Pete Carroll Sounds Off on Rams’ Bobby Wagner Returning to Seattle

Bobby Wagner

Getty Bobby Wagner gets celebrated by teammates after an interception on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood.

Will Bobby Wagner get booed the moment he steps onto the Lumen Field turf in his return to Seattle? Or will the “12th man” warmly embrace him the moment he’s seen in Los Angeles Rams attire?

Those questions loom for Wagner as he makes his long-awaited return to Emerald City on Sunday, January 8. His former head coach Pete Carroll sounded off on what it’ll be like seeing his former player coming out of the visiting locker room — and shared how he feels the ‘Hawk fans will react.

Carroll Predicts This Type of Fan Reaction

Carroll, who won Super Bowl 48 with Wagner, believes there will be a warm reception from the “12th man” fan base.

“Oh yeah, they’re going to be great, they love him,” Carroll said Wednesday to the Seattle media. “I think they’re going to welcome him back. I just think that’s what’ll happen.”

But, will the cheers continue from there?

“Then if he makes a tackle or something, then maybe they don’t give him as much love. I don’t know,” Carroll said. “He’s going to make some hits in this game. He’s playing good ball and doing good stuff, but they’ll do the right thing. Whatever it is, they’ll do it.”

Carroll Reacts to How Wagner Has Played With His New Team

With Carroll, Wagner established himself as an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time All-Pro with the Seahawks. He’s best known for leading the front seven while the “Legion of Boom” patrolled the secondary during their run of two NFC titles and the Super Bowl romp of the Denver Broncos.

Even in new surroundings, and playing in more of an exotic defense with more odd fronts than the four down linemen he got used to, Wagner has still responded with 133 tackles and 74 solo stops. With seven more tackles, it’ll mark the second time in his career he’s reached 140 stops in a season (had 140 his rookie season).

“He has 120-something tackles again — here he goes again,” Carroll continued. “I’m not sure the exact number, couple picks. He’s got six sacks. I don’t remember him ever getting that many sacks. He has rushed a lot in their system.”

Indeed the Rams have turned Wagner more loose on blitzes through defensive coordinator Raheem Morris — as Wagner has never had a six-sack season until he joined the “Rams House.”

“Where it’s been a challenge, going there, and following last year and all that stuff, I think he’s probably been a real steady voice for them and factor for them. I can’t imagine him being anything but that,” Carroll said.

Meanwhile in Thousand Oaks, Morris let it be known the Rams want to win this one for “B Wagz” and end the year on a high note.

“Bobby’s pretty, as we all know now, kind of reserved. He’s kind of to himself. He’s a real prideful, passionate, intentional, eloquent type of player so when he comes to work, he’s going to work,” Morris said Thursday to the L.A. media. “Will it mean some more to him? There’s no doubt. There’s only the human element of that. The way he played the first time we played them, the way he’s played all throughout the season, his pride and his passion that he brings to every single game is just unparalleled to a lot of people. I want to go out there and get a win for him. I’m going to flat out just say it for him and for his teammates and for the guys that wanted to play so hard for him the last time and just to be able to do that for Bobby because of Bobby. All the things he’s given us, let’s go give him something back.”

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