The Los Angeles Rams made a big splash in free agency this offseason, signing Bobby Wagner to insert into the middle of their defense. This is a huge signing for the Rams, as Wagner is one of the best linebackers in the NFL and it is a direct blow to one of their division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks released Wagner this offseason and instead of having him lead their defense, he will now be attempting to stop their offense two times a season with the Rams. That leadership is one of the things that drew Rams head coach Sean McVay to signing Wagner.
Los Angeles is expecting him to be a leader for their defense as well. They saw firsthand how he excelled at it, as he was the heart and soul of the Seahawks defense for 10 seasons. However, Wagner has some work to do before he can step into the leadership role they are expecting from him.
Wagner is taking his time before stepping into a leadership role. He believes learning how his teammates and the organization as a whole handle their business is a necessary step to take before successfully leading a team.
“I’m pretty intentional,” Wagner said, via Kevin Modesti of the Los Angeles Daily News. “I’m definitely coming in here and being myself. I also understand that they have a way of going about things. In order to lead, you’ve got to learn how they do things before you jump in. That’s been my thing, just trying to learn how everything operates. Then I’ll start to use some of my experience to kind of pass to guys. Once you build that trust off the field, on the field becomes easy.”
That is certainly the right approach for Wagner to take. There is a lot that goes into being a leader and earning the trust of everyone around you is key to that.
Wagner has been doing a lot of film work but also getting to know his teammates on a personal level. He has held plenty of discussions with them about things not involving football, such as music and basketball as sort of a way to break the ice and get comfortable with each other.
This is all part of Wagner’s master plan to turn into the leader that McVay and the Rams are hoping he will be. If all goes to plan, Los Angeles should have one of the better defenses in the NFL once again.