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KJ Wright, Super Bowl Champion

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2023 8:17 pm

KJ Wright, Super Bowl Champion

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 28, 2023 8:17 pm

KJ Wright joined Zach to discuss why the Seahawks losing Week 1 to the Rams was a positive for Seattle and if Russell Wilson can turn his career around in Denver. 

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That's 20% off at, promo code LT23. We continue this Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Let's head out to the guest line right now. Welcome in a Super Bowl champion, made the Pro Bowl in 2016, played for both the Seahawks and the Las Vegas Raiders. And that, of course, is our pal, KJ Wright. KJ, always appreciate the time. Thanks for it. How you been? Zach, always a pleasure, man. You've been great. How about yourself?

Well, I'm doing fantastic. Let me ask you about your Seahawks right out of the gate. They don't play until Monday night.

They are 2-1 to open up the season. After three games, what has been your view on the Seattle Seahawks? You don't usually hear people say this, but I'm kind of glad they lost their first game because what happened was it started with Coach Carroll. He admitted on our radio show that I didn't have these guys ready.

I didn't have them prepared. And I say this all the time. If Coach Carroll is on point, if Coach Carroll is being a fierce leader that he is, this team will be phenomenal. And I love what I saw from them when they went on the road, played the Detroit Lions and handled business last week and they played the Carolina Panthers. And this offense, they knew going into the season that we're going to have to lead this charge. The offense, we've got to put this team on our back. And Geno has been spectacular.

Obviously Tyler doing what he does. And so this team, people aren't talking about them. They're not talking about my Seahawks enough. They should go 3-1 when they play the New York Giants after this and go into the bye week. And so I love what I'm seeing from this first quarter of the season.

The letdown that we have against the Rams was unacceptable, but it was needed to really get this team on the same page and get this season off to a good start. I've been very bullish on the Seahawks this offseason. And you hear the national kind of conversation though for most people is, was one year, was last year a one hit wonder with Geno Smith? You just said you were very confident pretty much in the quarterback of Geno Smith.

I'm just wondering, why is that? Because I was with Geno Smith when I was in Seattle and I saw him as a backup. I went against him several times when he was a scout team quarterback. I faced him in training camp when we had two minutes drills. And I'm like, this guy's mechanic is great. This guy has a beautiful arm. And this guy can play some really good football.

We knew that obviously he started in New York. That was a disaster. Backed up Phillip Rivers. And he just took full advantage of his opportunity when the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson. And so Geno's a really good quarterback. His leadership, I don't know if you saw, but when it went up to Jackson Smith and Jacobus saying, hey, I need you. You got to get this thing turned around. That's on me.

That's not on you. The way that he rallies the troops, the way he's not afraid to speak in front of the team. The guy's, first of all, a good guy, a good teammate. When he steps on the football field, he handles business. If you were part of the Seahawks organization still, and you were getting ready to go up against the Giants in the swamps of Jersey at MetLife Stadium on Monday night, what would be your view of the Giants quarterback in Daniel Jones?

I just did a film breakdown on Daniel Jones on my podcast, KJ All Day. And I'm telling you, I know he has two touchdowns before the sessions. I know he's in the bottom of the league. Here comes the passing yard. But the guy is pretty decent.

I'm not sleeping on Daniel Jones at all. First and foremost with the way he's able to run the ball. He gets back there, scrambles. The dude looks like a big tight end running the football. And his best attribute is his play action game in particular out of the shotgun. When he has his play action out of the shotgun, he finds Darren Waller. He finds those receivers down the field. That's when he's at his best. And so Brian Daybaugh knows that. He watches the film on him as well. He practices with him every day. And so he can be explosive, but at times he does do some stuff like, what are you doing? What were you thinking?

Let's not do that again. But when he's on, he looks pretty good. Currently, KJ Wright is the host of his very own podcast, KJ All Day. You can listen and watch on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and more. You can also hear KJ Wright on Seattle's ESPN 610 AM, the KJ Wright Show.

KJ Wright here with us on CBS Sports Radio. Let's get to the game tonight. Lions and Packers. I think there's a lot of intrigue for this showdown between these two NFC North teams. We're still trying to figure out how legit the Lions are, and the Packers have surprised people through the first three games of the season.

The Lions got to come on with it now. Hey, you have all this hype, all this build up. You know, you're going to win this division. You're going to handle your business.

Tonight, it has got to get done. And watching the Lions offense, Jermaine Gibbs. I mean, you took this guy high. You drafted him early, you know, number 12 overall pick. Get this guy going even more. I mean, he's just got to get more touches out of the backfield, more perimeter, designs, specialty runs, because when he does have the football in his hands, he's one of the most explosive guys in the NFL. And so he's a phenomenal talent, Jerry Goff.

I think I'm going to handle business. If I had to pick a team, where is it? Is it in Green Bay?

