The departures of Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner drained the Seattle Seahawks of their main leaders on both sides of the ball. The losses have many outside the facility believing the Seahawks are in the middle of a rebuild.
However, from head coach Pete Carroll on down, the Seahawks have eschewed the idea that the club is starting over. Rather the changes are viewed as a reignition.
Veteran defensive lineman Al Woods cited the team's culture as the reason he's confident Seattle can keep winning despite the losses of Wilson and Wagner.
"Just the culture we have," Woods said Thursday, via Pro Football Talk. "The culture we have is a winning culture. Us being competitive at practice. It's not going to be the same group of starters however, everybody has got to go out there and compete. The best players are going to play. I feel like once we get out there and we start the camaraderie, the togetherness, and start working with each other. Iron sharpens iron, I think we're going to be all right."
While the offense losing Wilson is a massive blow, Wagner's presence on defense for a decade was a stabilizing force that will be difficult to replace.
"He's a hell of a communicator," Woods said of Wagner. "Hell of a communicator, hell of a leader. You know, the dude could see stuff that other people couldn't see. He could always tell me, 'Hey bro, the play might be going this way. Let's play our eyes this way.' And a lot of times that stuff would work. I would go in early to maybe just sit down and talk with him."
Now it's on Woods and others to fill those big shoes left by Wagner and Wilson.