes the tackle, goes inside and is dominant against the run. As a linebacker playing behind those guys, I appreciate that, you know? I appreciate guys taking on those blocks and playing vertical. I just want my guys to play fast up front and be dominant in the run game so you can earn that third and long.”
We will finally get to see how the offseason work and additions will come together on Sunday as the Seahawks take on the Bengals at CenturyLink Field, and Wright might be just as excited as the rest of us.
“Both sides (offense and defense) are going to be really good. We’re going to complement each other really well,” he said. “… It’s going to be fun watching those guys (on offense) from the sideline, and then we get out there and we dominate as well. The vibe is good, the chemistry is good, everybody’s on the same page, guys are here ready to roll and this energy feels good.”
Kickoff for Seahawks vs. Bengals is at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, and you can hear the game right here on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Listen to K.J. Wright’s interview with John Clayton here.
- Tune in to 710 ESPN Seattle weekdays at 10am for John Clayton's show.
The Professor’s Notes
John Clayton hosts a daily video breaking down the latest NFL news.