Yeah, it's in Green Bay. Oh, that's hard. That's hard.

Some way, some how. Detroit Lions. I got the Detroit Lions pulling off.

It's going to be a nail biter, but I'm a big fan of the Lions. When you got to Seattle, you got there in 2011. That was your first year with the Seattle Seahawks. They weren't the way that we know of the Seahawks, right, with what you guys ended up doing. When you talk about where the Lions are trying to get through, and you were in that building process, and you guys were 7-9, then next year 11-5, and then the year after that, you win the Super Bowl. When you're trying to become that team, what's the biggest advice that you could give to the Lions, who are in that spot right now, where everyone's hyping them up, but we still are a little skeptical if they can get the job done?

I know. First and foremost, there's going to be so much media attention around you saying, oh, you're doing this, you're doing that. What we did really, really well was we ignored the noise, and we just focused on ourselves. When it came to practice, we handled our business. When it came to game time, we handled our business, and I got to give John Snyder and Coach Carroll a lot of credit, the people that they brought in. Everyone forgets about that trade that they made for Marshawn Lynch, getting them from Buffalo. Everybody forgets that Richard Sherman was a fifth-round pick, Cam Chancellor was also a fifth-round pick, and so the way that they continued to build the team through the draft and a little bit in free agency, getting a Michael Bennett or Cliff Abel, the management did a phenomenal job in building that team. And so it starts at the top and it trickles down, and so the way that they built that culture, Coach Carroll coming from USC to the Seattle Seahawks, brought that culture here. I love what I see from Dan Campbell in building that culture, having sold out stadiums. That's what it's going to take to really get this thing turned around.

Everyone has to be bought in. You were in the same draft class as Richard Sherman, you were a fourth-round pick, he was a fifth-round pick, you both being young guys trying to make it and exceed the expectations from where you were drafted, when did you know that Richard Sherman was going to be a great player in this league? I mean, the first day I met this dude, he wouldn't stop talking. You were like, this guy won't shut up, he's a pain in the ass, right? This man would not stop talking and I compare Sherman, I know it's kind of bold, but I compare him to a Muhammad Ali in the sense of, let me finish, let me finish, in the sense of he was someone that said, I'm great, I'm this, I'm that, before he really was.

Right? I remember the first week he was starting against the 59er Bengals, it was Andy Dalton versus A.J. Green, he was like, I'm going to pick this dude off, I'm going to pick it, and I'm going to shut A.J.

Green down. He hadn't even started a game, it was like week six, week seven of the season. And he went out there and threw a fade ball to his side, and lo and behold, number 25 gets his first interception, and after that he had like 45, 50 more. And so confidence has never been an issue with Richard Sherman, he came on the scene confident as all get out and put together a Hall of Fame career.

Unbelievable story. KJ Wright here with us on the Zach Gelb show. Big matchup this weekend inside the AFC East, the Dolphins are going to Buffalo to square off against the Bills. Who has more pressure on them in this one?

Do you think it's Miami or do you think it's Buffalo? When you put up 70 points, the expectations is 70 points. I mean, what they did last week was unheard of since I believe the 1960s or 70s. And you know, people are really looking at this offense and they're really looking at Tua like, okay, you guys made some noise, let's see if you can put up 50 this week or do 40 this week.

And so they opened up Pandora's box and I just love what I see from Tua. If the season ended today, he's the MVP of the league, and the way that he had that interaction with Ryan Clark earlier in the season, being called overweight. People talking about that he doesn't have the big time arm as the Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. He can't, he don't know what to do with a Tyreek Hill.

He's the guy that went out there, shut out the noise and handled his business. And so Mike McDaniel is the future. He's the next Kyle Shanahan, who's one of the best play callers I've ever faced.

And so the way they get creative in the red zone, the way that he maximizes his run game and all these weapons, this thing is really fun to watch. Yeah, it's interesting that you bring up the Shanahan comparison because I called the Dolphins before the year like 49ers light because they look like they are where the 49ers were a few years ago and they're only getting started with Miami as long as the quarterback can stay healthy. As long as the quarterback can stay healthy, God willing, this team is going to be in the playoffs, going to compete to win this division. And who knows, I mean, they may not win the Super Bowl this year, but keep the core together. That's what we did in Seattle. When we won, we had that long stretch of five, six years. We kept the core together.

We just continued to add pieces. And so the management has got to be on point, build this, continue to build this team around Tua, add some weapons on the defensive side of the football. They don't even have Jalen Ramsey yet.

Everyone forgot about him. Hopefully he can come back in December when they make this playoff push. And so I like this Miami Dolphins football team and we'll see if they can compete and win this AFC East. And you know the biggest thing, if the Dolphins are ever in a Super Bowl, run the ball if you're at the one yard line because then you won't have to break up the team.

