One Seahawks veteran and one rookie were selected for the 2019 Pro Bowl, with linebacker Bobby Wagner earning his fifth Pro-Bowl nod, while punter Michael Dickson becomes the franchise’s first Pro-Bowl punter since Rich Tuten in 1994. Dickson also becomes the first rookie punter selected to the Pro Bowl since the Los Angeles Rams’ Dale Hatcher in 1985.
Wagner, who has now been selected for the Pro Bowl in five straight seasons, currently leads the Seahawks with 114 tackles and 11 passes defensed. Wagner, who has recorded more than 100 tackles in all seven seasons as a pro, also has two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and an interception he returned 98 yards for a touchdown. Wagner has not just produced on the field again this season, he has also provided valuable leadership to a defense that got a lot younger around him in 2018.
“Gosh, Bobby has played great for years,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this month. “When you’re out there enough, the opportunities come to you and when you’re on your game, then you can take advantage of it, and that’s what you see Bobby doing. More than ever, we’re calling on him to do more than he had done in the past. We like the way he rushes the passer and blitzes and all that kind of stuff. Every once in a while, we give him a call that he gets to do that. It’s great to see that the big opportunities have come up and he’s captured them because that’s the kind of ballplayer he is and he’ll continue to do that.”
Dickson has spent his rookie season showing why the Seahawks traded up to select him in the fifth round of this year’s draft. A Sydney, Australia native with a background in Australian Rules Football, Dickson didn’t take up punting until 2015 when he enrolled in Prokick, a program in Melbourne, Australia that trains athletes in American football kicking and punting. That led to a scholarship to the University of Texas later that year, and in less than four years of punting an American football, Dickson has already developed into one of the best in the business. Through 13 games, Dickson leads the NFL in punting average (48.9 yards-per-punt) and net average (44.2), and his 26 punts downed inside the 20 are the seventh most in the league. At his current pace, Dickson would break Jon Ryan’s single-season team records for punting average (46.6 in 2011) and net average (40.8 in 2012). Dickson has also been used on kickoffs occasionally, drop-kicking the ball, and he famously ran for a first down out of his own end zone to help clinch a Week 8 victory over the Detroit Lions.
“He has been huge,” Carroll said last month of Dickson, who was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November. “This is a big part of how we’re playing the game. We’re counting on that ball being inside or around the 10 yard line when we take over (on defense) a lot of times. Whether he’s got to bomb it to get there or he’s got to kick it high to get it there, he’s got the ability to keep us down there and he’s really been accurate. He’s been a great weapon for us.”
In addition to Wagner and Dickson, the Seahawks also had seven players named alternates, meaning they could still be selected if someone at their position is injured or ends up in the Super Bowl. Those seven alternates are: running back Chris Carson, defensive end Frank Clark, return specialist Tyler Lockett, safety Bradley McDougald, guard J.R. Sweezy, quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker K.J. Wright.
The 2019 Pro Bowl will be held on January 27, again taking place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.