Huard: Can Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner get to the same level as Panthers’ Luke Kuechly?
The NFL has released its Super Bowl 50 episode of “Sound FX,” providing a glimpse at what could be heard on the field during the defensive battle between the Broncos and Panthers.
In the video, Carolina’s three-time All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly especially stood out to former NFL quarterback Brock Huard, and it got him to thinking about the Seahawks’ own star linebacker, Bobby Wagner.
“It was mind blowing, just how (Kuechly) mixes that incredible aggression with an IQ on the field that’s maybe second only to Richard Sherman,” Huard said on Brock and Salk’s “Blue 42” segment Friday. “What an impressive guy, and it made me think, can Bobby Wagner ever get to that level?”
It’s an interesting question. Wagner, 25, is without a doubt one of the best middle linebackers in the game. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler, was a first-team All-Pro in 2014 and a second-team All-Pro in 2015. And if there’s one player who could arguably be in the same class at the position as the 24-year-old Kuechly, it’s Wagner.
One area Wagner’s certainly in the same class as Kuechly is with his contract. Wagner signed a four-year, $43 million extension before last season, not far off from the five-year, $62 million extension Kuechly inked around the same time.
It’s that contract that is the reason Huard said Wagner should be taking part in the same so-called football Master’s program Pete Carroll said he was going to put Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas through this offseason.
“Bobby’s getting paid a lot of money. Can Bobby Wagner, whose strengths are different than Luke Kuechly’s, but can he ever grow in his Master’s class? Because if Earl’s joining that master’s class in football with Pete, I’d like to see Bobby Wagner in that class too.”
If Wagner does indeed end up in that Master’s program with Carroll, it’s learning to communicate before the snap like Kuechly or teammate Sherman where he has room to grow.
“When you hear (Kuechly) communicate, it is exactly the same things that Richard does with his team, seeing it before it happens and really being able to talk his way through the game,” said Huard.