Exactly, exactly. Oh man, you bought that off. I can't believe you did that. Well, that's why that team didn't win another Super Bowl. Like that greatness of that team ended that night in Glendale, Arizona.

It ended and we no longer trusted each other. We were second guessing people up top. And I get the analytics, whatever, you know, one timeout, who cares? If you run the ball every single time, we'd probably come back that next year with a vengeance, mad, ready to get in those Super Bowl. But instead, it was like a dark gray rainy cloud over that building that we had here in Seattle.

And it stayed there for about three to four years. Yeah, I know you could say analytics and I say this as a Patriot fan, it made no sense whatsoever. There's no numbers in the world where I can say, okay, my eyes and my gut tell me run the football there.

I don't care what the numbers say. Like that's a Brandon Staley type of answer there, KJ, right? You know that. And what makes it, what doesn't make any more sense is how the heck did Malcolm jump it, run through a guy, literally ran through a guy back and got an interception.

Who does that? That should be an incomplete pass. We should have ran to the next play and got, I'd be back to back to the bowl champ.

Well, thankfully you didn't. Let me ask you about your old quarterback, Russell Wilson. Last year, we all know was a disaster for the Broncos. This year, it somehow got even worse. How do you view Russell Wilson right now in the NFL and what his career is going to be moving forward?

Man, let me tell you this. I'll start with Sean Payton. I'm not starting with Russell Wilson. I start with Sean Payton and the leadership and calling out his quarterback, telling him, stop kissing, baby. Then Nathaniel Hackett put together the worst coaching display he's ever seen in his life. And this dude got beat by 50 points.

And so it starts with that dude. And then you go to Russell Wilson and I look at it, the same type of offense. What Nathaniel Hackett did, it's similar to what Russell Wilson is going through.

He's in a system that he's not familiar with. He's in a system that's not maximizing his talent. Every time I see Russell Wilson make a play, he drops back, he scrambles so he can see. He can't see in that window behind the quarterback. He has some vision and he makes dimes like he's done his whole career in Seattle.

And so if he wants to maximize Russell Wilson, get the dude outside the pocket so he can get some vision to get the ball to Sutton and Jerry Judy. And so it starts with him and I don't like what Sean Payton has done from a leadership standpoint. Is Sean overrated to you as a head coach? I mean, OK, he's won one Super Bowl, which is not easy to do. A lot of coaches wish they had that one Super Bowl. Facing him throughout my NFL career, I personally dominated him.

I mean, I was part of Legion of Boom, but we dominate him every time we faced him. And he's good. He's a great play caller. I just look at the leadership. And I know he's from the Bill Parcells tree, but my God, this isn't the 1990s.

You can't just say whatever you want to say when you want to say it and how you want to say it. You've got to find a way to keep things in-house, build up your players, build up your teammates. I know Russell Wilson's personality. He doesn't handle that stuff very well. He's behind the doors, you know, kind of, you know, judge him a little bit to get the best out of him. And so I'm not going to say he's overrated, but when I see what he's doing with his football team, I'm questioning the effort that they displayed last week. And I was really maximizing this offense in particular with number three. Oh, they quit last week.

Like, I don't care who you are. You can't allow 70 points in a game. I've never seen that. Go watch the tape. Dudes are jogging. Dudes are loafing.

Dudes aren't scrapping, fighting, clawing to try to stop their bleeding. It was on display. And what he should do come that Monday morning is watch every single play in their team meeting room. We're about to watch every single play as a unit.

We're going to call out what we see. That's leadership and that's coaching. And so I don't know if he did it or not, but if I was a coach, that's what we're doing. Last thing I'll ask you, when we go back to Russell Wilson, if you would ask me before he got to Denver if he would have been a Hall of Famer, I would say yes. If this continues, I think he's going to play himself out of the Hall of Fame.

How about yourself? Let's say if it continues, if he's at the end of the day, I don't think he gets in. Ten years, phenomenal in Seattle, got you a Super Bowl. If he does get in, it's going to be very, very late, but the way his image has just flipped upside down. This dude was a golden boy here in Seattle.

This guy could do no wrong. When I see how the media sees him, when I see how he's a laughingstock when it comes to the fan base, it's really sad to see. And so hopefully he does get this thing turned around. I know he's still a good quarterback, but 0-3, getting 20 points continues to get called out in the media. It's just not pretty for Russ.

I know he's feeling the pressure right now. KJ Wright, always appreciate the time. Thanks so much once again. KJ Wright is the host of his very own podcast, KJ All Day. You can listen to it and watch it on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and more. Also hear KJ Wright on Seattle's ESPN 710 AM on the KJ Wright Show. Always appreciate the perspective, KJ. Let's do it again real soon. Yes, sir. Enjoy it. Thank you, Zach.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-28 22:29:16 / 2023-09-28 22:37:25 / 8

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