For the first time in his career, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will look across the field and see linebacker Bobby Wagner on another team's sideline.
Carroll knows Wagner is wearing different colors know, having watched him as he's played his first season with the Rams, with whom he signed in March after spending his first season with the Seahawks.
"I like that he stayed within the 5-4 thing," Carroll told Seattle reporters Wednesday, when asked what it was like seeing Wagner wear 45 with the Rams instead of the customary 54. "We've been catching him all year long. I love watching him. He's a great player, and he was a great part of our program. Bobby knows. We love competing against him. It's one of the things I've always cherished about him – people that you know really well, you want to go against them and battle with them. I know he'll be ready go."
During his Seahawks tenure, Wagner recorded 120 or more total tackles in seven of his 10 seasons, with 1,383 overall in 151 career games. He also registered 11 interceptions (one of which was returned 98 yards for a touchdown), 60 pass breakups and 78 QB hits while being named to the Pro Bowl eight times and a First-Team All-Pro six times. His performance led to him being named to the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team and helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII following the 2013 season.
This season, Wagner is the Rams' leading tackler with 90 and has continued to display the same instincts have allowed him to play at a high level.
"He's been so consistent for so long," Carroll said. "He's a terrific athlete at the spot. Excellent tackler and all the diagnostics and all that stuff, he's got it all. But it's his consistency that has been remarkable, that's he's always there and he always battles. That's the only way we've ever known him."
For Carroll, "you miss everything" about Wagner when it comes to him not be a part of Seattle's defense.
"There's no replacing him," Carroll said. "He's a unique, one-of-a-kind guy."