Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Friday, August 18 — about your Seattle Seahawks.
The K.J. Wright Show Returns On Seattle Sports 710AM
Season 2 of the K.J. Wright Show with Brock Huard and Mike Salk returned to the Seattle Sports 710AM airwaves on Wednesday. The 11-year veteran broke down observations from training camp this offseason, including a revelation about third-year outside linebacker Darrell Taylor. With the Tennessee alum coming off a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2022, Wright explains why Taylor has "15-sack potential," and is just beginning to scratch the surface.
It's been a long journey to playing in Seattle for the Hopewell, Virginia native. Taylor shined at weakside defensive end for Hopewell High, becoming a four-star recruit with several offers from top FBS programs. Ultimately, Taylor committed to the University of Tennessee, redshirted his true freshman year. After a combined three sacks in his first two seasons on the field, Taylor shined as an upperclassman with 16.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in 24 contests. But a leg injury and subsequent surgery would force him to miss the 2020 NFL Combine. That April, Seattle selected Taylor No.48-overall, but he wouldn't see the field that season. The nagging leg issues would keep Taylor on the reserve/non-football injury list for his entire rookie year. The following training camp, Taylor addressed team reporters about the encouragement he received to stay focused on getting back on the gridiron.
"It was pretty hard last year not being on the field," said Taylor. "I had my teammates helping me out. Older guys whispering in my ear every now and then, coaches talking to me. So I stayed the course last year, just trying to be humble, trying to stay positive about what was going on."
In 2021, Taylor played in 16 contests (5 starts), combining for 37 tackles, 6.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Despite fewer combined tackles (26) in 2022, Taylor reached career-highs in sacks (9.5), forced fumbles (four), tackles for loss (eight) and recovered his first fumble. Taylor joined forces with 2022 free-agency-acquisition linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (9.5 sacks; three FF) to become the only duo league-wide to record at-least 9 sacks and three forced fumbles. After spending much of the offseason around camp, Wright wasted no time naming Taylor when asked by Huard about the edge rusher with the highest ceiling on the roster.
"This guy's so fast," said Wright. "This guy can bend so well. This guy is so elusive. He's so creative."
For his 2022 efforts off the edge, Taylor received a 73.6 pass rush grade from Pro Football Focus, leaping from 62.1 in 2021. Wright breaks down just how good the 26-year-old can be with time.
"I look at Darrell Taylor," said Wright. "He hasn't even figured it out yet. He has not figured out how good he can be. Now just look at what he brings to the table. He fell into 9.5 sacks last year. I'm telling you, if it can just click in his brain like, 'I am talented, I am good, I want to take this coaching from Cliff Avril and (Michael Bennett), I'm going to just tap into that dog inside of me,' this guy can be a 13-14 sack type of dude. He can be a three-down player. It's right there for the taking. I swear to you, it's right there for the taking."
When asked by Salk if Taylor can improve in run-support as much as he will as a pass-rusher, Wright declares with more focus, he can become an all-around threat.
"He has the physical ability to do it," said Wright. "But Salk you know how they say the game is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical? He has the physical ability to do it, but he has to tap into those details. He has to train his eyes properly. He has to just watch film and watch his get off… He is a guy that could be a 15-sack guy. And when I watched him last year, some games he's here, some games he's way over there. And so, when I watch Darrell Taylor, he's the guy that I'm really looking forward to seeing this year."
If Taylor's yearly statistical progression is any indicator of future success, a double-digit sack season may not be an outlandish prediction. But the faith of one of Seattle's brightest stars of the century can go a long way in further boosting Taylor's confidence in his abilities.
Social Post Of The Day
The Seahawks' social team highlights the pocket presence and arm of Seahawks 71-year-old coach Pete Carroll.
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Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times: How two Seahawks went from undrafted rookie free agents to scoring jaw-dropping preseason TD.
ESPN's NFL Nation: Seahawks' Kingdome jerseys are most-searched throwbacks.
Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic: Seahawks stock report: Jake Bobo among the risers, Artie Burns in a tough spot.
Brandon Gustafson of Seattle Sports 710AM: Seahawks’ Smith-Njigba: Lockett, Metcalf ‘made the transition very easy for me.’
Here at Seahawks.com, five things to watch in Saturday night’s game against the Cowboys.
Also at Seahawks.com, Jeff Schaffer, co-creator of The League and Dave, and a big Seahawks fan, joins the Seahawks Insider podcast ahead of serving as a guest analyst on this week's radio broadcast.
Check out the behind the scenes of the seventh episode of season two of The Sound "Diamond In The Rough". This episode focuses on the team working together to come out of the first preseason game with a victory.